The Downtown Tucson Clifton Hotel

We Built this City

An Occasional Record of Our Expansion

Let’s Play “Name That Concrete Thingie”

There’s a reason why you should never Google the term “Concrete Vibrator.” The reason, of course, is that your search results will include mostly lower-cost immersion vibrators that are used under the surface of the concrete, not the flat “vibrating power screed” that the crews are currently using to level our floors. Golly, we sure are pleased to have come out of that Internet journey unscathed.

Anyway, the crux of this post is that early this morning, a parade of cement trucks rolled into our site and poured out oodles of pre-tinted dark brown concrete for the floors in buildings A and B. Excited about seeing this milestone come to fruition, we put on our OSHA gear, ran outside, and quickly demonstrated to the crew that we are not credible-looking construction personnel at all. (One of the crew, after all, was wearing an actual cowboy-hat-shaped hardhat.)

Cowboy hardhats actually make a lot of sense when you think about it.

While the concrete was being poured, a team of five or six guys guided the chute around the rooms for even coverage. The next thing we noticed was spectacular: a lone plumber solemnly hovering over the scene (picture the wolfpack leader in the Jungle Book, but with a safety vest), and it turns out he’s watching to make sure they don’t spill anything into the pipes. Isn’t that great? Man, it’s this kind of cross-domain quality control that helps us sleep better at night.

A vibrating power screed, which we were calling a “Shakey Trowel” for awhile.

Finally, once the pouring was finished, the crew splashed around for a bit and brought out the extendable bull float, the vibrating power screed, and a host of other leveling/scraping tools that we didn’t recognize and had to look up. But at the end of the day (literally), our floors are even, they’re real, and they’re out there drying in the afternoon sun. Neato. -DTC

A Comprehensive Overview

Just kidding. Anyway, as of November 7, we have stem walls. That’s exciting. Of the five tiny buildings that are going in, four have foundations in place and are being fitted with underground electric and plumbing lines as we speak.

“Hey Mike, what’s that trench running along the north side?”
“That right there’s a hole, ladies.”

Our construction superintendent, newly emboldened by the Red Sox win, is keeping close tabs on the schedule and we’re on course to start putting up real walls next week. He also continues to bring us assorted Corgis, more on that later.

The actual plan is as follows: The main building of the existing hotel stays, and the building with Danny’s Martin’s mural will come down in March (we asked Danny about this, and he spoke really beautifully about the impermanence of this kind of art, which made us feel a little less weird about it).

Just south of that will be a public building with a lobby, kitchen, indoor-outdoor bar and courtyard space. Surrounding that will be four eentsy buildings holding 4-7 rooms apiece. In essence, we’re making a small, friendly village with snacks and liquor in it, and we’d show you the whole thing, but it’s possible the architects would get mad at us if we post the real drawings. In lieu of that approach, please refer to the following site plan crudely rendered in Sharpie:

Definitely the set of plans we submitted to the city for permitting.

A final word to our guests, who have been fantastic during this whole affair and have had fun peeking through the fence with us and asking about what’s going on: Guests, you’re delightful. Every last one of you is smart and kind and rakishly good-looking and we all just love you to bits. Thank you. -DTC

The Boone’s Farm of Champagnes

Remember how we were going to talk about why you shouldn’t christen anything with Cold Duck? I know you’re probably looking for a construction update, but first things first: That bottle is a damned inch thick. Thus, our little attempt at a breezy celebratory gesture turned out to be a disturbing and sustained act of violence toward a perfectly innocent brick wall that never did anything to anybody. For any budding developers out there, please know that pre-scored bottles of champagne really are a sound investment.

On the bright side, nice gams, Connie.

Hey, guess what we’re building!

As of September 20, we've actually begun our long-awaited expansion, the culmination of three years of extensive paperwork and municipal night terrors. We will soon have twenty-two new rooms, a creative little small-plates kitchen and a nice, solid neighborhood bar. In terms of our current environment, the back office is completely overrun with Lucky Wishbone Family Feasts and a herd of little corgis, and in the coming months, we will provide updates on these and other relevant concerns (did you know our steel subcontractor is an actual cattle roper? You can be damn sure we’re going to bring up that guy a lot).

Coming soon: A few site photos, a little info about our build schedule, and the reason you shouldn't use Cold Duck at a champagne christening. -DTC