Real Home Sweet Home

The Alexander Group, LLC -- consisting of father-and-son team Steve and Shane Alexander -- has just purchased the property soon to become infamous on The Real World: Denver. The price? A cool $3.3 million. The vision? To turn the street level into an upscale lounge, the second floor into a restaurant and the third floor into office space. They're planning on pumping $600,000 into the property to realize their dream.

Sure, the house is in a prime location for offices, and people will probably go to the lounge -- at least once -- just to see what they've done with the former Real World space. But the Alexanders might want to think about using some of that cash to hire an exorcist or Feng Shui expert. After all, turning the former make-out Mecca into something that even whispers "upscale" is going to require lots of sage-burning. And the lounge is going to have to be pretty special to keep drawing people back once initial curiosity has faded. There are plenty of places to drink overpriced cocktails in LoDo. What's going to make this one different -- besides the fact that a bunch of reality television newbies once swapped spit there?

My advice to the buyers? Invest in some blacklights and scour that building floor-to-ceiling for any, um, deposits that might someday interfere with your posh, swanky vision. Then change absolutely everything about the space. Keeping the Real World look can only hurt you. First, because most people who watch MTV on a regular basis are under 21 -- not exactly the customer demographic you want in your lounge. Second, because there aren't many people over 21 who will admit to watching (let alone enjoying) The Real World, and you might find hipsters boycotting your space just for the hell of it. Third, because you should never underestimate the power of a complete remodel. Your older customers will have no idea that a trashy reality show was ever filmed there. And your customers who do watch the show will return again and again to try and figure out exactly how the space was put together.

But fourth, and most important, you need to completely redo 1920 Market Street because if you maintain the Real World look, your only consistent business will be tourists -- young tourists -- interested only in reliving reality history. Remember this: Denver had become disenchanted with the show before it even left town. Curiosity may bring the locals in once, and keeping the Real World vibe will ensure that most of them never come back. -- Amber Taufen

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts