I received an email from my good friends at Expedia this morning regarding the Whiskey Daredevils stay Saturday night at the Quality Inn at Springfield OH. "Review your recent stay at Quality Inn & Conference
Center" I decided to provide a complete review which I will share with all of you now in the slight chance that Expedia won't post it on their site....
I booked a room at this hotel as all other options in the
Dayton area were sold out. The fact that
all hotels in Dayton were sold out was staggering to me as the only reason I am
aware of for a large number of people from out of town to stay in Dayton is to
get blinding drunk and attend NCAA Basketball Tournament games. I looked at my watch and noticed it wasn’t
March. That was out. Then I considered our recent history where we
encountered a similar situation in Ft. Wayne and Erie PA, both secondary cities
that have no real reason to visit for more than 12 hours at a time. The phenomenon of “travel soccer” and “travel
baseball” may well have been afoot, where normally reasonable suburban families
throw all sensibility to the wind to pursue the parent’s faded dreams of a pro
sports career. In today’s new version of
the American Dream, caravans of SUVs take 12 year olds hundreds of miles away
from home so they can play (poorly) against other 12 year olds that have also traveled
hundreds of miles. It’s sort of like a
modern version of the Joad Family but with kids running wild at breakfast
buffets at places like Courtyard By Marriot and Hilton Garden Inn. Why these parents don’t send these same dorky
kids to “Investment Banker Camp” or “Foreign Language Camp” to get a real edge
in life is beyond me. My sneaking suspicion
is that there is some sort of wild suburban swing scene going on with these parents
after they send the kids to bed. Oh, I’m
sorry… I got off topic from this hotel review…
So we found ourselves rolling into the Springfield Quality
Inn at around 2:30 am. We had a
reservation via Expedia, which is generally no problem. Today?
It was a problem. The woman
behind the counter was a nice enough woman that was severely overweight in an
unusual way. She had these rolls of fat
between her rib cage and waist that extended out past her breasts and hips. It was almost like she was the Michelin Tire
Man, but in a sad polyster Quality Hotel uniform. Apparently this front desk clerk had “done
the audit” and couldn’t figure out how to check us in. Normally I would be freaking out, but I had
taken a can of Bud from the club and figured if I was going to have a beer, the
front desk was as good a place as any. Meanwhile
Leo and Sugar were entertaining themselves on the couch, so I waited it out.
After 25 minutes of watching the strangely obese woman
struggle with the computer and vainly try to call someone at corporate, I said,
“Whattya say you check us in and then figure out how to write it up later?”. That’s when she told me that she could check
me in right now at a lower rate if I wanted to do that. As opposed to saying “Why the fuck didn’t you
suggest that 20 minutes ago you stupid dipshit?” like I wanted to, I said “That
seems sensible. Let’s do that.”. I took her another ten minutes to get us
checked in, but we eventually got the key and away we went to Room 102.
This is when we all took in the true splendor of the
Springfield Quality Inn. Be advised,
this is like stepping into a time machine and setting it for “1988”. This must have had a previous life as a “Holidome”
as all the rooms faced inward towards a center recreation area featuring an odd
geometric pool (a rhombus maybe?) and series of arcade games that haven’t
crossed my mind in years. Who’s up for a
game of Golden Tee? Ms. Pac Man
anyone? Pole Position? Just step right past the sad outdated workout
room. This is the kind of place where
dodgy families swing open the sliding door of their rooms, take a seat on the
lawn furniture facing the center recreation area, and knock back bottom shelf
margaritas while their kids run around like feral dogs and shit in the pool. If you close your eyes and use your imagination, you can
almost see the bearded father in a truckstop WWE t-shirt yell at his woman
to get more cigarettes as she waddles over to “Crazy Joe’s Jamaican Bar” to get
refills for their plastic cups. It's like a Wal Mart with a pool and a bar.
We discussed the possibility that “Crazy Joe’s Jamaican Bar”
might not be the most authentic Jamaican experience, but then Leo pointed out
that perhaps if “Crazy Joe” was the kind of guy that poured hot coffee on you “because
I’m crazy” and then quickly poured a full pot on himself afterwards because
once again, “I’m crazy!”, then that might go a long way. I think patrons would ignore an obviously plastic parrot
and Bob Marley posters if the guy behind the bar was completely unpredictable and
potentially violent. It could carry the
place almost singlehandedly. Unfortunately,
it was closed when we got there, so this is all speculation. Maybe check on Yelp and see if our suspicions are correct.
Nothing is clearly marked, so it took us forever to find the room. When we got to the room we discovered that they key didn’t
work. The light flickered red on the
plastic key pass. Son of a bitch. We all trudged back to the desk. I checked my watch. It was 3:10 am. We had been there 40 minutes and were no
closer to a bed than we had been while in the van pulling in. “Hey, the key you gave us didn’t work. Are you trying to crush my will?” The woman stared blankly for a moment and
then instructed me “to pull the handle. I stayed in that room before.”.
I let her know the issue wasn’t a question of technique on my part, but
rather a malfunctioning key. She then
insisted it was my technique and wanted us to walk all the way back so she
could show us. We followed the oddly shaped woman across the indoor fun zone towards the room as I wondered why she had stayed in room 102. She inserted the key, and sure as shit it didn't work in exactly the manner in which I had told her. "Oh... mumble mumble housekeeping... mumble" She blamed housekeeping and scurried back towards the lobby. We walked all the way back to the front desk.
At this point I began to feel that we might never get a room. The front desk clerk struggled her way through the process, until finally grabbing a key and instructing us to follow her to the new room. We arrived as I inserted the key to the flickering green light. Success. I walked in the room with Sugar and Leo behind me, tossed my bag on the floor, and sat on the bed to discover the clerk had followed us into the room. "Um... OK, looks like we're in." Meanwhile the woman just sort of stood there in the middle of the room staring at us. I don't know if she wanted to invite us to engage in some odd sexual activity where Leo and I would insert our penises into the folds along her sides while Sugar either recorded it on a smart phone or retreated to the front desk to stand in for her while we completed our disturbing romp. It eventually got uncomfortable enough where a light must have gone off in her head that she should leave.
After 45 minutes of check in at the nearly empty hotel, Leo and Sugar felt like they should take a dip in the Rhombus Pool. I'm sure the other guests didn't appreciate the noise they must have made as the rooms all surround the sad little pool, however if they had glanced out of their sliding door windows they would have seen the true artistry of a "Rhythm To Swim" practice, our up and coming synchronized swimming act. I would imagine most guests irritation quickly turned to joy when they identified such minor celebrities in their midst. I used this opportunity to quickly down five plastic cups of water from the rust stained sink in the bathroom and hope to fall asleep prior to "Rhythm To Swim's" return. I did not.
We woke that morning to discover the room had no climate control kick in whatsoever, so it was a swampy cesspool of filth. I left as soon as possible, avoiding breakfast at the restaurant as I obviously feared running into Crazy Joe and having my crotch scalded with hot coffee. When I arrived outside to the parking lot I found a lone man with a long gray beard walking around while loudly telling "knock-knock" jokes into a cellphone. Leo and Sugar got lost trying to find their way out to the lobby, so I looked around the area to find a place to eat. As far as I could tell, the entire area is now C-list fast food like Hardee's and Mr. Chicken and failed businesses of the past like Internet Cafes and Laser Tag locations. We quickly drove away.
I would highly recommend this hotel to any traveler.