CHASER-FRIENDLY HOTELS: Discounts and recommendations

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

  1. joel ewing

    joel ewing Member

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    I know this thread is probably not being read much anymore, but I thought I'd weigh in anyway with something that I have found important when making reservations for motels during chase season.
    My chase partner / 1st. cousin Doren Berge and I have pretty much decided that if possible, we like staying in what we call "HIX'es".....our term for Holiday Inn Expresses. And since we primarily chase in late May thru most of June, we have to compete for motel rooms with the rest of America that is now on the road taking their vacations, due to school being out for their kids. Because of this, and especially on days where there has or IS ongoing severe weather in an area we want to stay in (because travelers hunker down and quit driving the freeways when svr. wx. is happening).....we telephone ahead and make reservations when possible. My main point I want to make is that unfortunately, when calling the "HIX" reservation lines.....it connects us with Pakistan or India or other similar country that handles their reservations. Now please, lest anybody think me being anti-foreigner, allow me to set things straight....I applaud and respect ANYBODY from any foreign country that is trying or has mastered the English language. The problem is....all too often these foreign employees don't speak sufficient-enough English for me to understand what they are saying. I know I'm very much not alone in this. Secondly, when you make reservations using foreign personnel....these folks do not have it within their power to give a person a break on a room rate. Yes, they'll give you a few bucks off for having AAA for example, but normally IT IS MUCH BETTER TO CALL YOUR DESIRED HOTEL DIRECTLY....using their LOCAL American phone number. When you talk to the hotel where you wish to make reservations directly...these desk workers often have it within their power to customize a rate / discount for you. I have found that telling the front desk that you're a stormchaser....this can and often will get you a discount. Lastly, I ALWAYS grab the hotel manager's business card when I check out the next morning. And if you've found their hotel clean and acceptable in every way....TELL that hotel mgr. that you ARE a stormchaser and tend to stay at many hotels during the season....and COMPLIMENT him or her! This works magic in many ways. First off....put yourself in the hotel mgr.'s shoes.....these managers usually only hear from their customers when SOMETHING IS WRONG. They work long and hard hours usually, and generally without ever hearing a compliment. You'll make their day if you do like I suggest...plus, it's the right thing to do. Now, the day will come when at 1am after a grueling long-mileage chase you can't find anyplace that isn't booked full. I don't know how many times we've had this happen to us, and I swear.....when I've pulled out the business card of the manager I shook hands with and complimented him on his beautiful hotel a few weeks prior and called their number, even if the front desk tells you their full....they usually have one or two rooms vacant that they hold back. Tell the front desk "kid" that you were there a few weeks ago and met with Mr. "manager"...and that "he told me that if I ever get in a jam and need a room when there isn't one available to call him directlly". Guaranteed, that manager isn't on duty and 1 or 2 am....but the front desk worker will feel comfortable about releasing one of the "special" rooms that get held back each shift. And you'll get that room. I have done it time and time again. Don't be afraid to play this card....you'll be amazed sometimes. But remember that it all begins weeks before when you seek out and genuinely compliment the hotels general manager and grab his or her business card.
     
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  2. Tony Gilbert

    Tony Gilbert Member

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    Nice advice, Joel.
    In addition to the detail above. Book your room online even if you are parked outside the motel;

    Good example , last year late evening after a chase I could see a really good price for the next town Hillsboro TX at around $36.00 for a room via the internet. Now me being really tired and wanting to get my head on that pillow walked straight in and asked for that discount. The hotel manager was in the lobby at the time and said no way was this price available for this hotel??? ....Maybe what he was really saying is that I screwed up my chances of getting this online discount by walking in the door!
    In fact I ended up paying around $110.00 for my room that night. So there you go; My advice, book online even if you are in the car park of the motel and pop off up the road for a coffee whilst the online agent transfers the booking over. This usually takes about an hour!

    PS. Joel, re that extra room availability. I once drew the short straw for sharing a room with a co chaser with a snore as big as a supercell hail roar. 4am I begged for a room and yes I got one 'supposedly' within a full motel! Though sadly still had to pay for my upgrade!
     
    #27 Tony Gilbert, Apr 18, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2015

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