View Full Version : RE: Trials and tribulations from the County



firefighterjake
02-06-2006, 03:08 PM
Just doing some venting here.

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I'll try not to make this a long-winded post, but I just got back from The County and it was one of those good news-bad news weekends.

The good news . . . I was able to get in several miles of snowmobiling in.

The bad news . . . We cut our trip short since it was pouring out when we left. (Subliminal message -- Don't go to the Crown Park Inn.)

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The bad news . . . The (insert really bad swear name here) at Crown Park Inn gave away my reserved room. After a 4-hour ride (9 hour ride for my brother-in-law and his friend) we arrived at 11:30 p.m. (when I made my reservation I told them we would be getting in late) to find the frazzled hotel clerk sitting there and before I could say anything she announced, "We don't have any rooms." No problem thought I, "I have a reservation that I made this morning" to which she said very condescendingly, "Sir, you don't understand. We have no more rooms. We over-booked." Well, excuse me . . . but isn't the whole point of calling ahead to reserve a room on your credit card to insure you'll have a room. Needless to say I was a bit upset (and tired) and the most "help" she could offer was to call up two hotels and tell me they were full and then offer the use of her phone to try calling other hotels (which were also full.)

The good news . . . At 12 midnight Chief Wiggim (a non-sledder incidentally, but one heckuva nice guy who had a buddy do some geo-caching with him a year or so ago) gets a phone call from yours truly wondering if he would mind having three people stay at his house. I CANNOT SAY ENOUGH ABOUT HOW THANKFUL I AM FOR FOLKS LIKE CHIEF WIGGIM AND HIS WIFE-TO-BE. They went out of their way to blow up an air mattress, pull out some blankets, etc. Because of the Chief I was able to a) not stay in the truck for the night, b) have a place to stay on Friday and Saturday and c) get some great breakfasts . . . and I even got a good deal on some new wheels for my quad.

As for the Crown Inn . . . I make this solemn oath. I will never reserve a room there even if it was the last room in town. It was bad enough that they gave the room away, but the issue that really ticked me off was the clerk's attitude.

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The good news . . . The trails seemed to be holding up well and on our trip back Washburn was firing up their groomer. As always, County trails are nothing short of incredible.

The bad news . . . As we left town it was raining hard and when I returned home the 3-4 inches of "base" that was still here when I left on Friday was completely gone. This was almost as disappointing as the fact that the Crown Park Inn apparently routinely "over-books" and gives away hotel rooms.


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The good news . . . No one ran out of gas or oil and there were no break downs (except for Mark2 . . . Mark1 being my brother-in-law . . . since Mark2 was about ready to have a melt down when he learned that the Crown Park Inn had given away the hotel room . . . as it was he called the clerk a not-so-nice name).

The bad news . . . I learned the hard way that it never pays to rush things when you're filling up. Even if there are six other sleds waiting in line to gas up, take the time to make sure everything is all set and ALWAYS make sure the gas cap is on . . . unless you enjoy having your groin area burn as though it was on fire for the next three hours . . . and having to make sure no one smoked too close to you or risk going up in one big Richard Pryor-like fireball.


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The good news . . . I got a great price on some new ITP aluminum rims which should make my Honda ATV look like a pimp mobile when I put them on this Spring . . . just need some fuzzy dice now . . . and if I ride my ATV up in Caribou I will not be getting a room at the Crown Park Inn since they really, really ticked me off.

The bad news . . . My wife doesn't know that I bought them and will probably be rational and see them as a "non-necessity." Ah, what does she know . . . heat is over-rated and I could afford to lose some weight so I guess I don't have to grocery shop this week.




By the way, did I mention how I really dislike the Crown Park Inn?

dí76
02-06-2006, 04:59 PM
Just doing some venting here.

By the way, did I mention how I really dislike the Crown Park Inn?


That really blows man. You handled it much better than I would have.
My suggestions and that is all it is .

