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       

14 comments:

Margery Bills said...

TY for the tip. I will try to remember. (Also on teeth, my gum won't go better than a 3 probably because of the crowns stopping that. But it went from a 5 to a 4 in the worst places.)

remmij said...

91904 – looks like a suitable alternative… customer appreciation/service can be hard to come by.
rudimentary sign mod math…

Jim said...

I stayed at the Antelope Lodge just a couple weeks ago. I was wearing a Benita shirt and asked if they had a Field Lab discount since you recommended them on your blog. The girl had no idea what I was talking about but she gave me a AAA discount even though I'm not a member. ($75, about what I pay at the Super 8 with my CDL discount.) I thought the place was pretty charming, but being my first time staying there, I wouldn't have a comparison on what it was like in the past.

rj said...

$80 is cheap for most places in Texas. The cities cost at least $100.

Ronald Mahan said...

Wow John - with your Field Lab blog - any Motel Clerk with a computer or smart phone (and most have at least one of these)- could easily determine you are a long time Terlingua Ranch resident!

MsBelinda said...

Why did you not mention your blog?

Like Ronald Mahan said most clerks have access to a computer or smart phone and could easily verify your Terlingua Ranch residency. Oh well...their loss!

rj said...

Most people working for a bigger organization don't appreciate that they are the face of that company and, at that moment, are totally representing the owner and should go to the lengths necessary to satisfy the client. This is especially true in a service outfit like a hotel. Of course John may have come in looking like a homeless person on Tylenol 3, so maybe she was acting on standing orders.

Margery Bills said...

Lol rj. I discovered a long time ago that some working people, especially young girls, only have the intelligence to know how to get from home to work and back again and could care less about anything else.

david holloway said...

Too often companies look only to the financial bottom line forgetting the customer is how they get there.

david holloway said...

Too often companies look only to the financial bottom line forgetting the customer is how they get there.

Larry G said...

John - do you know - https://www.airbnb.com/ ?

leilani said...

I've stayed right next door to the Highland Inn at The Maverick a couple of times & can recommend it.(Just don't take my regular room!) It's a cute place, very nice staff plus it's pet friendly. I don't know if they're 'friendly' enough to take Ben, but maybe your rooster since everybody visiting Alpine (except me because I don't mind) wears ear plugs for the trains :-)

@David Holloway: I doubt the owners, even those at a big chain property, would have approved of a guest being treated poorly. Picking up what Margery said, it's just very difficult to find & train staff who have the kind of personalities to "get" the concept of hospitality & feel comfortable acting on their own initiative to flexibly accommodate unique situations even in the big cities. I can't imagine how difficult it is to find 'em in more remote areas.

Stuart said...

How much is the Hotel-Motel occupancy tax. The tax that funds projects to lure more people to generate more taxes for cities. That tax has always been curious to me. It seems like a tax that is impossible to justify. In other words, one shows up in a city, spends money and they tax you for that? Tax, tax, tax and more tax.

John Wells said...

The rates I posted include tax.