Tuesday, August 30, 2016
no frills, no fuss
It has been a couple of years since I have stayed at the Antelope Lodge. Been hearing some not so good news about it from former employees and also from other locals down here. It just so happened I found myself in the position this weekend (thanks to the rain) to be in need of lodging. I thought it would be a good opportunity to see for myself if the Antelope Lodge has really gone downhill. I didn't even get past the lobby. I went to check in and asked if they still had the Terlingua Ranch rate for locals...the young girl working the front desk said yes but I would need to show proof that I live down here. The cheap rate is $55. Of course there is no such thing as an official Terlingua Ranch ID and my drivers license has an Alpine mailing address. I tried to explain it to her but that wasn't good enough and she said I would have to pay the full rate...$80. I told her that was too much and would be staying elsewhere. OK...is all she could come up with. (Note: From the looks of the parking lot - they may of had perhaps only 2 guests staying there.) They are officially off the recommended list. From the outside it still looks quite charming but for me - the charm has fizzled.
One of my neighbors (who used to also stay at the Antelope Lodge) told me she much prefers the Highland Inn now - located just across the highway from Sul Ross University. Nothing fancy, just clean-recently renovated-comfortable rooms, a really nice manager, and a regular rate of $55. Turns out they also have a Terlingua Ranch rate of $50 - no proof required. Sam Acosta who runs the joint and lives on premises grew up in Alpine and his family got their start in the area when some of his relatives came over from Mexico to work the mines in Terlingua back in the 30's. His grandparents are buried in the Terlingua Cemetery and the rest of his extended family moved to Alpine after the mines shut down. Sam knows just about everything there is to know about the area so I would suggest visitors try it out. And if you like baseball - Sam will definitely be your best friend. The lobby is wall to wall baseball memorabilia. 76,80,68,0,B