My wife Meredith and I gave $35,000 to the Wardenclyffe Tesla Museum, and Matt Inman a.k.a. The Oatmeal drew an original cartoon about the unique paleontology of our area, The Western Interior Seaway, and the natural history museum hotel we are creating.

The cartoon went live Monday morning, and our Facebook page has exploded to over 54,000 fans.

We also simultaneously launched our Dino Memes blog.

We love skepticism and critical thinking, so here's our pudding proof photo.

We do want to squash the pernicious rumors that we are using the hotel to fund a secret underground dinosaur cloning lab. We like to collect massive amounts of amber just because it's pretty. We don't know how these things get started.

Philanthropy, social media marketing, a love for science, Tesla, meme parodies, The Oatmeal, The Bone Wars, prehistoric sea monsters and dinosaurs. What's not to love?

Even though we are in the middle of the remodel, Meredith and I start teaching interactive science seminars to guests this Thursday, January 30.

Ask us anything!

Update Whew! Holy, holy schmoley! Meredith & I just did a marathon 11 hour AMA. Here's my 'triumphant' face. It's been fun reddit! Getting some shut eye, now. If you have any more questions, Go ahead and ask. We'll answer them in the morning. Thank you so much! (rawr!)- (‿◕).·´¯).·´¯)\ムム/

Update to the Update Back up, and a bit frowsy. As Mr. Gumby likes to say, "My brain hurts." But we're still happy to answer questions periodically throughout the day.

Comments: 300 • Responses: 134  • Date: 

Dinohotel48 karma

I have a question for all redditors. I'm noticing a lot of down votes. I'm still trying to figure out the community. What should we be doing differently?

madametrogdor24 karma

Sometimes people are jerks when it comes to imaginary internet points. shrug You have a lot more upvotes than downvotes, so I wouldn't worry about it.

Personally, I love what you are doing and how you are answering so many questions.

Dinohotel29 karma

Oh, good. I know each community is different. Wasn't sure if I playing by the rules yet. Trying to, anyway. Might be spillover Oatmeal dislike, or leeriness of a commercial venture. Critical thinking involved, so who are we to complain?

chicagobob19 karma

FYI: some down votes are fake. The Reddit-Super-Computer generates fake votes to throw off vote cheaters, they're not real, but the total is about the same, for example, see Reddit's FAQ

Dinohotel38 karma

Ah. Then I sincerely hope reddit HAL or GLaDOS doesn't go all singularity on my ass.

RilesBanJovi4 karma

lol. a couple weeks ago i was giving a presentation in a room of about 40 people and my damned siri kept beeping on my iPad, then saying "I don't understand what you said." After the second time I was like "I hope this isn't the singularity for Siri." Dead silence.

Dinohotel2 karma

Meredith here, to say that I first read this as "my damned skirt kept beeping on my iPad, then saying 'I don't understand what you said.'" I was concerned that your skirt was trying to steal the show...

alexanderwales3 karma

I should also point out that if you vote on someone's comment directly from their user page, reddit adds an upvote and a downvote, in order to prevent people from spamming votes at a single user. This was a problem for one of the novelty accounts that painted pictures awhile back, since it looked like her works were incredibly controversial.

Dinohotel5 karma

Wait. What? So who has the Quaffle who has the Bludgers and where the hell is the Golden Snitch?

changeit_11 karma

From the reddit FAQ: "A submission's score is simply the number of upvotes minus the number of downvotes. If five users like the submission and three users don't it will have a score of 2. Please note that the vote numbers are not "real" numbers, they have been "fuzzed" to prevent spam bots etc. So taking the above example, if five users upvoted the submission, and three users downvote it, the upvote/downvote numbers may say 23 upvotes and 21 downvotes, or 12 upvotes, and 10 downvotes. The points score is correct, but the vote totals are "fuzzed""

Dinohotel14 karma

Wow. I think my head just snapped off my neck trying to fathom that one. It sounds like those word problems from middle school that I still have nightmares about -- rawr! There. Avoided a dangling participle.

Shinhan2 karma

Yea, best to just not look at the upvotes and downvotes and karma, its all just useless internet points.

Dinohotel6 karma

Wasn't sure if there was an angry mob and growing distaste over internal community netiquette. But if it's meaningless -- yay! Meaningless is our specialty.

for_because5 karma

There are assholes everywhere. Even on Reddit.

Dinohotel28 karma

Yep. As Sartre said, "Hell is other redditors."

etherknight2 karma

It's reddit, the majority prefer cats to dinosaurs.

Dinohotel28 karma

Why choose? Have both. Dino kitteh!

Smilodon dino meme

cobaltkarma2 karma

A lot of people consider iama to be for famous people only. Not sure if it's in the rules or not, but a lot of non-famous submissions have been deleted in the past.

Dinohotel9 karma

We mentioned dildo design earlier. I'm sure that helps us make the cut.

cobaltkarma6 karma

Tesla coils and dildos are similar in many ways and both are subjects redditors are happy to get into, or the other way around.

Dinohotel11 karma

Just don't confuse the two. The results can be quite painful.

ScribbleJ2 karma

It's also worth noting that Reddit "fuzzes" the up and downvotes on submissions, so if it says (e.g.) 321 up votes 106 down votes that really only tells you that you have a net of ~200 upvotes; it could actually be more like 200 upvotes and 0 downvotes or 5000 upvotes and 4800 downvotes.


Edit: Bah, someone beat me to it.

