When Giovanni, Adrian, Joseph and Rafael rolled into Denver for DattoCon 2017, they were prepared for a week of family-friendly fun with the nation’s managed service providers.
The flight was comfortable (or at least as comfortable as it could be for four large men flying economy together) and Denver itself was lovely, but when the guys arrived at their hotel, something felt off.
You know the feeling. You cross some imaginary border in the world and things start to get unsettling. It’s a quality usually reserved for old mansions in the Deep South, dilapidated hotels in the mountains, and West Virginia.
“It was weird, dude. There was only one car in the entire parking lot.”
Adrian picked up on the vibe of the place pretty quickly but our heroes weren’t about to change hotels because the neighborhood gave them goosebumps; they’d stayed in worse places.
The red flags kept popping up the further in they went. But, like the foolhardy first victim of every horror movie, they forged ahead. Even when the front desk attendant remarked that the suite they’d reserved wasn’t shown on the map of the building in the lobby. Even when they didn’t see another person in the building besides the staff. Even when they entered the room and it smelled just a little bit… strange.
No, the last straw only came when the travelers realized they’d been put in the blood room.
“Man, I’m serious, somebody died in that room.”
Gio’s face grew deathly serious at this particular moment. It was Thursday afternoon and he was back in the office, recapping DattoCon to the team. Normally a jovial and animated storyteller, we could tell from his body language that for once, he wasn’t exaggerating – this was a really bad hotel room.
In addition to the smell, the lack of cars in the parking lot and the generally unsettling aura of the place, there were multiple poorly patched bullet holes in the wall and several large bloodstains around the room.
“We needed to change for the conference and weren’t sure we were going to stay yet, so I didn’t want to take off my shoes or anything,” Gio recalled, “I wanted to curl up inside my suitcase and change inside it so I wouldn’t touch anything.”
After the shock wore off, Joseph called Adrian into the room – he hadn’t immediately come to the room. After inspecting the area, he sunk into the cheap hotel couch, with a bullet hole a few inches over his shoulder, and concurred that the party had rented a murder scene. Joseph, struggling with the intensifying smell, began to search for Airbnb accommodations in the city. While he did the responsible thing, Gio, Rafael and Adrian put on their CSI hats and began theorizing as to how the crime might have been committed.
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As the guys carried out a forensic investigation, Joseph completed an investigation of his own and found a private home for rent downtown that was both less expensive and less bloodstained than the current hotel. As the crew made the unanimous decision to leave, Rafael scoured the room, removing fingerprints from everything he touched.
“When the cops find out there’s a blood room in this hotel I don’t want to receive a phone call about it,” he insisted when asked about his motivations.
As the guys piled out into the hall, the head of the housekeeping staff approached them and asked if there was a problem.
“Yeah!” Gio said, a very slight hint of panic creeping into his voice at this point, “There are bullet holes and blood in there!” They showed the woman around the room and she feigned surprise – but seemed taken aback by a tattered bedskirt.
“Then here’s the best part,” Rafael added, “We get to the front desk to check out and tell them that we aren’t going to pay for five minutes in the blood room, and after we explain everything to the attendant she doesn’t even ask questions. She looks down, mutters a knowing, ‘Sorry…’ and gives us a full refund.”
The (now thoroughly spooked) travelers proceeded to their Airbnb rental, a lovely four-story townhome with a rooftop deck, and had a fantastic time at the conference, having fun with current clients and meeting many new prospective partners.
But What Really Happened in the Blood Room?
Gio carefully documented the evidence and we already have a handful of leading clubhouse theories, but can’t come to a consensus on how exactly the crime in the blood room played out. Enjoy these photos – and make sure to tell us if we jumped to conclusions and misidentified wine stains and naturally occurring bullet-sized holes in the drywall. Either way, we’ll probably be looking for nicer accommodations on company trips from now on.