A discussion has begun in the Route 66 Yahoo group concerning businesses along the Route that are closed certain days of the week. I was particularly disturbed by someone who said he was "disgusted" by finding a specific restaurant closed on a Sunday when he was passing through a town in Illinois. I usually try to stay out of controversial subjects in the group, but I had to add my two cents to this one. I realize that many travelers have only one chance to visit a place along their vacation route, and believe me, it breaks my heart when I hear, after the fact, that someone was at Afton Station on one of the days I was closed. But there are countless reasons why a business can't be open every day of the week, and I can sympathize with all of them. In my case, it's my health issue that keeps me away from the Station on Mon., Wed., and Fri., and if anyone thinks I wouldn't rather be there greeting guests than to be lying in a dialysis chair on those days, they're very, very, very wrong! If I was able to afford paid help, I'd gladly hire someone on those days, but since Afton Station doesn't even make enough money to pay the heat and light bills, that's not an option. (The purpose isn't to make money, anyway.) I have some great volunteers, but they can't be there very often, since it's a long drive for any one of them to get to Afton.
Other business owners have their own reasons for not being open 7 days a week. For the most part, we are small mom 'n pop businesses which do not have unlimited funds or unlimited employees. Some folks would like to take a day off just to rest! Others are closed on Sundays for religious reasons. Those are both valid reasons. Those business owners who are trying to make a profit may close one day a week (often Monday) because they know that the reduced number of customers on that day make it unprofitable to stay open. Another valid point.
Anyway, I just wanted to get that off my chest. For those of you who have stopped at Afton Station when the CLOSED sign is up, I apologize profusely. Please know that I'm no happier about that situation than you are. And, I'll see you next time!
I don't disagree with a word you've said except for a slight misunderstanding of who said what. The word "disgust" was not used by the fellow who found the restaurant closed but by someone replying to his report. The actual visitor was, understandably, "disappointed". The reply was from someone who, in his four or five days in the group, seems intend on over seasoning and stirring the pot. The only good thing he's done is give you an opportunity to say some things that deserve being said.
You're right, Denny. I confess that I compressed the story so as not to cause confusion to the readers who aren't familiar with the EGroup. I just wanted to get the point across. But I definitely know that our friend who found the restaurant closed wasn't the one who used the word "disgust". As for that other guy, I don't know who put the burr up his butt! Thanks for keeping me honest.
I would never be angry if a place was closed--I understand reality. Disappointed, yes. Angry or disgusted, no.
i agree that i've been 'disapointed' that places have been closed on our Route 66 trips. Because you don't want to miss ANYTHING and you can't 'go back' to see them the next day - because you've already gone on. It's also hard as some places are closed on different days .... we found (but that is only because we know many of the people now) that we can ring and they will often come in and open if they can.
the only time i was disgusted with a place on Route 66 when we had the door closed in our face - the place closed at 4 - and we got there about 4.05 - there was still a resturant FULL of people - but they wouldn't open the door - we even tried the back door just to say we didn't want to eat - we just wanted to have a quick look around - but they closed the door and wouldn't 'look' at us through the front window - that was not a nice experience at all
I can understand being disappointed that someplace was closed, especially a well-known Route 66 icon like The Cozy Dog.
But, if that's the worst thing to happen to one on one's journey, then.....
On my trip through Afton last year, I was one of those to show up on your doorstep only to find that you were closed. However, that's the way the cookie crumbles. I didn't do much research last year, and even if I had, I wouldn't have been through there during the hours that you were open. My trip just didn't work out that way. Sure I was bummed, but I understand that such places can't be open 24/7...or at least when I happen to be driving through town.
This year I've paid careful attention to the days and hours of service of the places that I REALLY want to visit so hopefully I won't miss out on much, but I know it's bound to happen. However; as many others have said, it just gives me a reason to come back :) !!!
Somewhat on the same topic, I do have one question/observation... why do most national or state museums and such have to close at 5pm? I've been sent to Washington DC and Oklahoma City a few times now for training, and I'm never able to hit any of the museums because they are open normal business hours. Do they mainly just cater to out-of-town guests who are there on "vacation" and not working? Because most locals work the same hours that they are open. Or are locals more likely to visit on the weekends? But aren't most of these places staffed by volunteers anyway? If so, wouldn't it make sense to be open in the evenings where people who do volunteer could do it on the hours that they aren't working which seem to be the main hours that the museums are open? It just makes sense to me that they would stay open until 6 or 7 so people could go after work???
I'll take this a little bit farther (aren't you lucky?). We have a historic area of town called Valley Junction that houses a lot of antique and specialty shops. They close every day during the week at 5 (except for Thursday when they close at 8). Why would they do that? I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to run down there and pick up a gift or something but I can't because they are closed by the time I get off work, so my business goes to the chain stores at one of the local malls. Wouldn't hours like 10-7 be more profitable?
Ok, I'm done rambling. My little head just gets so full sometimes...
I'm glad you put this out there. Many people in our overly selfish society don't stop to realize that small businesses can't operate like Wal-mart or Target. Your post was concise, but very clear.
For my part, I'm never angry finding a closed sign, disappointed but understanding. Anyone who has never been a business owner shouldn't be critical of those who do.
THE FIRST AMENDMENT, NOT POLITCIALLY CORRECT II
Thanks to all who understood and agreed with my take on business closures on Route 66. I appreciate all of you.
Kara - It's nice that I'll be seeing you on this year's trip, since I wasn't there last year.
Post a Comment