Call during normal buisness hours when you can talk to some one that is in charge and mention that you where really put out by this situation and ask them what they are going to do to make this situation right. Dont tell them that you had a great night after all. Make it a point to tell them that bad publicity travels fast. If they wont make the situation right by means that make you content then tell them straight up that you will never have anything good to say about them and while you are there in the county drop a few bad words about them.

dí76
02-06-2006, 05:01 PM
Wait..... Duhh....

What am I thinking, Your a firefighter. If your not happy with them, Light a non traceable fire and walk away. Score one for Jake and see if the new management is better next year.

Pooh and friends
02-06-2006, 08:54 PM
Thanks for the info!!

Their site http://www.crownparkinn.net/ has an email addy;) hehehe

Hiram357
02-06-2006, 09:04 PM
so the crown royal in the park is a bad idea??? i thought crown royal altogehter was a bad idea, i'm allergic to the stuff... seriously, every time i drink it, i break out in handcuffs. :eek::eek::eek:

heh, yeah, and dave, thats a good idea, jake if ya need help planning that one out i could probably get ahold of some old navy flares (ya could light a fire with 4 balls of magnesium from 400 yards! ) :D:D:D

WhereRWe?
02-06-2006, 09:31 PM
Obviously you didn't book through Travelocity! LOL! :p :p

Hiram357
02-06-2006, 09:44 PM
actually, i booked my hotel through travelocity last weekend for the camden snow bowl, and when i got to the hotel i had to pay for it, even though travelocity took all my information and credit card and stuff, the hotel didnt accept payments through travelocity because they were too slow when it came time to pay the hotel. but at least i still had my room reserved and ready for me when i got there (even though i was 3 hours late checking in) and i got stuck with one of those lousy oceanview rooms too!! and when i got there i had to put my own beer in the mini fridge!! and the worst part of it was that the hotel ISP wasn't wireless, so i had to use a patch cable and it only connected at a lousy 10mbps!!! i mean cmon jake, all ya do is whine... but doesn't it ever occur to you that other people have lousy hotel stays too??? (and the worst part of the trip was the dinner, i got a twin lobster dinner and the darn things were only like a 1 1/2LBS!!!! and the waiter only refilled my waterglass twice!!!) the nerve of some people... :rolleyes:

Beach Comber
02-06-2006, 10:11 PM
Though Travelocity and other online reservation systems can seem easy - beware - I have been stuck with a cancellation fee despite requesting to do so a week or more in advance - ugh

Hiram357
02-06-2006, 10:48 PM
beware the roaming nome...

Beach Comber
02-06-2006, 10:54 PM
Did the gnome take the cancellation fee?

Hiram357
02-06-2006, 11:40 PM
i wouldn't doubt it, how else do you think he get's to travel around so much.... i mean cmon, he's a gnome, how much could he earn a year??? not enough to take vacations like that every day. :rolleyes:

Beach Comber
02-07-2006, 12:03 AM
yeah - you do have a point there

Cache Maine
02-07-2006, 07:42 AM
Call during normal buisness hours when you can talk to some one that is in charge and mention that you where really put out by this situation and ask them what they are going to do to make this situation right.

Absolutely. I find myself on the other end of these calls once in a while when the people are clever enough to obtain the corporate office number for our hotels. We do EVERYTHING possible to make it right. We always put them up at another hotel free of charge THAT night because we already know we overbooked. If it does happen to slip by and they do call, we comp them another stay to give us another chance. The manager is well aware of the situation and does everything to make sure their stay is an enjoyable one. This type of situation that you experienced is unacceptable. Don't settle for anything short of a couple of comped nights. Let them know the power of word of mouth advertising...

Did they charge you for the nights as a no-show?

firefighterjake
02-07-2006, 09:58 AM
Absolutely. I find myself on the other end of these calls once in a while when the people are clever enough to obtain the corporate office number for our hotels. We do EVERYTHING possible to make it right. We always put them up at another hotel free of charge THAT night because we already know we overbooked. If it does happen to slip by and they do call, we comp them another stay to give us another chance. The manager is well aware of the situation and does everything to make sure their stay is an enjoyable one. This type of situation that you experienced is unacceptable. Don't settle for anything short of a couple of comped nights. Let them know the power of word of mouth advertising...

