New Member Needs Help (remodeling hotel for railroad layover employees)

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Jan 20, 2020
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Have an opportunity to remodel a hotel near New Orleans for railroad layover employees. What kind of thing would you recommend I put in the hotel? Foosball, computer game room, food, drinks and other...
 

ehbowen

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Mar 22, 2011
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Diversions are always welcome, but if it were me, here's what I'd recommend:
  • Be prepared to accept customers at any and all odd hours of the night. I've had to wake the night clerk up at 2 am more than once; while I did get service I still felt like an unwelcome intruder.
  • Have a wing away from activity which can be expected to remain quiet. But check with the customer before assigning him there...some folks like to party on their layovers, and you don't want them disturbing those trying to sleep through a short turnaround.
  • Related to above: If a guest brings a short-term "guest" of the opposite (well, usually...) gender, as long as it doesn't become a problem don't make it into a problem.
  • A directory of local services within walking distance...barber shop/hair stylist, drug store/walk-in clinic, etc. is always welcome.
  • Likewise, a list of local restaurants with hours of operation, type of cuisine, etc. and honest opinions as to the quality of the food will be very helpful. Note especially those which make or can arrange (Doordash, etc.) deliveries.
  • If you're feeling generous, a "hospitality room" with soda fountain, popcorn machine, and maybe a hot dog steamer will have customers begging to lay over at your hotel*. But you'll have to have some way to limit access to paying guests only.
Nota bene: I have never been a railroad employee, but I have been an over-the-road truck driver working a similarly nomadic schedule. If you'd like to attract truckers as well, be sure to offer plenty of truck parking (preferably well-lighted and protected by camera surveillance) and note in your directory of restaurants and such those who offer truck parking as well. (Truckers will eat anywhere they can park....)

*Edit To Add: And coffee, of course. Good coffee. How could I forget that? Probably because I don't drink coffee...but if you want to attract fringe folk like me, buy a coffee machine which has a hot water tap and have tea and cocoa available as well...
 
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