CHASER-FRIENDLY HOTELS: Discounts and recommendations

Discussion in 'STORMTRACK: Announcements' started by Tim Vasquez, Dec 30, 2010.

  1. Tim Vasquez

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    This thread promotes hotels and motels in the central United States and Canadian prairies which offer discount rates for the storm chasing community, or which offer unusual amenities for storm chasers at no extra cost.

    To help others quickly navigate this thread while on the road, please try to keep comments limited to special offers for storm chasers or to what you consider the top 1% of hotel experiences. For questions and extended discussion please start a new thread elsewhere on our forum.

    If you represent a hotel property in the central United States and do not have a Stormtrack account, please e-mail the administrator directly at stormtrack@weathergraphics.com to have your special offer included in this list. This thread is viewable by the general public, so if you wish to make your offer a private one, let us know and we will announce it to our members in one of our private sub-forums.

    Tim
     
  2. Bart_Comstock

    Bart_Comstock Member

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    Hotel "Storm Chaser" discount in Tulsa, OK

    I just started working at a hotel here in Tulsa, Ok and after talking to my sales manager I was able to work out a rate that would be available to the members of ST while they are out chasing in the Tulsa area.

    The hotel is the Quality Suites just off I-44 near the intersection of 31st and Memorial. All of our rooms are suites with a pull out sofa and free wifi. From 6:30 to 9:30 we have a complementary breakfast that has both continental and hot items.

    The rate for a night is 55 for either a room with a single king or two double queens and if you come on a night that I am working I can personal get you in for a slightly lower rate.

    Just let the person from the front desk know that you would like the Stormtrack rate or give my name.

    This rate is available year round but should only be asked for during chases.
     
  3. Jason Foster

    Jason Foster Guest

    Thanks Bart....very cool of you to do. I may utilize this on the way out to the plains. Tulsa is within the range we could end up on the end of our second travel day out. That'll be May 8th, 2010 if everything holds true to the preliminary plan in place.
     
  4. Rob H

    Rob H Noob

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    Umm, if you know how to storm chase in the past, please clue the rest of us in because there are some amazing days I'd like to go out on! :D

    On a serious note, thanks for setting this up Bart. We've got a few places to stay for free in other parts of the country but nothing anywhere near Tulsa, so it's nice to know a quality place off the top of my head when in that area.
     
  5. Jason Foster

    Jason Foster Guest

    Damn...you got me. I better not let the secret out, I like having the missed storms all to myself.
     
  6. Brandon Copic

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    Thanks Bart! I'm planning if I can manage the money to get at least one chase out in the plains this season, I'd like the panhandle and that'd be going through Tulsa to get there and I probably can't manage a 21 hr drive with just two drivers, and I'll be limited with funds :D
     
  7. Bart_Comstock

    Bart_Comstock Member

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    Because of a recent incident involving a member of ST at my hotel I have to now personally approve each chaser who wants the Stormtrack rate BEFORE they arrive at the hotel
     
  8. Mike Smith

    Mike Smith Guest

    Chase County, Kansas, Wants Chasers and They Offer a Discount!

    I was in the Flint Hills today doing my annual spring photography trip for the blog and stopped in for lunch at Grand Central Hotel and Restaurant in Cottonwood Falls, my favorite place to eat in the Hills.

    I was immediately approached by owner Suzan Barnes who expressed her shock that officials in nearby counties don't want chasers. She said, "We need chasers to make those reports and keep us safe!" Now, I stop at Grand Central because they have great food at extremely reasonable prices. I can also get on wireless internet.

    So, I had an idea. I said to Suzan, "After a long day of chasing would you discount one of your rooms by $10 to show your appreciation if they identified themselves as chasers?" She said, "I want them here! I'll discount the room by $20!"

    Those are you who are not from the area may not know that Grand Central is an AAA 4-Diamond hotel and restaurant with -- let me emphasize this again -- extremely reasonable prices. If you want to see if a room is available, just call Suzan at (620) 273-6763.

    And, if you would like to see the hotel and restaurant for yourself, just go here: http://grandcentralhotel.com/

    So, let's make our reports to ICT NWS for Chase Co. and take advantage of Suzan's offer. Let's spend our money where it is wanted!
     
  9. joel ewing

    joel ewing Member

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    I LOVE IT!! Great post, btw. As a businessman myself, I really "get off" on other business people who have cool attitudes and a willingness to roll up their sleeves and try to grab some fresh business. Suzan sounds like my type of gal. Hats off to her! I have long thought it would be a really neat idea here within StormTrack to have an area where we chasers could list restaurants and hotels that we personally felt were exceptional....regardless of how big or small the town or facility is. Each June, when I hit the alley for 3 or more weeks, I will land in towns that I'm not too familiar with. If I had a list of "chaser-approved" restaurants and hotels, I know I'd refer to it constantly. Conversely, we could also form a list of places to avoid...and why. Personally, I've got a major phobia of bed-bugs. I found a couple of them in my luggage this past year once I returned home from an upscale hotel in San Francisco. I couldn't believe it. If I had an approved / disapproved list to refer to....I'd make sure that everybody within my group would know about it, and save them some agony. You know, with all the mileage and road experiences we chasers in the StormTrack Clan have under our belts, and I'm sure it is substantial....I think it would be wise to tap into that and come up with some kind of master list that we could share our dining and lodging experiences in. Can I get a witness? Anybody else got any thoughts on the matter? And thanks again, Mike, for posting the good news about Suzan's hotel. If I'm in that area this spring, I PROMISE she will get my phone call to reserve a room. She's earned it. joel in tucson
     
