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Malcolm
Advanced Member

USA
4008 Posts

Posted - November 19 2017 :  1:29:39 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Folks, for a number of years, I’ve conducted civil investigations (after the fact) of violent crimes at hospitality industry locations. (Hotels/motels) Their parent companies, have re-insurance through Lloyd’s of London Special Risk Underwriters (I work for them).
The more nationally known frugal or “cost effective” rate locations often, have the back half of the locations rented out by the hour and week to Entitlement Brigade Members and parolees, met( cookers, etc.
Please do yourself and your loved ones a favor by not patronizing places that “....leave the light on for you...”, highest locations in the country for 911 Calls fo Service frequency for all hospitality locations, anyplace with the number 8 in the name, and a good number of locations that are “in town”. The latter seems to have a significant amount of franchisees, that have contracts with their state Department of Corrections housing services, for paroled felons.
I realize that money is money, especially at holiday time, but please choose wisely, there may well be bugs of the insect variety 8n the rooms, as well as bugs in the parking lots. The only place I want to read about forum members is here and on the approved links!

"The measure of a man's character, is how he treats someone who can do nothing for him." (unknown)

Chris Christian
Advanced Member

USA
2938 Posts

Posted - November 19 2017 :  1:59:23 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Good info! One of the most dangerous places, that wouldn't seem at first glance to be dangerous, is a motel parking lot after dark.

The "slime" know that people pulling into a motel at night are tired from a day on the road, and since they are traveling they have money/valuables, and may be more concerned with getting to their room than observing their surrounding.

Plus... it's dark and the "slime's getaway" is easy.

Anytime I'm in a motel parking lot at night my weakhand is in my front pants pocket... and my tolerance level for the "Hey Dawg!" greeting is very low.

Chris Christian
There are those who make things happen. There are those who watch things happen. There are those who wonder What The Heck happened! Pick one.
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LittleBill
Advanced Member

4374 Posts

Posted - November 19 2017 :  2:48:59 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks, Malcolm, those are facts I wasn’t aware of.

As a cheapskate thrift-minded individual, I’ve gotten in the habit when travelling alone of staying in the cheapest places I can find. Reading and pondering your post has made me realize how foolish that is. Henceforth I’ll have good reasons for upgrading my lodging choices without feeling like I’m ‘wasting’ money.


"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at its testing point"--- C.S. Lewis

"There are some ideas so foolish that only an intellectual could believe them"--- George Orwell

Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast

Edited by - LittleBill on November 19 2017 3:20:01 PM
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ajt
Junior Member

USA
207 Posts

Posted - November 19 2017 :  3:03:58 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Malcolm - Last year while on vacation in Kalifornia we got tired of driving and pulled out the Triple A guidebook to find something near for the night. Found a delightfully pictured location that was rated three stars so we called ahead and made a reservation for the night. When we found it we found that it had four floors with maybe six to ten rooms facing forward, and it faced a convenience store/gas station that it shared a parking area with, in addition to having parking underneath (ground level). The store appeared be doing a lot of foot traffic and it appeared to me to be a haven of drug deals. Many of the cars in the lot appeared to be not driveable, with one on blocks and a couple setting on their frames. There were people moving in among these vehicles. The people were all males with hoodies. Looking at the motel revealed that the doors were open in many of the rooms with lots of foot traffic, including conversations between people on the floors and people on the ground. There seemed to be a lot of foot traffic visible on the floors. All were the hoodie baggie pants people. I don't know how many different kinds of loud 'music' was blaring from the rooms. We had pulled in upon seeing the sign and prior to noticing the activity and had to swing into their parking area to avoid the bulk of the people, and in going through their parking 'garage' there were what appeared to be several abandoned cars and curiously some old and new pickup trucks that were overloaded with all types of junk. It was tight getting through and out the other side but once we did we kept going! Never have I ever been so conscious of not having a self defense firearm! This place was less than half a block from the main drag and business center of the town, and had been screened by a row of trees, and really caught us by surprise! We cancelled the reservations on the go (and reported that credit card as lost) and contacted Triple A the next morning about the reality of their listing and recommendation. A couple months ago it was still in their travel book with the same picture and rating. Since then I have developed the habit of driving around new or unknown places before driving in.
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LittleBill
Advanced Member

4374 Posts

Posted - November 19 2017 :  3:13:27 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well described!