Dinohotel6 karma

Meep. I am so confused. Maybe if I smear jam into my keyboard, it will make reddit algie-go-roombas go away.

beeblez0 karma

In addition reddit fudges the exact number of up and down votes on popular topics to make it harder for people to "crack" the algorithm for getting to the front page. A good portion of the downvotes may be spoofed for this reason.

Also some redditors downvote any kind of self-promotion just 'cause. shrug

Dinohotel5 karma

Zoiks! Where's Alan Turing when you need him?

potus0118 karma

If you (hypothetically of course) had a secret underground dinosaur cloning lab, which dinosaur would you clone first?

Dinohotel30 karma

Hypothetically, it would depend on which one was the tastiest.

for_because25 karma

So maybe a STEAKosaurus.

kbergstr12 karma

You must be a writer for Bazooka Joe!

Dinohotel19 karma

They pay me in gum. But alas, not Trident Layers.

Salacious-3 karma

Yabba dabba doooo!

Dinohotel9 karma

Something small and cute, like an Othnielia. I think if people could treat them like tea cup chihuahuas, the market would be huge!

Dinohotel7 karma

But seriously, folks, We aren't cloning anything. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go play ball with my "Min Tryn", Rex. He chews up the sofa if he isn't exercised every thirty minutes. And the cat.

party-bot18 karma

Not a question but I wanted to say thank you for the donation! I hope it pays dividends for you guys and if I am ever in the area I will make a note to check out your operation.

Dinohotel15 karma

Oh, please do. Best thing you can do is spread the world. Tell everybody to like our various sites.

shh_Im_a_Moose3 karma

I will definitely absolutely be staying at your hotel if I ever have the opportunity. What an awesome idea.

Dinohotel3 karma

Thanks, shh_I'm_a_Moose! No offense, but since you're a moose, we'll need a pet deposit. ;-)

Lobstaman16 karma

How about teaming up with some of the local breweries in the area and creating a Dino-line of brews for some dig, drink and stay packages?

Dinohotel15 karma

Eventually, yes. We might do a line of branded coffee later in the year.

Lobstaman4 karma

Awesome. Now to get the family on a trip from the northeast to Colorado.

Dinohotel9 karma

Lure them into a box trap with a trail of gummy dinosaurs. By the time they wake up, they'll be at the hotel. PedoCaveBear taught me that one. (Dino Meme cousin of PB, and far more formidable).

MySpoonsAreTooBig4 karma

I'm a local and I'd totally love this!

Dinohotel14 karma

We are going to do Colorado beer, wine and spirit tastings this summer. And i want to do a craft soda tasting class for families. Never too young to start training a palette. Stay tuned.

qzikl3 karma

This is an awesome idea!

Dinohotel4 karma

Yes. We think so. (Takes moment to smugly pat self on back).

madametrogdor3 karma


Dinohotel13 karma

And that! Dance: ten; Looks; three. And I' still on unemployment, Dancing for my own enjoyment. That ain't it, kid. That ain't it, kid.

I love the redacted high school friendly version of "A Chorus Line."

songwind7 karma

You're kind of a weird guy. I like that in a person.

Dinohotel11 karma

Gave up trying to be anything other than myself, a few years ago. Pleasing others too exhausting. That doesn't mean a lack of courtesy or empathy; just be yourself. Embrace your passions, and the things you like to do. For instance, I'm a bit of a cat burglar; I break into people's houses, sneak down to their basements and destroy their model train sets. Makes me feel like Godzilla.

Dinohotel4 karma

But the nice thing is, when I'm in these basements, I get to watch so many redditors sleep on their mom's fold out couch. ;-)

Dinohotel5 karma

Meredith here, just confirming your people-reading skills, songwind. :-)

Dftbashley12 karma

The real question is, why aren't you using the hotel to fund a secret underground dinosaur cloning lab?

Also, what were your professions before you became...dinosaur hotel owners? Is that what this is? Dear god, I want your lives...

Dinohotel11 karma

Greg -- Acting (ham), writing (hack), dot com reporter (whore), and motelier extraordinaire. The flighty dreamer.

Meredith -- French major, teacher, amazing mom, homeschooler. The grounded one.

Both of us avid readers and critical thinkers.

d3matt3 karma

You missed the first question... We expect Jurrassic Park in a few years!

Dinohotel19 karma

I cannot confirm or deny the existence of a secret dinosaur cloning lab. Seriously people, does anyone have questions about my new movie, 'Rampart'?

bondinspace4 karma

This is one of the best AMAs ever. If I ever pay off med school and stay at your hotel can I pay extra to, like, grab coffee with you guys?

Dinohotel2 karma

Ha ha ha! Or just come stay and direct message us on our Facebook page.

We're happy to sit down with guests and neighbors over a cup of coffee.

It's what we do.

ihatecats1811 karma

I think you got your 35K worth in marketing and advertising. I'm sure you'll see this a lot, but if I'm ever in town I know where I'll try to stay.

edit: Also have you thought about having dinosaur themed weddings?

Dinohotel18 karma

Yeah, we tried to make this a total win for everyone. Yes, we benefited. But getting out the story of Dinosaur Ridge was enormously important to us. Plus we got to openly and unequivocally support science. it is vitally important to health and future of America. (Although Dinosaur Ridge belongs to the world).

Dinohotel11 karma

Dino weddings -- not a bad idea. Maybe by the fall. So much to do in the meantime.

Dinohotel21 karma

But the, "You may now eat the bride" part may drive up our insurance premiums.

gamenahd10 karma

How many fans did you have on Facebook before the comic?

