For this week's First-Person Shooter, we handed off two disposable cameras to Nigel Peligree, a desk clerk at the 11th Avenue Hostel located in the middle of Denver's downtown. As a longtime hostel employee, Nigel has seen a variety of unique characters crash at the space—from 20-somethings passing through town on holiday to Vietnam veterans looking for a comfortable bed for a reasonable price.
On top of snapping a few pics of some regular guests, Nigel also burned through a few exposures during the hostel's Fourth of July party—during which he passed out blue and red jello shots that were "gross as hell." Here's what else happened during the weekend he shot the following photos.
VICE: What'd you get up to during the day you took photos?
Nigel Peligree: I woke up, drank two giant cups of coffee, and drove to work. There isn't a specific order of tasks that I follow every day. I'm responsible for making reservations, doing laundry, helping guests with any advice or recommendations they need, security (when needed), and keeping a nice environment for our guests.
What's your usual hotel patron like? In the photos there seem to be lots of old men.
Our patrons range quite a bit from person to person. We often have retired military guys who come to Denver to see family and friends, but aren't in town long enough to get an apartment lease. We have international travelers looking to save a couple dollars on lodging while they road trip across the country with their friends. We have extreme stoners who come to Denver to get as high as possible on our legal marijuana and marijuana products for a few days. We have guests from Denver who are in between housing and need somewhere to stay while they wait on their apartment or house to be ready. We have bands playing local venues who need a room that can fit at least four people and doesn't cost an outrageous amount of money. We bring in a diverse crowd.
What's the worst thing you've ever had to clean up?
Overflowing sewer and rain water in the basement during an extremely bad storm.
Can you tell me about your regulars?
They're generally a little older and have interesting life stories. There's a girl in her late 20s who just got a job in Denver's financial district but hasn't found an apartment because of the extremely competitive housing market. We have another guy who lives in the mountains, rents his house out on Airbnb, and comes down to the city every few weekends to hang out with his friends in the city. We have a bluegrass musician who's been coming to the 11th Ave Hotel once a summer for over ten years to play shows. We also have regular partiers who come to the hostel every few weeks from the suburbs or neighboring cities such as Fort Collins, Boulder, and Colorado Springs. They usually stay because they don't want to make the drive home after going out clubbing for a night or two. I like our regulars.
How can people book some time to stay there?
People can book with us online or by calling us. See our website for more details.
Follow Julian on Instagram and visit his website to see his own photo work.