At the very least AAA could stress the “vibrant multicultural diversity” and chance to become intimately familiar with “the ‘colorful’ local community” that this motel ‘provides’ for anyone who stays there; whether they desire it or not....

Without knowing anything about it, I wonder if AAA has any kind of financial relationship with the motels it rates? They sure don’t have travelers’ best interests at heart, if they ignored the info you gave them.


"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at its testing point"--- C.S. Lewis

"There are some ideas so foolish that only an intellectual could believe them"--- George Orwell

Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast

Edited by - LittleBill on November 19 2017 3:44:49 PM
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LittleBill
Advanced Member

4374 Posts

Posted - November 19 2017 :  3:29:06 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
And it’s hard to imagine that if you could quickly see what kind of place that was, that the local cops weren’t also aware of it. I guess they have their own reasons for ‘tolerating’ it...?


"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at its testing point"--- C.S. Lewis

"There are some ideas so foolish that only an intellectual could believe them"--- George Orwell

Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast

Edited by - LittleBill on November 19 2017 3:29:53 PM
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exfed2002
Advanced Member

1221 Posts

Posted - November 19 2017 :  3:47:59 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LittleBill

And it’s hard to imagine that if you could quickly see what kind of place that was, that the local cops weren’t also aware of it. I guess they have their own reasons for ‘tolerating’ it...?





I am told that California law now requires cops to answer questions in a report that takes about 30 minutes to fill out (depending on the format the department adopts) for every stop they make. It includes five choices for gender, and the answer is based on the officers’ observations – you can’t be asking people what their gender is! Includes a number of other absurd Q&A’s. There are apparently a number of ways the requirements can be implemented and according to these guys the LAPD adopted the most stringent one possible!

"The answer is there is no answer."
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LittleBill
Advanced Member

4374 Posts

Posted - November 19 2017 :  6:30:09 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
And the ‘gender question’ is only gonna get worse! Or better, depending on how ‘woke’ you are.

Now that ‘all right-thinking people’ agree that gender is merely ‘a social construct’— that, contrary to traditional ‘binary’ categories of ‘male or female’, gender is in fact ‘fluid’— that I ‘am’ whatever gender I ‘identify myself’ as being— the fact that a person begins their interaction with a police officer ‘identifying’ as a male, doesn’t mean they can’t end up the interview ‘identifying’ as a female. Isn’t it just another egregious example of narrow-minded ‘hetero-normative’ patriarchal oppression, to insist that I can’t change my ‘gender identity’ anytime I choose?

Now that the Supreme Court has ‘found’ a Constitutional right to gay marriage, can ‘gender rights’ be far behind?

I’m thinking they’re gonna need a lot more than five categories....

And yeah: it stands to reason that as it becomes more and more time-consuming and more and more of a PITA to arrest someone, there’s gonna be fewer and fewer arrests for ‘minor’ infractions.


"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at its testing point"--- C.S. Lewis

"There are some ideas so foolish that only an intellectual could believe them"--- George Orwell

Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast

Edited by - LittleBill on November 19 2017 6:57:54 PM
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Malcolm
Advanced Member

USA
4008 Posts

Posted - November 19 2017 :  7:09:06 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think most agencies, well know, what cesspools certain lodging cha8ns are, given Computer Aided Dispatch software now in use.
It’s easy for any person to request those public records, and yes, they ARE “public records”,in every state.

"The measure of a man's character, is how he treats someone who can do nothing for him." (unknown)
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oldmuleskinner
Senior Member

795 Posts

Posted - November 19 2017 :  8:11:05 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have used TripAdvisor on a number of occasions. The phone app works great. It rates the hotels based on customer ratings and also shows prices. In my opinion, it is pretty accurate in its evaluations.

Each of us is an innkeeper, and we decide if there is room for Jesus.
Neal A. Maxwell
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Pop Pop
Senior Member

USA
685 Posts

Posted - November 20 2017 :  08:44:58 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My wife always checks Trip Advisor when we travel. She reads the customer posted ratings and studies their recommendations. We have found them accurate as well.

