Sunday, November 29, 2009

59 is the New 36

Last roadtrip of the year. This time to southern Texas with a detour through Louisiana to explore US 171 (gotta check on the kids, y'know ;) )

As many of you will remember from previous blogs, I have a tendency toward staying at "budget" motels, oft times older independents. It's a mixed bag, yes, but I just can't see spending $60 at some name brand motel whose version of "free breakfast" is a doughnut, a cup of coffee and maybe a bowl of cereal. Better, in my opinion, to spend $40 on a motel and have a good breakfast at Waffle House.

Well, I got as far as Shreveport on my way home and decided to stop for the night. Silly me, I didn't check in advance to see where most of the motels were, so I decided to wing it. I found a Motel 6 out on the west edge of town for around $35, but the only food was a 24 Hour truck stop, so I kept looking. Then I found this place: Regency Inn Hotel

I thought $36 was a good price so I stopped. Everything looked OK from the outside: everything was clean, there were no vagrants in the parking lot, the lot was probably around half full. I walked inside to very nice, clean lobby.  So I walked up to the desk and asked for a room. Suddenly, the $36 rate became $59. I asked the clerk about the sign and got a rude comment about not having any of those rooms available. Really? Do they EVER have any $36 rooms? So, I left, but not before telling the clerk I suspected "Bait and Switch"  {bait you with a low rate, then switch you to a higher one}. 

By that time, I was tired and didn't want to fuss around with searching for another hotel. Luckily, I found a Super 8 just up the road a few blocks. The price? $53 with AAA. Still a bit more than I would like to have spent, but OK. Other than being upstairs (with NO elevator), it wasn't bad. They even had waffles for breakfast (something that's becoming more popular, but isn't always seen). And I got reward points, which I can use for a free night eventually. I just have to stay, what, 9 more times?

I wonder how long Regency Inn will continue advertising $36 and charging $59 before someone files a formal complaint?

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