‘A Missed Opportunity’ – EWealth Report
Alan R. Bechtold has released the latest issue of EWealth Report. The featured article is titled “A Missed Opportunity”. [EWealth Report]
Alan Bechtold has released the latest issue of ‘EWealth Report’.
A Missed Opportunity…
by Alan R. Bechtold
As my plane touched down in Vegas, it was still early — around 4 p.m., Vegas time. My body (still set to east-coast time) was telling me it was already 7 p.m. — but that’s still fairly early.
I was elated. The last time I’d eaten was an airport sandwich I’d grabbed before leaving Fort Myers at 11:30 a.m. eastern. I was getting a bit hungry by then, but the long flight was finally over and we were touching down right on-time.
Now all I had to do was wait for my bags, grab the rental car I’d reserved, pick up the printing I’d sent via the Web to Kinkos before I left, and check into the hotel. By my estimation, I should be in my room by seven p.m. or so, unpacked and ready to pop down to the casino for some food and fun before bed. Still late by my time (10 p.m. eastern), but not too late.
After realizing I’d picked the wrong Kinkos to send my printing to (it was way across town from the hotel), I rented a GPS system, to help me find my way there and back easily. I’d included enough buffer in my schedule, I figured that would enable me to still make it to my room by 10 or so, Vegas time.
I tried setting up the GPS, but it refused to work inside the parking garage where I picked up the car, so I left that for later and pulled away, drove a couple of miles down the road where there was a convenient place to pull over, and set it up there.
It came on, I entered the address of the Kinkos, then it shut off. And it kept shutting off, every time I turned it on. It simply DIDN’T WORK!
“OK,” I thought — “no big deal. I’ll call Kinkos and have the guy talk me in.”
The guy at Kinkos did a fantastic job. It’s a good thing. It turns out the Kinkos I was trying to find was about TEN MILES from my hotel!
I got my printing and figured there would be no problem finding my way back. I was staying on “The Strip” in the Tropicana, after all. That hotel and the strip stand out like beacons in the night.
Apparently, Vegas has grown a LOT since I was last there. I couldn’s see the strip ANYWHERE! I drove and drove and drove, assuming I was backtracking to where I’d started — but still no sight of the world-famous strip. It was dark and I SHOULD be able to see it — but all that stretched before me was…city. And darkness.
Then I turned around and noticed — the strip! MILES and MILES BEHIND ME!
I drove and drove and drove the OTHER direction. No strip in site. But — there it was — MILES and MILES BEHIND ME — in the OTHER direction.
Finally, I found an Interstate that cuts through Vegas, got on it and followed the signs to Las Vegas, then saw the strip, got off on the right exit and finally found my hotel.
It was now 9 p.m. Vegas time. Midnight east-coast time.
I eagerly pulled up to the hotel door, beat, hungry and anxious to end this odyssey. The place was JUMPIN’. I pulled up to a doorman and asked where I can park my car to check in. He informed me that valet was full and I would have to “self-park” in the garage. I told him I was checking in as a hotel guest and he said “self park.”
Huh? Why are their DOOR MEN who won’t help hotel guests check in?
Oh well — off to the parking garage, where every spot was filled. I finally found a spot after 20 minutes of driving around in circles — clear at the back of the lot.
I rolled all my bags to the front door, completely drained, eager to finally get to my room. BOTH doormen simply stared at me as I dragged my bags up the STAIRS (no ramp), opened the heavy glass doors myself (no spare hands) and made my way to the check-in desk.
To wait in a LONG line.
By the time I got to my room I was WIPED OUT. It was 9:45 Vegas time. Amazing. Still not TERRIBLE. If I hurried, I could get downstairs and still grab some eats before everything closes.
Did I mention my room was in the second Tropicana tower? This is the one that’s as FAR AWAY from the check-in desk as you can be — across a walkway that’s a good, brisk five- ten-minute walk?
I hustled across the walkway back to where the food was, figuring at last I would get some food. I’d already decided I would probably forgo any playing for the night and just eat and get right to bed.
Money lost for the casino, but money still in MY pocket — never a bad thing.
Then, I realized I’d left my wallet in my room. And I had no roomkey! You know, these days, it’s virtually impossible to get a replacement room key without an ID, which was in my wallet — so my only hope was to find the guy who checked me in.