Pop Pop
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ASCTLC
Senior Member

638 Posts

Posted - November 20 2017 :  09:04:53 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
TripAdviser user here too. Found it crazily inaccurate only 2 times (recently too: 1 hotel in CO, 1 restaurant in WI) but the percentage success is so high to let that affect our use of it.

Like others here, I don't make many call ahead hotel reservations. For one, I can't ever know for sure if we'll make it to that destination that night and two, for the safety of my wife and me I just have to see the place before I stay somewhere.
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Ten Driver
Advanced Member

1683 Posts

Posted - November 20 2017 :  2:23:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Excellent advice, Sir!

One of the best things about Hotels-dot-com and Trip Advisor is that you can get the real feedback. Also, you get a quick feel for the range of prices in that market, and can start with eliminating all the low ones!

Safe travels, all!

Mike
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Evan
Administrator

34115 Posts

Posted - November 20 2017 :  3:46:33 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
When I was a uniform Sgt in an inner city precinct I heard a run to one of our worst motels over a room charge dispute. when i got there I found a family with children arguing with the clerk (pimp). the father had grown up in Detroit and 20 years prior the whore house was a decent hotel and he wanted to show his family were he had grown up. The pimp refused to refund their money. I looked at my watch and told him the precinct vice crew was just going on duty and I would order them to park in the motel all night and he quickly gave them their refund, a 100% refund.

If your motel is across the street from a place that buys gold and a party store, keep driving.

"The greatest thing a Father can do for his children is to love their Mother."

Harold B. Lee

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Ace
Advanced Member

USA
5048 Posts

Posted - November 20 2017 :  7:26:43 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm fond of Mom'n'Pop motels when I can find them, but I've stopped at a couple where the smell of 'burnt rope' in the room was so strong I had to leave. Both times the rent was only $25-30, and not worth taking a chance on an argument for a refund. Ace

Give me $1 every time a Liberal lies, I'll give you $5 every time one tells the truth; I'll end up a wealthy man, you'll end up broke.
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exfed2002
Advanced Member

1221 Posts

Posted - November 20 2017 :  7:43:42 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Evan



If your motel is across the street from a place that buys gold and a party store, keep driving.



I was talking with "someone who would know" and he told me he would not frequent nor live in a neighborhood that has a Popeye's.

"The answer is there is no answer."
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WR Moore
Senior Member

USA
853 Posts

Posted - November 21 2017 :  08:38:46 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A bunch of years ago, the travel department of my then current employer booked us into a motel in Jersey. Within a very few minutes of being in my room I realized it had been entered more often without a key than it had with a key. We had a really brief meeting and after an uneasy night, packed up and went to the job site. Our trip coordinator screamed at the travel folks and they found us a much nicer place right across the river in Delaware.

In 2012, I was booking a trip myself through the employers travel service and they told me the hotel I selected was in a (forget the adjective, but it meant "bad") area and suggested another. It was their dime, I didn't object to their putting me in slightly more upscale lodgings in an upscale area. Turns out the 2 places were side by side in a veddy upscale neighborhood. (I sorta forgot to mentin this to the travel service. The included breakfasts at the new place were very well done buffets rather than stale pastry and bad coffee.:) I took the long way into town when I got there and saw houses that shamed the Governors Mansion.

When my wife and kids used to go to horse shows, I'd dig out the membership rosters from professional organizations (ASLET, ALEFI etc) and find someone in the area and call and ask for advice. They were always most helpful. Don't have those lists anymore, but then we don't travel much(any) and the kids are doing the worrying about their kids. Malcolms right, the run sheets provide a lot of information about frequency of service calls. Some of the places can be real handy near the end of the month if one is low on performance metrics.

Edited by - WR Moore on November 21 2017 08:44:35 AM
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Pop Pop
Senior Member

USA
685 Posts

Posted - November 21 2017 :  09:59:05 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My daughter has spent several weeks, at a time, in hotels. I purchased a well designed door prop that fits under the door knob. It has a slide, with a chain that hooks to the bottom of the door, just as a second safety measure. It is really good quality and very adjustable. The thing has brought her piece of mind, when she is sleeping.

She is a CPA and did a lot of consulting work for a health organization in Nashville TN. She carries and always tries to not be in parking lots after dark. She puts her safety first. Her company pays for the lodging and she stays at very nice places.

