Action alert

We don’t watch TV, so I have no idea how long this monstrosity has been out, but Wyndham Hotels has released a Microtel commercial attacking a mom-and-pop business on Route 66. It’s not in Tulsa, but it’s an indie business, it’s an important piece of American history, and it deserves better than to be attacked by a multinational corporation with a kazillion-dollar advertising budget.

In the commercial, an announcer makes some snarky comment about how “with some hotels, you never know what you’ll get” while images of mom-and-pop motels run in the background. I wasn’t able to identify the first property shown in the commercial, but the second was so iconic it was impossible to miss: the Wigwam Motel on Route 66 in Holbrook, Ariz.

Got that? A multinational corporation which by its own admission has over 7,000 properties apparently feels so threatened by one tiny mom-and-pop motel that it has to attack it on national TV.

Wyndham is right about one thing: You never know what you’ll get with mom-and-pop motels — and that’s the point. I travel to faraway places to have experiences I can’t have at home.

I like to sleep in concrete tepees. I like to cool off in a Texas-shaped pool. I like to bask in the soft blue glow of neon swallows under the high desert air. I like to listen to the quiet whir of a box fan in the window of an asphalt-shingled cabin in the Pennsylvania mountains. I like to unwind in vintage travel trailers. I like to listen to trains clatter past in the Arizona night as I fall asleep imagining the ghosts of long-ago Harvey Girls whispering in the corridors outside my room. I like to imagine Clark Gable’s bare feet touching the same honeycomb tile I stand on as I shower. And when personal tragedy forces me onto the road unexpectedly, I like to draw comfort from the compassionate hug that greets me at the door of a favorite haunt as the owner assures me that I am not alone, but that I travel with her thoughts and prayers.

I like all those things, and I regard all those places and their owners as friends.

I don’t take kindly to bullies picking on my friends. I’m guessing my readers don’t, either, which is why I am asking all of you for a favor: Watch the commercial, if you haven’t seen it yet, and then take a few minutes to write Wyndham a little note explaining that you will not be staying in any of its affiliate hotels — Wyndham, Tryp, Wingate, Hawthorn, Microtel, Dream, Planet Hollywood, Ramada, Baymont, Days Inn, Super 8, Howard Johnson, Travelodge, Knights Inn, or Night Hotel New York — until it withdraws this unethical and dishonest ad and replaces it with a nationally televised commercial promoting the Wigwams and formally apologizing for its lapse of ethics in falsely implying that they are undesirable. If that motel shown at the beginning of the commercial is still going, Wyndham owes it an apology and some free advertising, too. (Anybody recognize it? I’m dying to throw it a little business.)

Click here for Wyndham’s e-mail contact form. If you’d rather send snail mail, you can send it to Wyndham Hotel Group, P.O. Box 5090, Aberdeen, SD 57401. Or, if you prefer, you can simply call Wyndham at (800) 468-8737 or (605) 229-8737.

When you finish, please share this with anyone else who might be willing to do the same.

Thanks in advance for your support. This really has me hopping mad.


~ by redforkhippie on July 13, 2012.

3 Responses to “Action alert”

  1. I remember seeing the wigwam motel in a PBS special not too long ago. I wonder if the huge hotel chain paid the smaller motel to use their image?

    If they didn’t pay them, they’re asking for a lawsuit. If they were paid, good for the wigwam place. An ad like you describe would not make me avoid the wigwam, it would call my attention to it, and I’d be curious. But that’s just me maybe.

    • They didn’t pay them, and they didn’t have permission to use their image. If I owned the Wigwams, my lawyer would already have Wyndham by the jugular. I’m amazed by the stupidity. Corporations usually vet their stuff better than that to avoid liability.

  2. We stayed at the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, AZ, in the second half of September 2012 on a trip back from Phoenix. They were repainting the teepees, and we were in the last one to be repainted (i.e. they were scraping off the old paint). My little boys were thrilled to be in such a unique room, and that was their favorite motel we stayed in. I loved the sense of history, and the connection to generations of previous travelers. This motel is one of only two remaining wigwam motels in the country. Our trip on Route 66 from Phoenix to Tulsa was a great adventure, and certainly less expensive than staying in a Wyndham or a Ramada!

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