Did they charge you for the nights as a no-show?

To be honest one of the biggest reasons I was so upset was the cavalier attitude of the desk clerk who obviously wanted to go home and didn't want to spend any time helping us out.

I have heard from you and another person in the business (at a snowmobile site) who said that they try not to overbook, but when it happens they offer to put the person up in another hotel free of charge, comp their next stay or even reimburse the person with a free meal, gas, etc. The desk clerk never offered any of these options . . . the only "help" I had was her offering to call two hotels and then handing me the list containing local hotels and phone numbers and telling me I could use the phone in the back office. So much for the "hospitality."

This is a small hotel so I don't believe there is a corporate office and to be honest at this point I wouldn't want to stay there even if I was given a free week stay. Instead I have taken the liberty to send them a complaint letter (and e-mail) as well as a letter to the Caribou Chamber of Commerce, Aroostook County Tourism Association and Maine Innkeepers Association . . . it takes a lot to get me angry (I've got an Irish temper . . . slow to anger, but when I'm riled I stay angry for a very, very long time), but to quote David Banner, "you wouldn't like me when I'm angry." Oh yeah, I also posted my not-so-wonderful experience on-line at several forums . . .

I sincerely hope I'm not charged as a no-show . . . if I am charged I may have to go on a roadtrip with Hiram and Dave . . . and yes, I'm kidding.

firefighterjake
02-07-2006, 10:01 AM
That really blows man. You handled it much better than I would have.
My suggestions and that is all it is .

Call during normal buisness hours when you can talk to some one that is in charge and mention that you where really put out by this situation and ask them what they are going to do to make this situation right. Dont tell them that you had a great night after all. Make it a point to tell them that bad publicity travels fast. If they wont make the situation right by means that make you content then tell them straight up that you will never have anything good to say about them and while you are there in the county drop a few bad words about them.

I'm a pretty easy-going guy and in the end things worked out well with an ATVing buddy coming through . . . and showing me that famous County Hospitality. Needless to say, I still feel as though I owe him big time and plan on sending him a small gift in the mail . . . just taking him and his fiance out to eat wasn't enough in my opinion.

As for my response to the inn . . . well just read what I responded to Cameo's post.

firefighterjake
02-07-2006, 10:03 AM
so the crown royal in the park is a bad idea??? i thought crown royal altogehter was a bad idea, i'm allergic to the stuff... seriously, every time i drink it, i break out in handcuffs. :eek::eek::eek:

heh, yeah, and dave, thats a good idea, jake if ya need help planning that one out i could probably get ahold of some old navy flares (ya could light a fire with 4 balls of magnesium from 400 yards! ) :D:D:D

One word: cardboard.

It's the secret to my success whenever I want to burn a brush pile no matter how green the wood is.

firefighterjake
02-07-2006, 10:10 AM
Here's a copy of the letter I have sent to the Caribou Inn.

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To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing to inform you of a recent experience with the Crown Park Inn that left me substantially less than impressed with your establishment . . . an experience that left me wondering for a few minutes if I was still in the County or if I had somehow got confused and ended up in Massachusetts.

On February 3rd I called to several hotels in the County looking for a two-night reservation around 9:30 a.m. While most hotels were full (understandable due to the fact I was calling at the 11th hour, this area is one of the few places with snow for snowmobilers and the junior biathlon was going on in Presque Isle) I was able to secure a hotel reservation at the Crown Park Inn (incidentally I had reservations made at another hotel further north, but canceled those reservations when I was able to find closer reservations with your establishment.) At the time of reservation I gave my credit card information and informed the clerk that I would most likely be arriving late . . . to which the woman responded that it would not be a problem and they would leave the key at the front desk if there was no clerk available for check in since the front desk closes at 11 p.m.

I drove up from Unity with my brother-in-law. For me this was a 4-hour trip, but for my brother-in-law this was a 9-hour trip. We arrived at the hotel at 11:30 p.m. I was a bit surprised to find the desk clerk still working and in fact thought myself fortunate at first . . . at least until she said as a way of greeting, "We don't have any rooms." Undaunted I responded by informing her that I had made some reservations that very morning to which she responded condescendingly, "Sir. You don't understand. We overbooked and we don't have any rooms left." Maybe I'm naive, but I guess I always assumed that when a person calls ahead to make a hotel reservation they're assuming that it means they'll have a guaranteed place to sleep that night . . . which is always important when a person is driving from several hours away.

