Monday, June 2, 2008

North Star No-No

If ever I heard negative music in my ears it would be the band playing the soundtrack of my life as I exited the North Star Lodge/Inn in Killington, Vermont this past Sunday after encountering the worst case of discrimination I have ever experienced. It was even worse than the time I was followed around JC Penney for potential shoplifting as I was dressed in my hippie patchwork with messy hair. Of course for kicks I went back the next day dressed in a business suit and hair in a bun and was asked if I could be helped four different times.

I could do that because I lived very close to the mall at that time. Killington, however, is a good two hours away from Charlotte - as I learned loud and clear Sunday to the sounds of rudeness, sarcasm, and disrespect. I am not sure what combination of instruments makes those sounds - perhaps an out-of-tune bassoon, piercing trumpet, and an organ stuck up the wrong pipe?

I drove down the the North Star Lodge with gas at $4 a gallon because I "won" a weekend getaway, dinner for two, and a $1000 online shopping spree at the Essex Craft & Fine Art Show a few weeks ago. Of course being called out of all the entrants seemed fishy to me since I never win anything. It made sense when they asked my income, marital status, and age and said I could only redeem my winnings after taking a 90 minute tour of the North Star Lodge in Killington. Ah-ha - a timeshare scam! I knew what it was and was willing to go as having just moved, I am in need of lots of stuff and I figured the hotel would come in handy on moe. tour. I also couldn't imagine a Vermont lodging property would stoop so low to engage in something that horrible.

I was wrong. I fully admit it.
1.) I believed in the good of marketing as I operate on the ethical, fair, and honest side of marketing with my Vermont public relations firm, Rachel Carter PR. Guess it's too much to ask that of others.
2.) I was also running late as I don't usually trek down to Killington and I was courteous and called when I was close to the intersection of 100 and 4 - where the Killington Access Road is to let them know I would be there shortly.
3.) I believe that people are generally nice and that those in customer service after all the horror stories out there are now a bit more trained to not judge a book by its cover and to be polite and courteous. Not at the North Star Lodge in Killington. The staff and service are of the worst kind.

When my sweet drummer lover Mitch and I walked in we were given the once over (it is not my fault we are Vermont rock stars), told we were too late for the tour and rudely asked to leave - that nothing could be done.
They did not care that we drove miles and miles.
They did not care that gas costs $4 a gallon.
They did not care that we are human beings.
I tell you my friends, they did not give a damn!

Had we looked like we just stepped out of a Jersey SUV you can bet your tail feathers we would have got our tour. And, from what I hear, the crappy gimic prizes. The worst part of the whole North Star Lodge experience was how completely nasty they were to us - I honestly can't remember the last time I was spoken to in such a fashion.

So, instead of driving down to Killington, reporting on the North Star Lodge as a potential place to stay to see Vermont music (never mind skiing in the winter), and sharing Killington area music events, I come back disheartened, saddened, and just plain mad that this nonsense still goes on. To the North Star Lodge I say - knock it off you jerks - Vermonters need all the tourism dollars we can get!

And, not to let Killington area music suffer from their neighbor's lack of respect, class, and ability to understand that ex-Phish heads now own their own businesses, I will share two interesting Killington area music events I did find out about - after stopping at some nice country stores on the way home where we were welcomed like the good folk we are.

The 26th Anniversary Killington Music Festival -
Presents summer contemporary and classical concerts by the Vermont Festival Players, the Young Artist Concert Series at Rams Head Lodge in Killington and at Trinity Church in Rutland, and the Music in the Mountains Concert Series at Killington Resort's Rams Head Base Lodge. Performances are Saturdays at 7pm, June 28 through August 9.

Killington Wine Festival - July 17, 2008
7th Annual Killington Wine Festival: Sample hundreds of wines from around the world. Events include wine tasting, educational seminars, live music and a gala wine dinner.

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