Dinohotel22 karma

20,770. So about 35,000 new fans in 48 hours. That's about $1 per new fan, but that will drop as new fans join. Plus, it's a charitable donation, so it's tax deductible.

iamaredditer9 karma

Twitter and Facebook blew up. Holy shit! Free at last free at last thank God almighty were free at last.

Dinohotel21 karma

We are feeling freed from The Precious, as well. It burns us.

for_because9 karma

Do you have room for activities? Also if you do what type of kid friendly dino activities will you offer or at least are available in the area? Me and my son (my wife might come too) would love to come stay at such a dino friendly place!

Dinohotel5 karma

Starting this weekend, Meredith and i will personally be leading interactive seminars. Plus, we have a dig pit next to Stanley the Stegosaurus, and a small meeting room, both available for birthday parties. Post remodel, we will have much more event space.

madametrogdor2 karma

So many activities!

Dinohotel3 karma

By degrees, yes. We're adding stuff as we can. We hope to be up to full steam with everything by midsummer.

madametrogdor7 karma

What inspired you to start such an awesome project?

Dinohotel13 karma

We were already planning a remodel, and I was out rock hopping throughout the Dakota Ridge area. I think I discovered a massive fossil bed. I was already an avid fan of The Bone Wars. While my fossil find is still under debate, a light bulb went off about what to celebrate about our area: Dinosaur Ridge, discovery point of the first stegosaurus and apatosaurus, and humanity's first glimpse into the giants of the Jurassic world. Like Wardenclyffe, Dinosaur ridge is an enormously important piece of scientific history.

madametrogdor2 karma

How does Best Western feel about your remodel? Are they supportive, or do they even care?

Dinohotel8 karma

They are supportive, and quite excited. They're far more concerned that the amenities are quality and up to brand standards. Everyone from CEO David Kong on down have been really great and encouraging. I think it's an easy sell once you explain how exciting the project really is.

lurkity_mclurkington7 karma

*What are your favorite dinosaurs?

*What fossils do you, or will you, have at or around the hotel?

*If there was one thing you would want somebody to know about dinosaurs/fossils, what would it be?

*What is the biggest misconception people have of dinosaurs, from your experience?

Thanks for doing this AMA and being a part of the Tesla museum! And, congratulations on The Oatmeal cartoon!

Dinohotel8 karma

*-- Stegosaurus, and all the little ones. i think they get overlooked in the rush for awesome gin-normousness. * -- A mix of smaller real one and reporduction big ones. We already have a stegosaurus dig panel for behind the front desk and Sophie, our 45 foot Tylosaurus panel to hang from the ceiling in our lobby. *--Yes. Go somewhere dry, and look down. You'd be amazed how many amazing archeological, paleontological, botanical, zoological discoveries start with this simple thing. So come out of your fog; be observant and stay curious. *That terrible lizards means horrible. It's an older sense of the word -- awe inspiring to the point of wonder and dread.

DRNbw4 karma

*-- Stegosaurus, and all the little ones. i think they get overlooked in the rush for awesome gin-normousness.

*-- A mix of smaller real one and reporduction big ones. We already have a stegosaurus dig panel for behind the front desk and Sophie, our 45 foot Tylosaurus panel to hang from the ceiling in our lobby.

*--Yes. Go somewhere dry, and look down. You'd be amazed how many amazing archeological, paleontological, botanical, zoological discoveries start with this simple thing. So come out of your fog; be observant and stay curious.

*--That terrible lizards means horrible. It's an older sense of the word -- awe inspiring to the point of wonder and dread.

Leave a empty line in between paragraphs so that reddit understands. Thanks for the AMA :D

Dinohotel4 karma

Okie doke. More spaces between graphs. Got it. And you're welcome. Everyone has been great, so far. Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer great.

BTW, is it weird to reveal I'm in a room at the hotel, with a dozen Hutzler 571 Banana Slicers on the bed with me?

Dinohotel6 karma

Meredith here again, to let you know that this is actually true. He does have a dozen Hutzler 571 Banana Slicers on the bed. Haven't worked up the courage to ask yet.

Dinohotel3 karma

Greg: Any old asshat can give his wife a dozen roses. But a dozen Hutzler 571 Banana Slicers? That is something really special.

eat-sleep-knit-read6 karma

How long until the dinosaur petting zoo goes live? Jk, jk :) Real question: How long have you two been interested in Dinosaurs, and can you reccomend any interesting books on the history of paleontology in Colorado, or other places?

Dinohotel10 karma

All my life, I've been interested in dinosaurs. But I think the real passion started right after Meredith and I got married. On our mini-moon back to Colorado, we watched "Jurassic Park 2: The Lost World," and I got the Dino Fever real bad. Favorite dino books: The Guilded Dinosaur about the Bone Wars, Raptor Red because Dr. Bob is local and hangs out at the Morrison Natural History Museum, Life by Richard Fortey; A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson, Cartoon History of the universe by Larry Gonick. Fiction-wise, Dinotopia because James Gurney's vision closely matches the aesthetic for the hotel that we hope to create. (Although admittedly, Gurney did jump the megalodon a bit with The World Beneath). And we have dozens and dozens and dozens of pretty, pretty reference books, especially anything by DK Books.

CubbyRed3 karma

Yay! Now I have new books to put on my to-read list.

Dinohotel4 karma

Yes, once you get the bug, it's easy to become obsessed.

Armoondie2 karma

Dinosaur encyclopedia was my favorite dinosaur book.

Dinohotel4 karma

There are quite a few just like that one. But they have to be big and glossy and heavy enough to flatten a house cat just by dropping them, and full of shiny, shiny pictures. It's low consumption of vast quantities of information. I read 'em until they're dog eared.