While I was not especially pleased with this fact I was still willing to let the matter go until the clerk continued, "All I can do is call around and see if there's any other hotel that has a room." After making only two phone calls and not finding any rooms the clerk handed me a list of area hotels and said, "I need to close up and I don't have time to help you. If you want you can use the phone and make some calls around and see if you can find anything." It was this clerk's cavalier attitude that set me over the top. After calling five hotels on the list in Caribou and Presque Isle and either finding the hotels' front desks closed for the night or that there were no more rooms available I left the Caribou Park Inn with a very bitter taste in my mouth. For a so-called business that specializes in the "hospitality business" I was rather surprised with the employee's complete lack of helpfulness and the over-abundance of ineptness . . . this was the first time I have ever reserved a room only to find that it was given away. I will give the clerk this however . . . she did apologize once for the fact that she (or another employee) had given away the room. However, apologies don't exactly keep a person warm at night. I have since spoke with one person in the lodging industry and he informed me that most hotels have policies when they over-book that will pay for the lodging elsewhere or compensate the person with a free or reduced rate for the person and their next visit . . . something that the clerk never once mentioned or suggested.

Incidentally, I didn't have to spend the night sleeping in the truck since I had met a fellow from Washburn a few years ago and at midnight I called him and he graciously allowed me and my brother-in-law to spend the night at his house. If it wasn't for this acquaintance of mine (who I have met exactly two times before) I would have either had to spend the night in the truck or continued to search for a hotel room.

I have been a visitor to the County for some time now as both an avid ATVer and snowmobiler. I have always said that the only thing better than the scenic vistas and the beauty of the land is the attitude of its residents who are among some of the most generous and understanding people I have ever met. While I will still maintain that it is the people of Aroostook County that is the area's biggest asset and will continue to travel to the County, I will have to say that my view of some of those folks has been diminished by your hotel's reservation policy and this clerk's attitude.

I have already posted my negative experience on several electronic bulletin board/forum frequented by snowmobilers and ATvers from around the State of Maine and New England and will be sure to send letters of complaint to the Aroostook County Tourism office, Caribou Chamber of Commerce and Maine Innkeepers Association. You can rest assured that when I return to the area to snowmobile or ride the quad I will be sure to not utilize your establishment and will not recommend your inn to any others that I know are planning to stay in the area.

Sincerely,

Jason Johnson
257 Stagecoach Road
Unity, ME 04988

Trezurs*-R-*Fun
02-07-2006, 11:38 AM
Didn't Seinfeld do an episode about reservations? That seemed funny at the time.. At least your adventure turned out OK in the end and I will be careful to avoid that establishment, either by not recommending it to anyone or visiting it. (Although I have standing reservations at my Monster-in-laws in Presque Isle, but only if I accompany my wife.) Thanks for the heads up about their shoddy service!!!

firefighterjake
02-07-2006, 01:25 PM
Didn't Seinfeld do an episode about reservations? That seemed funny at the time.. At least your adventure turned out OK in the end and I will be careful to avoid that establishment, either by not recommending it to anyone or visiting it. (Although I have standing reservations at my Monster-in-laws in Presque Isle, but only if I accompany my wife.) Thanks for the heads up about their shoddy service!!!

