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Behind the Scenes of Brooklyn’s Airbnb Igloo–Now Trying For Tinder Sponsorship

The Boutique Igloo for 2: the perfect spot for a first Tinder date. (All photos: Justin Seeley)

This weekend, a small group of Brooklyn entrepreneurs and snow-lovers built an igloo and listed it on Airbnb. Now, having been politely removed from the booking site, they have their eye on a new patron: Tinder. 

If you haven’t seen their igloo, currently trending on Facebook and Twitter, here’s a glimpse at the original Airbnb listing, written by Griffin Jones, one of the four-person team of builders:

“Dripping with ingenuity and alt-lifestyle aura lays the Snopocalypse of 2016’s most desirable getaway. Hand-crafted, and built using only natural elements—we’re offering the experience of a life time in this chic dome-style bungalow for you and bae.”

The igloo builders at work. The whole process took around six hours.

While Patrick Horton has been the face of the igloo in the media, the construction effort involved three or four folks and around six hours of labor. Justin Seeley, one of Horton’s roommates, says that Horton was indeed the “mastermind” behind the effort and that they’d been scheming about building a snow structure and pondering its potential to go viral before the “Snowpocalypse” even hit.

That Friday night, before New York City got over two feet of snow and the start of their architectural efforts, the group watched YouTube videos on igloo building for beginners. Technically, of course, it’s a quinzee—made from hollowing out snow rather than stacking blocks of it—which they’ve been getting a lot of crap about online. 

Seeley says they hollowed it out a little ways at a time and then hung out inside, scared that it would fall.

After the post went up on January 24, they did get requests from five people looking to stay the night. (While the group has been hanging out in their dwelling, no one has actually slept there.) One was from a guy trying to rent it out for the whole month of July. After taking them down six hours later, Airbnb offered Horton a $50 coupon to use when booking a real room for rent through its app and Web service.

Cozy, no?

The whole thing was meant to be funny and ridiculous, says Seeley, but they definitely didn’t think it would get as big as this. “I think part of the joke was us making fun of some of that [hipster] culture, which is maybe part of the reason that it was funny,” he says. Local film crews and reporters have been showing up, eager to get a glimpse of the icy abode, along with curious Brooklynites. The igloo is in their private yard, however, so access is quite exclusive.

Structural integrity aside, with blankets, pillows, and mood lights, the igloo is pretty cozy. Seeley and his buddies think it’d be great for a first Tinder date—roomy and romantic, but chilly enough to encourage snuggling. In fact, they want to get the igloo sponsored by the dating app. “Pat is actually going to change his Tinder profile picture to the igloo,” says Seeley. “He wants to start a campaign: ‘Swipe right on the igloo.’” 

Full disclosure, Atlas Obscura has a connection to the igloo—events director Megan Roberts provided libations to the hardy hipsters—a label they accept (“I guess, because we live in Brooklyn and do kind of offbeat things”). But the clock for sponsorship, Tinder or otherwise, is ticking. Seeley says though the roof is still intact, it’s starting to sink a little and the whole thing seems to be getting a bit shorter. 

“We’re joking that we’re going to start an igloo business,” says Seeley. “You never know—the next snowstorm we might be at it again.”