Dinohotel6 karma

Anyone want to know about hanging with Matt Inman, and what went into collaborating over the cartoon?

MySpoonsAreTooBig2 karma

yes! Please tell more!

Dinohotel7 karma

We corresponded via phone, text and email. Meredith and I first met Matt in person when he swung by Denver on his "How To Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting To Kill You" book tour. We hopped in my shabby Subaru, and I gave him a lift over to his speaking engagement at the LoDo Tattered Cover. We talked science, and Matt told me all about the bizarre reproduction habits of the Angler Fish. This was the first time I'd heard that bit of whack morphology! Then Matt regaled the crowd with the story of his house burning down when he was a kid, which also eventually became a comic.

Matt and his girlfriend joined us for our groundbreaking, right as the whole F5 brouhaha was exploding. He also got an after hours tour of the Morrison Natural History Museum, to help flesh out the story.

MySpoonsAreTooBig3 karma

This makes me happy. I've lived in the Denver area for a year, and I'd never heard of the Morrison Natural History Museum, or your hotel, until the Oatmeal. I should've heard of the Natural History Museum, but you know, people don't talk about these things unless you're friends with super-cool people that enjoy doing super-nerdy things.

So happy that the world is so big but the internet can make it so small.

EDIT - English

Dinohotel3 karma

Telling the story of Dinosaur Ridge was enormously important to us. As a hotel, our place is our brand. We wanted Matt to cover all the paleontology of the Morrison area. He added in the awesome jokes and the interesting part about Tesla. But it really was a collaborative effort between Meredith, Matt I. and me, with feedback from Dr.Robert Bakker and Matt Mossbrucker. We wanted the hotel to almost be an after thought, the softest of soft sells. We get it; and hang up on telemarketers and scrape flyers off our car windshields, just like everyone else.

eclectic_cook6 karma

Way to work the social media! I wish you all the best with your remodel, and I hope to visit someday.

Dinohotel7 karma

Please do -- and spread the word!

jrhsk86 karma

Why Tesla?

Dinohotel19 karma

Because Tesla's most productive later years were in Colorado, not Long Island. Wardenclyffe was sort of a fizzling coda to Tesla's career. And some of his craziest Frankenstein mad scientist electrical experiments happened in the Colorado Foothills, where the prairie meets the Rocky Mountains. We have no business interests in Colorado Springs, but this was a cool piece of civic boosterism for our state.

Dinohotel5 karma

Hi, this is Meredith jumping in now. Greg needed a break--those adult diapers don't last forever!

beanbun5 karma

I'm an archaeology student and I'll be in Denver on vacation soon. Are you planning any dinolicious activities geared towards adults in the next couple of months?

Dinohotel13 karma

We are just starting to gear up some interactive seminars this Thursdays, and will be maturing our offerings over time. But yes, we will have dinosaur themed events throught the year. Looking forward to Dinos de los Muertos and Mardi Rawr, in particular.

beeblez3 karma

Whoever came up with Mardi Rawr needs a medal.

Dinohotel7 karma

Then medal, please. :-) We also want to do Cinco de Maisaur and declare May "National Geek History Month." So many ideas; we just have to get through this initial phase first so we can start broadening and deepening the museum hotel experience, over time. It's a work in progress; I doubt it will ever be done.

Edit: No dinosaurs hypothetically escaped any hypothetical compounds. Please go back about your redditing, people. That is all.

CWagner5 karma

I love those dino ragefaces:) And I'll see if I can squeeze in a visit, not sure as my first visit to the US will probably bring me to Seattle, WA as that's where my former room mate lives. Cheers from a German fan!

Oh and question:

The whole thing seems like a costly undertaking. How long do you think it'll take to amortize them?

Dinohotel5 karma

And the Dino ragefaces was a little brainchild I had around Thanksgiving. It was funny, and hopefully a way for us to defray some of the museum costs by selling Dino Memes t-shirts and other merch. But we knew it had to be funny and respectful of the original memes. Our art director Daniel Vincent Bigelow and I spent 40-50 hours creating these; a lot of it collaborating on Skype share between Denver and L.A.

Dinohotel4 karma

Good question. We have our loan, and a great deal of personal money sunk into this. We may resort to crowdfunding at some point. We have revised the project a half dozen times already to keep it within scope and within budget. And certain things like the Cretaceous pool mosaic may have to be phased in at later time. Marrying the dream to the reality doesn't work if we go extinct in the process. ;-)

CWagner3 karma

Crowdfunding might work pretty well with dino rageface shirts as rewards;)

Dinohotel3 karma

I like the way you think. Diseased minds think alike. There are many, many perks we can offer.

Criticon5 karma

Do you expect to get your money back with the publicity generated, or is it truly an act of kindness (and Tesla!)? Because that's a lot of money to say good bye to. Ps. If I ever go to Denver I'm definitely staying at your hotel!

Dinohotel8 karma

All of the above. We were able to give greatly, and we will be rewarded tenfold. It was pure win, all around. Philanthropy can still do great good, even when it is driven by enlightened self-interest. And yay! We look forward to your stay.

madametrogdor5 karma

I hope you don't mind that I have another question, and thanks for doing this AMA. Are you open to the possibility of conducting tours for your guests to explore Dinosaur Ridge?

Dinohotel10 karma

And not at all. Ask away. We're lonely, reclusive shut-ins and we enjoy the attention.