My good friend Joe says Seinfeld did do a bit about reservations . . . nothing like reliving that experience and it wasn't so funny. From now on I'll either try staying at the one hotel where I haven't had any problems, The Budget Traveler (they were full at the time) or I'll take up my friend's offer and crash at his place in Washburn.

firefighterjake
02-07-2006, 01:52 PM
Well, let's see if this works . . . if it works it's a GPSr map of my trip up north sans the Crown Park Inn loop. If you look closely you may note a spur near Washburn . . . that was due to my brother-in-law missing the trail until I was able to chase him down and steer him in the right direction. Also the GPSr turned off near New Sweden and I didn't notice this fact until Caribou which explains the relatively straight line at that point.

http://www.imagetex.com/displayimage.php?album=lastup&cat=0&pos=0 (http://www.imagetex.com/displayimage.php?album=lastup&cat=0&pos=0)

Hiram357
02-07-2006, 07:40 PM
I sincerely hope I'm not charged as a no-show . . . if I am charged I may have to go on a roadtrip with Hiram and Dave . . . and yes, I'm kidding.

hehe yeah, good joke ( seriously man whenever you "don't" want to go up there i "won't" go talk to my buddy who "doesn't" have a few pounds of black market military grade c-4 that he "wouldn't" sell to me at a very cheap price for the life saving favors i provided to him, but that's another story... you get the idea) ;) ;) ;)

firefighterjake
02-08-2006, 04:42 PM
Follow-up . . .

I received a letter from the Maine Innkeepers Association and learned that the Crown Park Inn is not a member.

I also received this very-telling e-mail from the Caribou Chamber of Commerce.

HOWEVER, I have yet to receive a single letter or e-mail from the Crown Park Inn . . . go figure.

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Mr Johnson,
I again wish to apologize for your recent experience in our community. I assure you this is not typical for the feedback we receive from visitors, the general public etc. This is not however the first complaint we've received related to the establishment you have written to us about. Your letter is insightful and well written. I would suggest you might want to forward to not only the Maine Innkeepers Association (their website is www.maineinns.com), but also perhaps the Dept of Health & Human Services (who governs licensing for motels/hotels) at the Bureau of Health, Division of Health Engineering 11 State House Station Augusta ME 04333-0011 or
phone # 207-287-5671. Can you tell me the electronic board for snowmobilers site where you posted comments as well - it's a place we hadn't thought of here, but one which we might refer people to .... Again, I am very sorry for your experience, I assure you we have several motels/hotels in the area who've been in business for many years who we have never received complaints on. I hope you consider your experience a random isolated thing, and continue to come back to the area for snowmobiling etc in the future... Please do call or email us, and we can give you names/numbers of a variety of other members/businesses in the area who we've never received unpleasant stories about... Thank you again for your time putting your letter together, and sharing your story with us. Again, I am very sorry for your experience,

Wendy Landes
Businses Developer/Financial Officer
CCC&I

Smitty & Co.
02-08-2006, 04:53 PM
Like my good friend Forrest Gump would have said....."My Momma always said "Its the squeeky wheel that gets the grease" :D Keep squeeking Jake. :D :p :D

Hiram357
02-08-2006, 06:30 PM
insightful and well written... geeze if that doesn't give you a good feelin readin that... so are you going to take it to the next level and go to the dept. of health and human services??

dí76
02-08-2006, 06:44 PM
insightful and well written... geeze if that doesn't give you a good feelin readin that... so are you going to take it to the next level and go to the dept. of health and human services??


Burn'em down Jake and lets see what your made of.;)

Hiram357
02-08-2006, 07:03 PM
Burn'em down Jake and lets see what your made of.;)

CMON BEAVIS LETS GRAB A CAN OF K1 AND HEAD ON UP THERE! :D :D :D

Hiram357
02-08-2006, 07:28 PM
I think you should get your own thread category Jake! it could be called "Don't Bitch... Get Even!" So i thought i would post current experience that i am uhhh currently experiencing as i type....

the nice neighbors that i have next door keep playing loud bass thumping music all the time, ive gone over there a few times on seperate occasions to ask them to shut the hell up, and then they do and then the next day its the same thing. i've even called the police to shut them up once. So today i was standing here in my irate mood as usual and thought to myself WWDD? Then it came to me! my tv is now up against the wall with the volume up and my favorite Bob Dylan CD playing in the DVD payer with the first track on repeat. So now they can listen to rainy day women 12 & 35 as long as they want tooo!!!! i thought they would appreciate that! everybody must get stoned! haha


am i being unreasonable Dr. Laura???

