No, it's not what you think. During my first two months as the Executive Director I have been staying at various properties for three to five nights as a way to 1) get to know a key element of what we are promoting, 2) meeting owners, general managers, and sales people for each property, and 3) learn the various different road systems and ways to get from one place to another.
All in all it has been a very enjoyable learning experience, but I must admit, constantly packing, unpacking and repacking does take its toll. And I'm sure I have left a trail of clothes from one lodging property to another.
I have stayed at 16 different accommodations from resorts like Skytop, to Great Wolf, The Resort at Split Rock, The Inn at Pocono Manor, Chateau Resort, Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort, and Fernwood Hotel & Resort. The country inns and bed and breakfasts included Hotel Fauchère, The Inn at Jim Thorpe, Stony Brook Inn, Mountaintop Lodge, Stroudsmoor Country Inn, and The Settlers Inn at Bingham Park. Other hotel properties included the Budget Inn & Suites (East Stroudsburg), Pocono Inne Town (Stroudsburg), and the Hampton Inn (Lehighton). Two things stand out that were common in all cases. The people working at the properties were extremely friendly and accommodating.
One night in Jim Thorpe I asked the lady working the front desk where I could go to do some laundry. After giving me directions she asked how much I needed done. When she learned it was only one medium size load, she directed me to the hotels' facilities and showed me how to operate their machines. Now that's customer service! Pete who owns and operates the Stony Brook Inn took me out to eat one night at a wonderful local Tai restaurant. I think it was more a matter that his wife (who really runs the place) was away on a holiday, than my exciting companionship that generated the offer, but whatever the reason it was a wonderful gesture. In each and every facility I really sensed that it was important to management that I as the customer was well taken care of. And if you really think about it, it doesn't get much better than that.
The other thing I noticed in all the places I stayed. No heart shaped tubs. Please understand I'm not knocking heart shaped tubs. But unfortunately, for way to long the heart shaped tubs have defined the Pocono Mountains. In reality we are so much more than that. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been invested in the tourism product in the past few years with even more in the line over the next few. Add to that what you'll see coming out of the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau with our "It's Time for the Pocono Mountains" advertising campaign and I'm very confident in predicting that the best is yet to come.
I'd like to hear what are some of the best places you've stayed in the Pocono Mountains and why?