Dinohotel9 karma

Not yet, but both the Morrison Natural History Museum and Dinosaur Ridge have excellent tours. But we're not ruling it out. At this point, we're up to our eyeballs in remodel.

Edit: Removed geocoordinates of secret dinosaur cloning lab. Which you never heard of. Keep moving.

bluej100135 karma

What did you two do for a living before you owned the hotel?

Dinohotel6 karma

Reporting, social media (Greg), teaching and accounting (Meredith).

bluej100133 karma

That works out nicely.

Dinohotel3 karma

It does. It's important to have creative, curious, passionate minds. And critical thinking doesn't hurt, either. Why, Bigfoot and I were laughing about that in the secret bunker under DIA, just the other day.

CubbyRed5 karma

I read the Oatmeal comic and went directly to your website - your place looks like it's going to be awesome! Where do you get your dinosaur fossils from? Of which type of dinosaur do you have the most fossils? Do you have a favorite dinosaur, and if so, which one and why?

Dinohotel7 karma

Our hometown hero and official state fossil, Stegosaurus Armatus. And all our real fossils will be small. Without some crowdfunding, no way in Darwin we could afford the real things.

Gonkulator4 karma

So did Colorado Cars lend you the Jurassic Park Jeep or do you have your own now?

It would be cool if guests could rent that Jeep out during their stay there...

Dinohotel10 karma

Yes, Colorado Movie Cars jumped in at the last minute and donated the Jurassic Park Jeep to our groundbreaking. It was very generous of them.It had a noise box hooked up to speakers, so we had great fun pressing the buttons and making everybody jump with dinosaur roars and screams. For those of not local to Denver, CMC is a charity organization that helps out the Children's Hospital of Denver. Worth looking up their FB page:

Jeslovespets4 karma

Were either of you redditors before donating to the Oatmeal? If not, how did you find out about Reddit/AMAs?

Dinohotel4 karma

Oh, i have a lot of geek friends. Plus, I cut my social media eyeteeth on the old BlogCatalog boards. Both Meredith and I are bloggers. Mostly, I focused on Facebook, while our twitter account withered. Google +, not yet. And we joined reddit a few months ago, but haven't had the time to really give all these communities the attention they deserve. It's an hours in the day thing.

Edit: To smash the Thing You Weren't Supposed To See.

Dinohotel8 karma

And tumblr! We gotta set up the tumblr. I'm letting Daniel Vincent Bigelow, our project art director, handle that one.

Dinohotel2 karma

But I did actively sit down with several friends who are avid redditors, and ask them what are the big no nos and rules of the game. You guys and 4chan are like the stellar nurseries of so many memes and Internet trends. So not f**ing it up was enormously important.

inputninja4 karma

Favorite Cheeseburgers? And would dinosaur burgers be awesome?

Dinohotel7 karma

Classic American with jalapenos. Can I has, wise, we've started our Dino Memes with Rage Faces because it was low hanging fruit. We do want to branch out into Advice Animals and other areas, but it's more a matter of hours in the days.

Lanky332 karma

JCB at brothers?

Dinohotel3 karma

Reference does not compute. Please elaborate. Or LMGTFY.

Lanky332 karma

JCB = The locally famous and ever popular Jalapeno Cream cheese Burger at Brothers bar in Denver at 15th and platte street (next to REI). If you haven't been there and had that burger, I highly recommend you check it out.

Dinohotel3 karma

Drool. You just made me make this face. I'm salivating like a Pavlovian dog OD'ed on Pilocarpine and rabies. Because those are things that would make you salivate. Alot.

sardonicbanquet4 karma

Thank you for doing this AMA, donating to a great cause, and for being so awesome! Were both of you interested in dinosaurs when you met? What's the most interesting dinosaur fact you know?

Dinohotel10 karma

The third eye on the mosasaur Tylosaurus is right up there. I learned that at the same time as Matt Inman, in our behind the scenes tour of the Morrison Natural History Museum. Curator Matt Mossbrucker is a Morrison, Colorado, hometown boy, and he may know as much about the Morrison Formation as anyone. His work with kitten sized stegosaurus babies is much overlooked. They started out itty bitty!

WBuffettJr3 karma

Might be too personal, but I was curious about how you achieved enough success in the first place to be able to buy a hotel, start a huge renovation, and throw $35,000 at a charitable cause. How can I get there?

Dinohotel6 karma

One word, son: Slankets.

We cornered the market on Slanket futures a few years back. Made a fortune.

In all seriousness, the luck of birth, two people with clever, creative minds, and nearly eight years of slogging it out with a generic product that we bought out of bankruptcy. We hired and built up an amazing, talented loyal crew, paid off our mortgage, weathered the Great Recession with no major layoffs, other than seasonal. It was time to freshen up our product. We just had the tremendous good luck to have a Euerka! moment over the natural history museum theme. And like Archimedes, I jumped out of the bathtub and ran naked down the street.

Dinohotel6 karma

I was fully dressed at the time, and I had to draw a bath and disrobe down to my naked molerat self, ease into the steamy bubbles, and then jump out of the tub and run down the street. But it was a Eureka! moment, all the same.

Dinohotel6 karma

Meredith here: am I allowed to down vote my husband?

Dinohotel2 karma

Meredith here, and all I can say is man I wish I had gotten to this question before Greg...

kingdomkong3 karma

What are your thoughts on the Creation museum in Kentucky? How much concern should there be that over 300 schools in the US, are teaching creationism soley and electing to ignore science? I love dinosaurs. Please tell these folks that peoples did not ride on dinosaurs. much love. -kong

Dinohotel3 karma

People did not ride on dinosaurs. But I sure as Darwin wish they did. I wish I could ride on a dinosaur.

