In this Crazy Tour Stories segment, the alternative band, The Peach Kings, talk about one of their crazy moments from touring. You can check out the feature, after the break.
To get a head start on our 8-9 hour drive, we left Denver en route to Salt Lake City, a pretty typical scenario while on the road. It’s also not unusual to see a couple hundred antelope, deer, bear, ox crossing signs to pair with the mass decay of road kill off the side of the road. Barring this in mind we aim to get as many daylight hours of driving in as possible and do not like to commit to extended hours of night driving. We typically look for a location 2 hours out and rely on handy hotel apps to book our stays throughout the U.S. This particular night, we did just that and this is a little story about how cheaper is not always better.
When you think about how precious sleep is after traveling all day and playing a show, you, of course, want to find a deal, but most of all you want a bed. A good bed at a fair price, at a hotel that is legit. We’ve learned to double, triple check reviews and know for certain if something looks too good to be true, it is. We felt we hit the jackpot when we discovered a hotel that had rooms with 3, 4 and 5-bed options, with no mention of bedbugs or recent murderous vibes. So off we went to our $50.00 reservation for a room with 3 queen beds with an arrival time of about 2am.
As we pulled into our remote destination in Laramie, Wyoming, we see the desk clerk running across the parking lot with what looked like an I.V. tube with I.V. bag and a bucket. He was carrying it as if to carefully make sure it wasn’t dragging on the ground but of course, it was. The closer we looked, we noticed his lack of presentation, resemblance to the Crypt Keeper and the fact that he had no shoes on. Next, he lugged a flat screen TV from outside into the office. The hotel claimed to be a part of the “Travelodge” chain with nice bright photos and middle of the road reviews. But upon arrival lets just say it looked better online than in person.
Steven decided to go in to check in and assess the situation while we stayed in the van. According to him, once inside the office, it was equally just as odd as the character running the hotel. Like a scene out of hoarders, junk and kitschy religious and Disney figurines were piled up and stashed everywhere. The inn keepers eyes were bloodshot and he was pretty obviously under the influence of something. We got the key to our room and proceeded to second floor. Once up the stairs, we were met with a balcony filled with trash, a pair of broken crutches, furniture, metal bed frames, medical equipment and remnants of used bandages to match the I.V. items described earlier. It was a combination of scenes from the movies Spun and Pulp Fiction. We get to the room and the lights won’t turn on, the smell was nauseating and the bedding was disheveled as if the beds were just crammed into the room to accommodate the late night reservation.
Without a doubt, we are going to hightail it out of there, but on our way out we had a run in with the attendant. We thought our departure might go unnoticed, but the wild-eyed attendant who hunched over to speak at us quickly asked: “Is there something wrong with the room!?”. We replied, “No, except the light switches don’t seem to work.” His response was, “if you don’t stay you don’t get your money back”. OK. To make conversation and make light of how odd the situation was, we asked about the balcony filled with trash, he yelled ” Do you have a problem?!?! I’m remodeling a room”. He continued to scream profanities and slam doors, going in and out of rooms punching windows open, throwing bed frames. Other guests were opening their door to see what this 2am disturbance was all about. When a poor dude who popped out to basically ask this guy to keep the noise down, he screamed, that “you can stay somewhere else!”
As we quickly put our things back into the van, he yelled at us that he would have given us 5 beds had we not been so rude and disrespectful, and fired off a loud proclamation that he was offering “HOSPITALITY OF THE GODS”!! We left a google review to warn people away, curious as to why no other reviews supported our terrible experience. The next day we were met with harassing and threatening emails, to take the review down or else he would file a lawsuit. While the email demands were entertaining their way no our moral compass could allow us to oblige. That was the last we heard from our new friend at the Downtown Xenion Motel in Laramie, Wyoming. Moral of this story is to stay away from hotel deals that are too good to be true, cheaper is not always better. STAY SAFE.
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