Haffy
02-08-2006, 09:39 PM
WHAT a TV? I thought you said you didn't have a TV, hmmmm what are we to believe now?:eek:

Hiram357
02-08-2006, 10:51 PM
WHAT a TV? I thought you said you didn't have a TV, hmmmm what are we to believe now?:eek:

no, that just shows that you don't pay attention to what i say :(
i said that i dont have tv, i own a tv, but i do not have the telivision to go with it. I only have the snow channel and the vertical line channel. I refuse to pay $40 a month to waste time in front of a tv, (its much cheaper to do it in front of the computer) and i dont really care for the mind numbing programming of the basic channels, nor do i care for the material and glamour mindset of the cable channels. television is just downright frustrating.

firefighterjake
02-09-2006, 07:36 AM
insightful and well written... geeze if that doesn't give you a good feelin readin that... so are you going to take it to the next level and go to the dept. of health and human services??

I'm thinking about it.

firefighterjake
02-09-2006, 07:46 AM
I think you should get your own thread category Jake! it could be called "Don't Bitch... Get Even!" So i thought i would post current experience that i am uhhh currently experiencing as i type....

the nice neighbors that i have next door keep playing loud bass thumping music all the time, ive gone over there a few times on seperate occasions to ask them to shut the hell up, and then they do and then the next day its the same thing. i've even called the police to shut them up once. So today i was standing here in my irate mood as usual and thought to myself WWDD? Then it came to me! my tv is now up against the wall with the volume up and my favorite Bob Dylan CD playing in the DVD payer with the first track on repeat. So now they can listen to rainy day women 12 & 35 as long as they want tooo!!!! i thought they would appreciate that! everybody must get stoned! haha


am i being unreasonable Dr. Laura???

Are you being unreasonable?

Yes.

Skip the Bob Dylan. Instead do the following.

Put on a CD or multiple CDs with the following musical "artists."

1. Barney the Purple Dinosaur of "I Love You" fame
2. Yanni . . . anything by him or the pan flute guy
3. The Best of HeeHaw CD
4. The Worse of American Idol
5. Any rap

Proceed to turn up CD player volume past "uncomfortably loud" levels to the "it's so loud my ears are now bleeding" level. Push play button. Leave house.

If police later show up inform them that you must have accidentally set the "automatic play timing button."

------

Of course you could also decide to start up some new hobbies . . . such as forming your very own garage band and practicing at 2 a.m., trying out yodeling or start watching the opera.

WhereRWe?
02-09-2006, 08:25 AM
Though Travelocity and other online reservation systems can seem easy - beware - I have been stuck with a cancellation fee despite requesting to do so a week or more in advance - ugh

Yeah. You have to be pretty certain of your plans when booking through online travel services. We had a very nice stay at this hotel (http://book.newhampshirehotels.org/hotel/10011789-11238836O.html) in New Hampshire this week which we booked through Travelocity.

:D :D :D

Hiram357
02-09-2006, 04:28 PM
Are you being unreasonable?

Yes.

Skip the Bob Dylan. Instead do the following.

Put on a CD or multiple CDs with the following musical "artists."

1. Barney the Purple Dinosaur of "I Love You" fame
2. Yanni . . . anything by him or the pan flute guy
3. The Best of HeeHaw CD
4. The Worse of American Idol
5. Any rap

Proceed to turn up CD player volume past "uncomfortably loud" levels to the "it's so loud my ears are now bleeding" level. Push play button. Leave house.

If police later show up inform them that you must have accidentally set the "automatic play timing button."

------

Of course you could also decide to start up some new hobbies . . . such as forming your very own garage band and practicing at 2 a.m., trying out yodeling or start watching the opera.

well the rap wouldn't work because they play that just as loud, and the garage band wouldn't work either because they already have a band! that's what caused me to call the police in the first place.... but i do like the auto play excuse... i think i'll have to try that. :D at what point do you think i should set the building on fire?? ;)

firefighterjake
02-09-2006, 05:01 PM
. :D at what point do you think i should set the building on fire?? ;)

To paraphrase Sgt. Schultz . . . I see nothing. I hear nothing. I read nothing . . .