The Creation Museum has its own view of reality; and we have ours. If you don't like what our business stands for, then please stay somewhere else. We are a single Best Western in an entire chain. If our ideas are anathema to you, penalize us, not a whole lot of other good folks.

Meredith and I are capitalists and Main Street business people. Let the market decide if our idea has legs. I think the response over the last few days from Matt's cartoon shows there's an overwhelming enthusiasm for the project. Dinosaurs and exploration and the romance of the expedition are sexy, glamorous, romantic things. Indiana Jones is based on Roy Chapman Andrews, a paleontologist, not an archeologist. So these are powerful ideas.

Evolution and Christianity are not diametrically opposed. Heck, we have a Gideon's Bible in every room, because a) that's tradition and b) they're free. We don't have "The Magic of Reality" or Darwin's "Theory of Evolution" in every room. Not that we're opposed, but we don't want to pay money for them.

Science curriculum and public policy have always been a disaster. It will matter less and less because the Internet is a great leveler. Tablet and smart phone apps will eliminate the need for set in stone textbooks. Technology will undo the infiltration into school systems.

seussman713 karma

This is probably one of those RTFW questions, but when do you expect to have all the renovations done, and what "feature" are you most excited about seeing completed?

Dinohotel20 karma

Oh no, it's a great question. We are aiming for April 19, Earth Day weekend 2013. But this is construction. Between construction delays, permitting, inspections, weather, and the bank, most likely we will be ready Memorial Weekend 2043.

jrgolden423 karma

What are your top 3 favorite non-dinosaur prehistoric reptiles? Besides Tylosaurus?

Dinohotel8 karma

The monster crocs, Pterodon Sternbergii (and Nyctosaurus. They got great wi-fi reception)*, and Scottish Elasmosaurus.The easiest way to identify the Loch Ness Monster is to look for its kilt.

*These should have been Matt I's real MFing pterodactyls.

MerryMoose3 karma

Are you aware Meredith was originally a boys name? coincidentally its also my freakin name! Its people like your wife who make my life difficult! I hope she feels suitably ashamed of herself! Grrrr

Dinohotel3 karma

So many names switch genders through the centuries, or become gender neutral. It means great and noble ruler. So maybe you and her are natural born leaders. :-)

d3matt3 karma

Do you plan special discounts for facebook friends / twitter followers / etc once your remodel is done?

Dinohotel6 karma

Sure! We can be our own Living Social, no doubt. Also probably some Wildfire sweepstakes, as well. Right now, we are laser focused on the construction. It is all consuming.

d3matt2 karma

I can only imagine!

Dinohotel5 karma

Yeah. It's not that we're sparing no expense; it's that no expense will spare us. As fun as this week has been with all the Oat Love; we're actually quite stressed. :-S

jakerivett3 karma

Just to say Yay you guys! and I can't wait to visit your hotel!!

Dinohotel3 karma

Yay yay yay! Bring lots of money!

(rawr!)- (‿◕).·´¯).·´¯)\ムム/

jakerivett2 karma

You were mentioned along the large facebook site IFLS, how do you feel being compared to them?

I will bring ALL the monies!!

Dinohotel2 karma

You mean by The Oatmeal? Or did IFLS also give us a shout out? Either way, it's flattering. We feel like we're being given a chair with the Geek Gods of Facehalla. It's really exciting. We've already passed up Atlas Obscura and Disinformation's Facebook fan base. We're a bit dazed. Now we have to offer quality content and convince people that it's worth sticking with us.

jakerivett2 karma

Of course it's worth sticking with you. The Oatmeal compared you to IFLS, that's huge! I'm happy for you guys! Rawr! I can't wait to come see it!

Dinohotel3 karma

Yay! We promise to screw up and let you down. Lower your expectations mightily, fellow Netizen!

DJ-Anakin3 karma

Was the $35k worth it?

Any skeptic is a friend of mine!

Dinohotel6 karma

Yes. For every reason. For helping science, for philanthropy, for social media visibility, for my family and hotel's rising star and financial success, for civic boosterism, for the joy of doing cool things. For our life's work. We want to see Dinosaur Ridge achieve the same level of protection and recognition as Tesla's Wardenclyffe. It is critically endangered by encroaching development. This is such an important piece of scientific history, Meredith and I want to see Dinosaur Ridge turned into a National Monument and UNESCO World Heritage Site.

jrgolden423 karma

Have you read the book All Yesterdays? If so, what are your thoughts?

Dinohotel2 karma

No. Tell me about it. I can't be arsed to Google it. :-)

shibbybear3 karma

I see that Jurassic Park jeep and I was like.. no that can't be you can it?

Dinohotel3 karma

Yes. Oh yes, my friend. And that's a local puppeteer, Mr. Bones. I really was being chased by a T-Rex. The moment I saw both at the groundbreaking, it was just toooo goood to pass up on the photo op. Can't help myself. I'm a ham.

mrcjdawson3 karma

Would you rather fight one spinosaurus sized microraptor or one hundred microraptor sized spinosaurus?

Dinohotel7 karma

This is Meredith. I'm going to say one hundred microraptor sized spinosaurs. You know why?

Because I have worked in toddler room at a Montessori school and now I can handle ANYTHING.

madametrogdor2 karma

Another question: Will your restaurant be dino-themed? If so, do you plan on having cheesy awesome names for your menu items?