She had an incident, in a Wall Mart parking lot, in broad daylight, but was able to handle herself and avoid what could have turned into a real bad situation. So she is really careful when shopping or staying in strange areas. We pray a-lot.

Pop Pop
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WR Moore
Senior Member

USA
853 Posts

Posted - November 21 2017 :  12:01:59 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Now that you've bumped my memory, I used to carry a couple piece of aluminum angle that worked nicely as door stops. (Don't forget any doors to connecting rooms.) IIRC, they were trimmed from some type of sill plate and had a small projection that would catch in carpet, tilt the angle up and lock the door quite well. Something I discovered later is industrial scaffold clips. These are strange shaped pieces of plated rod, about 5/16" and are outstanding if they'll fit under the door. I used them many times in force on force drills (and other events) and very large strong folks couldn't open doors they'd been stopped with. I guess you'd get them at places that deal in industrial scaffolding. I just requisitioned them from the scaffold crews. Still got a few.
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Ace
Advanced Member

USA
5048 Posts

Posted - November 21 2017 :  1:54:27 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Even in what seems to be a 'decent' place, I'd advocate being cautious while entering the room. Some years back, we stopped and got a room--even then I was wary of the neighborhood--and Momma went first while I was unloading bags from the car. She came back to the car and said we couldn't use that room--she had opened the door and flipped on the light, and lo and behold there was a couple--uh, let's say--'making use' of the bed. Quite a shock for Momma, and we did indeed request, and receive, another room. Turned out one of the maids was in the habit of using open rooms to 'entertain clients' in a sort of 'side business'--this according to the clerk at the desk the next morning when we checked out.
I make it a point to always enter, first time and after being out for a while, as if somebody might be in there waiting for me--because they might. Does that make me paranoid? Ace

Give me $1 every time a Liberal lies, I'll give you $5 every time one tells the truth; I'll end up a wealthy man, you'll end up broke.
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Chris Christian
Advanced Member

USA
2938 Posts

Posted - November 21 2017 :  4:55:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ace

Even in what seems to be a 'decent' place, I'd advocate being cautious while entering the room. Some years back, we stopped and got a room--even then I was wary of the neighborhood--and Momma went first while I was unloading bags from the car. She came back to the car and said we couldn't use that room--she had opened the door and flipped on the light, and lo and behold there was a couple--uh, let's say--'making use' of the bed. Quite a shock for Momma, and we did indeed request, and receive, another room. Turned out one of the maids was in the habit of using open rooms to 'entertain clients' in a sort of 'side business'--this according to the clerk at the desk the next morning when we checked out.
I make it a point to always enter, first time and after being out for a while, as if somebody might be in there waiting for me--because they might. Does that make me paranoid? Ace



Paranoid? No. Savvy? Yes. When I was doing a lot of travelling to pistol matches on an Industry Team I adopted the same behavior.... and was a big believer in opening the door with my right hand while my left hand was in my weak side front pants pocket.

Chris Christian
There are those who make things happen. There are those who watch things happen. There are those who wonder What The Heck happened! Pick one.
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Dov
Advanced Member

USA
2638 Posts

Posted - November 22 2017 :  12:33:56 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
When I was younger I was night manager at hotel for several years, I’ve also worked security at couple of other hotels.

Personally I try very hard to avoid hotels, much prefer Bread and Breakfasts when possible. Since they are small family owned almost always they don’t turn blind eye to stuff the way hotels do IME.

When I do have to stay at hotel, generally stay at most expensive one in area, generally fewer career criminals (though certainly some) at the more expensive ones.

Masking tape around door plus blocking with furniture is standard in hotels, the locks are meaningless in a hotel.

Masking tape from top to bottom of door, ie taping door to frame, makes it very hard to open without doing any damage. Duct tape would probably be even stronger but might damage door when removed.

I always leave few tabs to remove easily in hurry if needed.
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LittleBill
Advanced Member

4374 Posts

Posted - November 22 2017 :  07:56:09 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Great info in this thread, very informative and practical...


"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at its testing point"--- C.S. Lewis

"There are some ideas so foolish that only an intellectual could believe them"--- George Orwell

Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast
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