Sunday, June 30, 2013

Awesome Arizona - What Will You Do for Me, Xanterra?

A cute Southwestern lamp decorates the Maswik Lodge room nightstand.
Dear Xanterra,

You do a fine job running all the lodges, concessions, and restaurants at the Grand Canyon.  Your employees answer every question with a smile, service is excellent, the food is reasonably priced and reasonably good, and the beds are comfy.  David and I are impressed that you do all this so well while making every effort to have your guests conserve natural resources.

We know you're big on saving natural resources because there were signs everywhere telling us how to do that.  At every turn and in every corner was a reminder that the world's resources were in our hands.

And, believe me, we took that responsibility seriously.

You asked us to save energy and water by re-using our towels.  We hung them up every day.  But we just couldn't bring ourselves to follow your other request.  You wanted us to tell the housekeeping staff not to make our beds.  But, gosh, Xanterra, we were on vacation, after all.  We wanted one tiny luxury.  We thought maybe you were going a little too far on that one.

No lotion or shampoo found their way into our suitcases when we left.  And don't think that was because the shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and soap were mounted on the wall in dispensers.  We could've emptied some of that stuff into plastic bags if we'd wanted to.  If we'd been energy fools. Which we're not.

And when I needed a shower cap, you kindly gave me one at the front desk.  So what if I had to walk several hundred yards from our room in the Aspen building to the Maswik Lodge lobby to get it.  It was my energy I was expending, not the world's.  (You even let me keep the plastic shower cap.)

When we needed to make some notes, we didn't even look for the pen and note pad that weren't in our room.  We dug deep in the briefcase instead to fish out an old napkin to write on.  It worked just fine.
our table/desk

But our contributions didn't end there.  When we ate in the cafeteria, you asked us not to use a straw.  Wow, that was a tough one, and I've got to confess that David did better at that than I did.  But when I read the sign you posted on the table about the schoolbus being full of straws from one day's use, I tried to tough it out.

We're hoping the utility fee for the lights and air conditioning which we gave you every time we ate at Maswik Cafeteria helped compensate for my profligate straw use.  We didn't even know it was legal to charge an additional fee for lights we needed so we could see what we were eating, but, there you are.  The charge was on every receipt, so I guess you know what you're doing.  Sure surprised us though.  We just hope it helped make up for the two straws I used.

But, all in all, we felt pretty good about the energy we didn't use while we visited the Grand Canyon.  The only thing that bothered us was that you kept asking us to make sacrifices, but  y o u  never asked what you could do for us to help us conserve the world's resources, too, in our daily lives.

So, David and I tackled that issue and think we have an idea for you.  We'd like to see you lower the rate of the $176 plus tax room at the Maswik Lodge North, the rooms you say are refurbished. (Did you do more than add air conditioning 'cause the rooms are really pretty small and not luxurious at all and really look just like the rooms at the $97-a-night Maswik South?) We think you might want to consider lowering the price.

What would happen if you reduced the price to a far more reasonable and realistic $80 per night?  Think of the energy people could conserve by not having to work so hard to pay for their hotel room.  They could drive fewer miles, use far less gas, and spend lots less money on lattes and lunches to earn the dollars needed for a night at Maswik.

Truly, this idea could revolutionize the world, to say nothing of the hotel industry.  And just think about all those schoolbuses filled with extra cash!  Extra cash that represents untold quantities of saved natural resources.  Yep, we think it's an idea whose time has come.


Dru & David

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