Back to the front desk. There, the nice gentleman (he really was patient with me and a nice man), made me a new key.
I trudged all the way back, thankful that, at least my bags were now safely in my room and I didn’t have to keep pulling them around behind me as well.
The key didn’t work.
Back to the front desk. The nice guy who made the key the first time couldn’t believe it didn’t work, but made me TWO MORE. We both agreed that should fix the problem.
I trudged all the way back. NEITHER KEY WORKED.
Now — I don’t heat up easy but, when I do, watch out! By now it was approaching 2:30 a.m. east-coast time. I wanted to talk to a manager and boy, did I! Loudly! I told him I couldn’t figure out why on earth his hotel, with doormen who won’t help a guest with the doors, and bellmen who won’t help with bags, can’t at least produce a room key that works. I demanded that someone go WITH me to my room this time, to retrieve new keys if this set didn’t work.
He told me to calm down, and promised to send security to meet me. He MIGHT have apologized, but I don’t recall ever hearing an apology from him.
I waited 20 minutes for security. No show. I called on the house phone, to be told there was a “medical emergency” that took precedence but they were on their way shortly. I could understand that — but a hotel of this size with only ONE security guard? That was something was having a hard time swallowing.
Finally, the security guy arrived. He tried the door handle. Then he tried my two keys, which still didn’t work. Finally, he tried his “house key” (the one that can open any door in the hotel). The lock reluctantly slid open, but he noted it “made a funny sound” when it did.
Unfortunately, it seems the swing-lock INSIDE THE ROOM had somehow flipped OVER the lock, securing the door from the inside.
I STILL couldn’t get in.
That meant another half-hour, waiting for an engineer to come up, pry the swing-lock off the door with a special tool, open the door, install a new swing-lock and replace the batteries in the door lock.
Finally, I was able to eat. It was about 12:30. Vegas time. 3:30 a.m. east-coast. And the only place to get food in this hotel at that time of day was a coffee shop that was open all night.
Nowhere along this horrible chain of events was I ever offered anything as compensation for my bad experience. It’s Vegas. I’m sure that manager could easily have comped me a buffet, a night’s stay, some free play in the casino. SOMETHING.
But, nothing was offered.
All I was left with was exhaustion and a bad feeling about The Tropicana that won’t soon go away. With the simple flip of a comp or two, that manager could have turned the situation around completely. But he let the opportunity slide right on by him.
I hope they don’t wonder why the venerable Trop is having a problem competing with the newer, bigger, brighter casinos and hotels popping up all over Vegas.
It’s all about ATTITUDE. Mistakes will happen. You’ll make them. I make them. This situation was actually partially my fault to begin with. I should have gone back and got a replacement GPS. I locked myself out of my own room to start the whole mess.
But — I tried to brush those off and keep on pushing forward, maintaining my usual good humor, tired though I was, through it all — until the replacement keys didn’t work.
Meanwhile, they made the incident with the keys ten times worse than it was — and it was honestly pretty bad.
Plan now for something you can hold back, in reserve, for just such an occasion when you come up against a customer who has somehow not received your very best.
If you have employees, empower them to make the decision when that special gift should be given and how big it should be. Trust them and they will keep more customers for you than you can imagine.
As for the Tropicana social networking took over. I went on to tell this story, onstage, at the seminar I was attending … IN THE TROPICANA! And, now I told you here. This will go on the Web in Internet Marketing Newswatch and elsewhere.
And it will spread. Before it’s all over, thousands of people will know about my little key incident in Vegas at the Tropicana. Where do you think anyone who has heard this story will decide to stay in Vegas next time they’re there? If you’re thinking “anywhere but the Trop,” you’d be correct.
The seminar was FANTASTIC, by the way. Superb in every way. But, I’m betting the Trop lost that event next year, too.
I wish I had a gift for you this week — heck, I was hoping to have this all up on my new blog I’m setting up by now…but I’ll make up for it next week, when the entire issue will be posted on my blog. And I’ll throw in TWO gifts.
See you next week.
Alan R. Bechtold
BBS Press Service, Inc.
*IMNewswatch would like to thank Alan Bechtold for granting permission to reprint the latest ‘EWealth Report’..
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