Dinohotel5 karma

We have two eateries - Paleo Joe's and Roof Lizard Lounge. We're avoiding overly cute theme-ing. It's too easy to slide into tourist trap kitsch. But we will emphasize fresh, local Colorado ingredients.

Dinohotel3 karma

And by the way, nice Togdor the Burninator reference. It took a minute to sink in why I was hearing StrongBad screeching in my head. :-P

Edit: Had to redact sensitive trade secrets regarding the dinosaur cloning lab. Which does not exist.

Girrlkitty2 karma

I'm curious, I know most chains, including Best Western, have pretty strict guidelines about the look and feel of every hotel that uses their name. Did you have any problems with them over going "dinosaur" or are you planning to drop their flag and just be an independent hotel? Or are they in love with this idea, and are supporting your renovations completely?

Dinohotel4 karma

Nah. Towels, soap, height of beds, wall coverings, they care about. But because Best Western is an owner owned and operated co/op, the general cultural ethos is to celebrate the unique differentiators of your area. Now, we could have just as easily themed as a music hotel -- Red Rocks is next door to Dinosaur Ridge. But that has been done before so many times, we wanted to taste like pterodactyl.

Edit: removed word, because it pleases me to do so.

Girrlkitty2 karma

Huh, that's interesting to know! Thanks!

Dinohotel2 karma

Anytime. Nice kitty.

atsomepointidid2 karma

love your hotel/museum!

Dinohotel2 karma

Thanks! It's a work in progress. But we are getting there. Rawr!

mrcjdawson2 karma

What are you gonna play for music in your lobby? Walk The Dinosaur by Was (Not Was) over and over again?

Dinohotel2 karma

We're going to feature music from the American songbook, 1800-1945. Including original bluegrass written by our General Manager, Kelly Weger. He's writing an album based on the Bone Wars. It's incredible. If the bank will quit making his beard turn grey, then he can hop back in his home studio and start recording again. That's part of what we're doing -- playing to our staff's many strengths and talents. And they are quite the talented bunch.

Cheznor2 karma

Hey, just wanted to say that this hotel looks absolutely awesome! I'm an invertebrate paleontologist and geologist up in Canada, but if I'm ever in the area, I'm definitely staying here!

My question: You seem to be focusing on the whole vertebrate/dinosaur aspect quite a bit - will there be any neat regional invertebrate paleontology incorporated into the design? Will you be highlighting the local geology and rock types as well?

Dinohotel2 karma

I'm also not sure I can like you. You Sir, have no spine.

Dinohotel1 karma

Yes. If the bank doesn't have a bad hair day, there's going to be a stair railing that will feature a cut out story of life "mural". We're calling it the Stairwell of Emergence. The bottom half is all the invertebrate life, and halfway up a Tiktaalik pops above the waterline. It's designed by high school buddy and Dinomemes co-creator Daniel Vincent Bigelow. He is amazing.

Dinohotel1 karma

It's Fountain, Lyons, Lykins, Morrison, Dakota Formations. Lots of amazing stuff to feature.

Steven2k72 karma

Just saw The Oatmeal comic and then found your AMA!

First off, awesome idea for a hotel. If I'm ever in the area I'll try and stop by.

What are your thoughts on the Jurassic Park movies? Which one is your favorite?

If you could go back in time and ride any dinosaur, which one would you choose? Also, if you had to be eaten by one, which one would you rather be eaten by and why?

Dinohotel2 karma

JP II: Lost World -- for reasons listed elsewhere in this thread.

A Compsognathus, because I would totally crush it and it would be hi-larious. (Unless it started biting my junk).

A carrion eating dinosaur, because I had died earlier in the day of a massive heart attack, thus feeling no pain.

Wilster122 karma

Thanks for supporting scientific education and paleontology. Have an upvote!

Dinohotel2 karma

Huzzah for the tipper! That's what they say at the Renn Faire. That, and, "Don't lick the leper. 'E's got the pox!" Or that's what they say to me. That, and "Security!"

chaucerrific2 karma

Do you consider your donation to the Tesla museum a financial investment, an intellectual investment, a cool thing to do, or perhaps some combination of all three? Would you have any suggestions for encouraging others to make donations/investments?

As a young museum professional (and avid lover of dinosaurs), it is wonderful to see a museum getting financial backing from people who are genuinely interested in the material and not just rich folks who want their name on something. Thank you for being awesome!

Dinohotel3 karma

All of the above, really. Follow your passions. Give to causes you believe in -- be sincere in your giving. Even if there is a selfish bonus to your giving, be honest about both your motive and the desired outcome, so people won't doubt you.

And thank you! This seemed like a pure win on all fronts. So far, so good. :-)

Manticorp2 karma

Have you ever done anything sexy with dino bones?

Bonus: What's the guest policy on using dino bones for aforementioned activites?

Dinohotel3 karma

A Bactine wipe down for the fossils afterwards, and don't let me catch you doing it.

Dinohotel3 karma

Yes. I've held them. I'm sexy, and they're sexy. That's overload on the Sexymeterotron 9000, right there.

floormodel2 karma

is it true that you have undocumented gnomes working for you?

Dinohotel3 karma

WHAT!?? NO!! You know what, it's insinuating slanders like that that make me ill. All our Wee People are here on a strictly volunteer basis -- the pixies, the brownies, the gnomes, the leprechauns, the Munchkins, the Oompa Loompas, Tom Cruise. Their kind dinosaur "enablers" are happy to let them be free as far and as fast as they can run. But those tiny little bomb parts aren't going to assemble themselves, ya know.

tzzoooma2 karma


Dinohotel9 karma

No need to -- dispensaries are as common as Starbucks throughout the Metro Denver area. It's a chamber of commerce issue, now. People smell taxable income. I doubt it's going away. And we're one of the closest hotels to Red Rocks, so honestly I don't see a huge change in the habits of some of our summer visitors.

devosdk2 karma

What is your favorite dinosaur found in Colorado?