  10. Jane ONeill

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    This is a great thread!!!...I'd love to see more of other's experiences and recommendations for accomodation when chasing. Clyve and I are retiring in a month (!!!!!!!!!!) and will be looking for good and cheap accommodation while chasing when we aren't at home in Hillsboro, Kansas.
     
  11. STexan

    STexan Member

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    This is sort of on topic ... This spring, chasers are going to need to be aware that hotels in "small oil/gas towns" are going to need to expect to get gouged for far less than mediocre rooms ... if any are available at all. The oilfield workers have put such a demand on the few available rooms, and also have run many down in double time. I recently paid $90 for a trashy room in Big Lake, TX on a week night (the other hotel wanted $85 but had to park off-property). They can charge the oil patch workers and companies whatever they want, and the chasers and other travelers will have to pay their rate if they want to sleep under a roof.

    My advice if chasing in remote areas of the oil patch area this year is to call ahead if you can commit.
     
  12. Marcus Diaz

    Marcus Diaz Experienced Member

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    I usually make an effort to get to a bigger city before looking for a hotel. Also I try to get something off of Priceline while on the road. I got a hotel 3 times this year, once in Salina and twice in OKC. My best hotel was a 2.5 star Fairfield Inn for $50 in Moore, OK. If you plan on chasing in, let's say, Western KS or anywhere that sparsely populated, my advice is get a room in a sizeable town, or try to get to the interstate where there's more options even in the smaller towns.
     
  13. Jerry Prsha

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    Most places drop the price after 10pm also just to get a full hotel. If there's not an outbreak and you know the place won't be full, you can time your arrival to later time and save a bit. I look at it that I can drive another hour towards my next day's target, I can sleep in one more hour the next morning if need be.
     
  14. Hannah.Taylor

    Hannah.Taylor Member

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    I had a good stay at the Thunderbird Motel in Dodge City, KS on Wyatt Earp Blvd back on May 16th. I paid $48 for a night. Checkout is 11 am. That was a better rate than the $80 a night I was seeing at the Super 8 and EconoLodge (all of which looked like dumps and had rude customer service).

    Not a luxury hotel by any means, but I got a good nights rest, bed was soft and comfy, didn't notice any bed bugs, sheets were all clean, bed spread was clean and smelled fresh, pillows were soft and clean and the room smelled neutral. Wasn't loaded down with air fresheners but it didn't stink either.
    My unit had 2 beds, a tv, a refrigerator, a bathroom, sink, shower, and bathroom fan and an air conditioner. It "appears" as a dump at first glance, but it really is nicer than it looks, so don't let looks fool you.

    Word to the wise though, if you're staying here, bring a 2 prong plug to 3 prong plug power adapter with you. All of their power outlets are 2 prong. I was fortunate and had adapters in my laptop bag. That was my only complaint with the place.

    I give it 4.5 stars out of 5. The service was very friendly, an elderly Asian lady and her husband own it. She does most of the cleaning and I can tell she takes pride in her work and she was very friendly and the customer service was excellent.
     
  15. Bob Schafer

    Bob Schafer Member

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    In addition to what STexan said about oilfield workers: I think that goes double for motels in western ND, because of the Bakken.

    Anecdote: Last year I tried to get a (what you would normally expect to be a) cheap room in Bismarck. The owner told me the room would be $90. I politely said "okay, no thank you", and began walking back out to my car. He actually followed me out to the parking lot and said to me "How about $89?" You can't make this stuff up. As I drove through Bismarck on my way north I noticed the Motel 6 sign was advertising $69 (or something). Motel 6! (But I hate Motel 6) I ended up sleeping in my car about an hour north of there.

    The next night I stayed in Rugby. I don't remember the name of the motel, but IIRC it's the first one you see on the north side of the road as you enter town from the west. I was telling the woman at the desk how I had seen two ginormous motels/hotels under construction in Minot right across the street from each other. She said there were currently SIX of them under construction in Minot! All because of the Bakken oil play.

    Moral of the story: If you're planning on chasing some of that June/July Dakotas action, plan on sleeping in your vehicle or paying a fortune for a room in W ND!
     
  16. Guy Crittenden

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    This post got me thinking about bed bugs, with chasers having to seek out affordable accommodations wherever they might end up at the end of the day. Have folks here found bed bugs to be a common problem in the hotels and motels of Tornado Alley? Just curious, and also interested in anything one might do to protect oneself. (I already know about not opening one's suitcase on the bed…)

    I'm planning also to bring my small high-tech tent and a few basic camping supplies. Are there a decent number of KOA-type campgrounds in that part of the world? Do other people resort to this sometimes when motels are full or the weather is nice?
     
