Posted by: deadmousediaries | July 30, 2012

News from the Path Valley Hotel, Episode #25 – R & D Mission Accomplished

We’re back from our little fact-finding mission at several of the summer’s hottest tourist spots.  There were no rose-colored Ray-Bans for me on this trip as I took a good, hard look at the wrinkled underbelly of the hospitality industry –not as a consumer this time, but as a competitor.

The distinguishing factors in the market seem to be: amenities, view,  security, and proximity to other venues. The Path Valley Hotel has that all covered as you’ll see in the next post about the back of our travel brochure. Oddly, rates didn’t seem to be a defining issue anywhere where we weren’t afraid to spend a night which tells me we can probably bump our prices up from free.

On the issue of amenities, we  do offer several unusual perks but almost every place we queried boasted cable TV as an important part of their package. Here’s what I found when I man-surfed to gather my own data. (I man-surfed in the sense that I didn’t really care what was on TV, I only cared about what else was on.)

It appeared that my mantroller remote would allow me to zoom through 60-plus “stations” plus an HBO channel that rotated the same four out-of-date movies in different time slots throughout the day. The “stations” included two weather channels, three animal shows, five news broadcasts (one with real journalists), six home shopping networks, nine sitcom reruns, a cartoon network, and 27 reality shows. Of the reality shows, six began with the word “American” as in American Stuffers, American Pickers,  and American Clown Figurine Collectors.  Eight other channels ended with the word “Wars”: as in Storage Wars, Pawn Star Wars, and American Clown Figurine Collector Wars.  When you subtract the channels that were simply snow, the remaining 13 shows involved some type of dating display, including something called The Virgin Diaries which was just too intriguing not to pause upon. The results of this research? The Path Valley Hotel will continue to remain uplugged.

This trip also reaffirmed my need to let go of  concern about our lack of indoor plumbing options. At the beach, four people will be registered in a two-bed room where six people will actually stay. That will be complicated by the fact that beach-goers generally drink too much and over-eat a lot of spicy, greasy foods and it is all accommodated with just one bathroom. I have an entire house to offer here –with no neighbors and lots of trees.  (And you’ll remember I installed that second layer of shower curtain for extra security.) So, at the end of the day now,  there will be no more obsessing about the need to restore the outhouse.

The words safe and secure were also an important part of the advertising buzz.  Some establishments seemed to work harder than others to assuage any fears that there might be some low level drug deals or high level secret service scandals happening in the hotel ‘hood or possibly in the room next door.

Those seem to be non-issues for the Path Valley Hotel. When the leaves are on the trees, you can’t see the road  or a neighbor from the house and vice versa. To hold down our rates, we opted not to use the electronic key card system that has become the industry standard but I did put up a small sign on the door that reads: “Premises protected by a brown recluse. (Seriously. Please be careful. We already squashed one but a second one got away before we could stomp him.)”

For added peace of mind, all guests are issued a little bell and a motion detector to hang on their doors.  When the budget loosens up, they will each get one of those door knob security sticks from K-Mart. (In truth, most guests disable the motion detectors after the first night. When you try to sleep in a cabin, sometimes you just don’t want to know there are things sharing your room after dark.)

For all of us here, the Path Valley Hotel has become and important stop along the road less travelled. We’ll keep you posted on our updates (but we won’t give you directions!).

2012 Mitchell Kyd



  1. R&D is very important! You crack me up! Thanks for making me smile this morning!!

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