Dinohotel2 karma

Oh, that's so easy, peasey lemon squeezy. Stegosaurus Armatus, he's our hometown homeboy, first one ever dug out of Dinosaur Ridge in the 1870s. Stego is the official state fossil of Colorado, as well. The dopey little emojii I cobbled together one evening is Baby Stego:

(rawr!)- (‿◕).·´¯).·´¯)\ムム/

I think I may have a problem.

devosdk2 karma

I think you're one of the first to answer my question in /r/IAmA in the 2 years I've been on Reddit. And I got a stegosaurus to boot. If I ever make it up to your state from down here in Texas, I know what hotel at which I am staying.

And a special thanks for being so generous to the Tesla campaign. Visiting Wardenclyffe has made my bucket list and you were a big part of that.

Dinohotel2 karma

Wow, thanks. We're just trying to put in our lumps and earn our new found notoriety. Woo hoo! D List, here we come!

Most helpful thing everybody can do is follow our Facebook page. That way, we can sign you all up for Columbia House.

Whereabouts in Texas? Both Meredith and I are from Tejas. As are our extended families and several key creative people on the art team.

devosdk2 karma

I liked you and followed on twitter after reading the Oatmeal's bit.

I'm from San Marcos originally, but I live in Bay City down on the coast in Matagorda County with my wife these days. Glad to see some other Texans doing well for themselves.

Dinohotel2 karma

No kidding. Meredith is from Kilgore, and I'm from Houston. Back before the obnoxious H-Town moniker. But as much as we love to visit, there's no place like Colorado.

Dinohotel2 karma

Meredith jumping in here--just wanted to give you extra points for not ending your third sentence with a preposition. It warms my schoolteacher heart. :-)

devosdk2 karma

My mom used to be an English teacher. I learned well. Also, mad props for escaping Kilgore. I know a lot of people that have been sucked up by East Texas and never moved up in life.

Dinohotel2 karma

Yours, too?! I feel your pain!

You know, I did feel like I was escaping years ago, but now when I go back I'm able to recognize that there is good stuff there, too.

Not that I would want to move back or anything! :-)

tenorsaxman112 karma

Very nice. When will everything be done? What do you recommend I could give as a gift to my dinosaur loving nephews who live nearby (in terms of a workshop pass or whatever - ages 7-10).

Dinohotel2 karma

Birthday parties, tours of the construction site, interactive science seminars, rent our dig panel sandbox seeded with tiny plastic fossils, or shark's teeth. Message us on Facebook and we'll send you more info.

mrcjdawson2 karma

Are there zealots in your area who are going to be pissed that you don't have Jesus riding on a velociraptor, or show God hiding bones in them thar hills to trick nonbelievers?

Dinohotel2 karma

Meredith here: We encourage critical thinking. We aren't ramming any ideology down anyone's throats--we're up front about what our business is about and anyone who disagrees is free to visit a different kind of museum.

Besides, the folks who tend to get upset about science are the often the same ones who believe in totally free enterprise. ;-)

mrcjdawson2 karma

I'm still pissed they got rid of the Brontausaurus. Can you do something about that? Between the Bronto and Pluto they are pretty much destroying everything I believed in as a child!!!

Dinohotel1 karma

Matt Mossbrucker, the Curator at the Morrison Natural History Museum, contends that a Brontosaurus may be poised for a taxonomic comeback. I don't fully understand his reasoning, yet. But I will say that if some lucky kid stumbles over the right bit of rocky, exposed Morrison Formation, they may be naming a Neo or Nuevo Brontosaurus. And how cool would that be!?!

Dinohotel1 karma

I just got compared to Wash from 'Firefly' on Facebook. My little nerdy heart just swooned a bit. But I don't want to get bludgeoned by a Reaver ship.

Dinohotel3 karma

Meredith here. Guys, could you please not do this? He's hard enough to live with as it is...

[deleted]1 karma


Dinohotel2 karma

Keep us posted and message us on our Facebook page. Zazzle seems to be dragging their feet with our Ye Olde Dino Meme Shoppe. We're only showing 1 product sold. Maybe they stole all our merch and fled to Tijuana.

Dinohotel1 karma

If we did have to crowdfund anything, it would be the mosaic mural for our new swimming pool. It's the Western Interior Seaway of 85 m.y.a., filled with Cretaceous critters that could eat you alive. This was designed by dinosaur artist Larry Felder, and it's beautiful.

mrcjdawson1 karma

Also, are you familiar with the great exhibit in Natural Bridge VA that pits Civil War soldiers vs. dinosaurs? Up until now, my favorite dino themed exhibit. But they don't have a Tesla affiliation!

Dinohotel1 karma

Meredith here: TELL ME MORE! :-)

Dinohotel1 karma

One last finale for dragging Meredith into this insanity. A bouquet of a dozen Huztler 571 Banana Slicers. This cannot be topped.

block297-1 karma


Dinohotel7 karma

Yes. Thanks for the mammaries.

gormster2 karma

aaaand now i have that song stuck in my head.

Dinohotel3 karma

How about" Mammaries, all alone in the moonlight...

Themanis-4 karma


Dinohotel5 karma

Where? Vinnie Barbarino?