Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee
kevin_standlee

Two Fire Tales

Just before I was ready to post the previous entry, the fire alarm sounded at the Tonopah Station Hotel. I grabbed my computer, Lisa grabbed travelswithkuma, and we headed for the exit stairs. Because of the cold outside, we went out to the minivan and Lisa started it in order to get some heat going. After a few minutes, the front desk clerk came outside and gave us the all-clear. (The cause appears to have been traced to a party being held downstairs, but it was not a fire.) The clerk told us that we were one of only two couples to actually obey the alarm and evacuate the hotel. We told her that we've been to many hotels and that this was not our first evacuation. It only takes one time that the alarm is real to make you regret for the rest of your life (which might be a very short time) not obeying it.

After the all-clear, we went back to the room and I put my computer back, and then we walked next door to Scolari's grocery store intending to get some light snacks for dinner, inasmuch as we were still pretty well fed from brunch. This was about 8 PM, and Scolari's closes at 9 here in Tonopah. The north door would not open. It is not unusual for some stores to disable one of their automatic doors in the evening. Lisa, however, noticed that they hadn't just turned off the electric door; they had bolted it shut, which is a blatant fire code violation.

We went inside the other door and asked for a manager. Lisa politely but firmly told her what she'd observed and told her that because of that disregard for customer safety, we were not going to be shopping here. The manager looked fairly blankly at us. I don't think she understood why what she was doing was wrong. I doubt she'd ever read that sign over the door ("This door to remain unlocked during business hours") or if she had, she just didn't care. Instead of buying groceries from them, we went to the hotel restaurant and had dinner there, then went and played slots. (Lisa won slightly more than $2, which helps offset some of our Vegas losses.)

I have submitted a complaint to Scolari's corporate web site and a comment to the Tonopah Valley Fire Department. I'm concerned that we're going to have to see someone get killed because they couldn't get out a lighted fire exit locked by a lazy manager before people remember that fire codes are there for a reason. We're much happier with the hotel staff, who were as horrified with our story of the paint cans in the fire escapes in Albuquerque as we were. Obviously, the Tonopah Station gets it, while their next door neighbor does not.
Tags: hotels, kuma bear, lisa, tonopah
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