  17. Timothy Finn

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    A tip that has worked well for me.....I keep the hotels.com app on my smartphone. It keys off your GPS location, then sorts out by daily deals, or whatever you want it to do. Pretty user friendly, easy to book with from the phone, and nine times out of ten gets me a nicer room than I could actually pay for normally, LOL.

    Tim

    P.S. My hard and fast rule is to avoid Motel6 like the plague. I've had everything from filthy rooms to non working air conditioners to rooms with no furniture to Girls Gone Wild taping a porno shoot next door. If you like adventure in your hotel stay, go to Motel6.
     
  18. Patrick Martin

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    This for sure! Two seasons ago my chase partner and I were in eastern NM chasing well into the evening, and called a Holiday Inn Express on the SW side of Lubbock after 11pm, told them it would be about 1am arrival. The super friendly guy quoted me $70 and said he'd be there overnight. No reservation, no CC hold, just an "okay we'll be there in about 90 minutes. We stopped into another Holiday Inn Express about halfway there, it's after midnight, I walk in, the lady quotes me $130. I tell her the $70 story, says she can't match it, I politely say "okay, no thanks", and we leave as she looks at me like I have 3 heads. We roll into Lubbock after 1am, the front desk guy remembers us, we get it for $70 no questions asked, and it turns out to be a brand spankin new Holiday Inn Express!

    We did learn the hard way though on the same trip that this principle does not apply to North Platte on a Saturday night after rolling into town at 10pm, and finally finding a room at the 9th hotel we stopped at. That place is apparently the center of the universe on the plains on a weekend.
     
  19. Dan Robinson

    Dan Robinson WxLibrary Editor
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    It's definitely a different game these days with the oil and gas boom. In Oklahoma and Kansas, you have to get a reservation phoned in (or via online) as soon as possible. The times I waited last year, I had to drive a couple of extra hours (some past midnight) to get somewhere that had a room. The Rozel day, I ended up in Hillsboro. On the 29th, I ended my chase near Elk City and had to go to OKC to find a room.
     
    #19 Dan Robinson, Feb 24, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 24, 2014
  20. Shane Adams

    Shane Adams Experienced Member

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    It's weird, but we've never phoned in a reservation. We just roll into the next decent-sized town, and hit the main "hotel row". Bridget runs into a few places, and we take the best deal they have to offer, with a ceiling of around $80 (depending on the quality).Iif everything is ridiculously high, we just roll into town and find an independent. Never had a bed bug issue or anything too severe, with the lone exception being a compete dive in Colorado. That was 2009, and Vortex 2 was eating up all the rooms every chase that year and the next. After exhausting about half a dozen options in town proper, we finally drove to the edge of town and found a complete sh*thole, with a 10:30am checkout time for good measure. The next morning after showering, the bathroom door fell off the hinges as I walked out.

    However, my target did verify on a "no risk of severe" day at 13Z that morning.
     
  21. James Gustina

    James Gustina Member

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    I've noticed Woodward is turning into an oasis hotel-wise. When I was up that way in October, they were building a Hampton Inn and a Holiday Inn Express or something of the like to add to what's already there.

    I rarely stay in hotels after a chase anymore, considering I usually have class or something the next day, but if you can't find a Woodward-sized city or a chain, the mom and pop hotels are usually a good bet and rarely have I had a terrible experience with them (excluding one in Hays, the bed felt like it was gonna collapse). Like others have said, Motel 6 is the only to avoid like the plague unless you want a full-on assault from the lowest common denominator of humanity.
     
  22. David Biggar

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    Or a full on assault from mother nature...thanks to a leak in my room I woke up with about half an inch of water in my room after a good overnight rain. Fortunately I had put my bag and all my equipment on the desk before going to sleep.

    I find hotels like Timothy, using an IHG (Holiday Inn Express, etc) app to find a hotel off my location.
     
  23. Mike Smith

    Mike Smith Guest

    Best Western in Greensburg. New and very nice. They are working (not ready to announce yet) on a chaser discount.
     
  24. Tony Gilbert

    Tony Gilbert Member

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    Hope this in the right place for places to avoid?
    After White Deer tornado 2001 I had the misfortune to stay at the TX Borger Budget Inn. Both myself and partner suffered severe bed bug bites which left scars for 6 months afterwards; Fact !
    Admittedly a while ago but google maps image shows just the same place (no change?) Weird or what? They are welcome to sue me for the comment but the fact still stands and I could maybe have sued them; Avoid it like the plague even after a big tornado and big chaser fatigue at 11pm!!

    PS. Might make pulling your car seat down and pulling a rug over yourself on a back road not so bad after all!
     
    #24 Tony Gilbert, Apr 17, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2015
  25. Kevin Rimcoski

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    That's pretty disgusting ^ they can't come after you anyway for making a comment against them. If you received bad service you have every right to express it...especially in this case with unsanitary hotels the expect you to sleep in

    My plan is to almost always just sleep in the car for that reason plus to save a few bucks
     

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