The Morris Burner Hotel, a member-based hotel located on E. Fourth St. in a building that is almost a century old, practices the 10 Principles of Burning Man 365 days a year. In 2013, brothers Don and Jim “Jungle Jim” Gibson purchased the Morris Hotel and renamed it the Morris Burner Hotel. Prior to 2013 the hotel sat vacant for many years, occupied by homeless people and the debris that comes with poverty. For months a crew of only volunteers—following the burner principle of “Communal Effort”—worked tirelessly to clean up the hotel and restore old features, like the original tin ceilings.
How to become part of the Morris Burner Hotel community:
There are many options for those considering membership at the Morris Burner Hotel, which has been granted legal status as a club rather than a public facility. The lowest option starts at $5 a month, with a $35 initiation fee, and the highest level of membership costs $1,000 per year. Each tier of membership has different benefits, but all members are granted the ability to book rooms and attend many events at the Morris for free.
The Morris Burner Hotel’s Unique appearance:
The second floor of the hotel is reserved for visitors to the Morris, while the third floor houses permanent residents. Each room has a theme, like the Temple Suite decorated by the 420 Valley Artist Group, which features colorful cosmic walls and artifacts from the 2011 Temple of Transition. A burner hotel would not be authentic without a Playa. The Morris’ is located behind the hotel and features a stage and apocalypse-themed campsite. The outdoor area is called the Moasis and is the venue for many Morris events throughout the year.
In the spirit of Burning Man’s famous principle “Leave No Trace,” the Morris is furnished with furniture almost thrown out from the Fitzgerald when it closed, and the carpet in the lobby is from the Cal Neva in North Tahoe. Much of the art comes directly from Black Rock City, like the giant “M” on the outdoor stage which was made by the same collaborating artists Laura Kimpton and Jeff Schomberg who made the “Believe” sculpture in downtown Reno. All the rooms on the second floor have been decorated by volunteer artists, and those interested in decorating one of the few blank rooms can apply online.
What’s next for the Morris Burner Hotel:
The interior of the Morris is constantly changing, art installations come and go, but the hotel has more room now with the recently purchased space next door that was once occupied by UNR’s boxing gym. The space has been transformed into a communal area, indoor stage and a steampunk-themed bar. The bar is the latest project and is in its final stages of decoration. The indoor stage has been recently utilized as a space for the drum circle, which happens every Monday at the Morris.
What it feels like to be a part of the Morris Burner Hotel:
Danielle “Gemini” Gann-Lind shared that Burning Man is like nirvana for many people, and the feeling of radical self-love and community can be experienced year-round thanks to the Morris Burner Hotel and the donations from its members around the world. Experiencing the welcoming environment of the Morris Burner Hotel can provide a quick trip to Black Rock City without ever leaving Reno.