First, let me just rewind a tad. So Alexis, my girlfriend if you haven't read any of my previous posts, and I are planning on going to Portland, OR at the end of August of this year (2014). With that being said, we needed to find a hotel or motel to stay in. So like most people, we Googled "Portland" and "hotel," and as you'd expect, a giant list of hotels and motels populated on the site. Now as you might have figured, we would need a wheelchair accessible hotel room. I mean, between the extra maneuverability space I need, and larger bathroom, a "normal" room just wouldn't cut it. So with the list of hotels in front of me, I called the first hotel on my list.
The Palms Motel. The phone rings a couple times, and someone on the other end answers. I tell them the usual, "I'm looking to make reservations on 'such and such' days..." and then I tell them I need an accessible room. He then said "what?" I repeated myself, but this time I said "wheelchair accessible room." Then do you know what this guy said? "What's that?" Now mind you, I was making these calls on speaker phone while sitting next to Alexis. I just started laughing to myself. Are you fucking kidding me? In this day and age, and somebody doesn't know what "wheelchair accessible" is? Not only that, a motel doesn't know what "wheelchair accessible" means? After the person said that to me, I told them that I was going to find a different hotel. I'm still blown away by this call. Wow.
The next place on my list, the Monticello Motel. After Alexis and I calmed down from laughing at how ridiculous the last place was, I called. After the usual opening hotel spiel, I mentioned "accessible." This person actually just cut me off each time I mentioned the word. I said "I need an accessible room," and he said "that is room is going to cost..." I then said it again, and he said "what type of credit card are you going to use?" I said it once more, and he said "Visa or MasterCard?" I just hung up after that. Really? You're just going to totally act like you didn't hear what I said? Yeah, I'll pass on staying at the Monticello. Maybe next time. Actually, maybe not.
Place number 3, Econo Lodge Expo Center. Seeing that I've heard of the Econo Lodge chain before, I had high hopes for this one. As you'd expect, I was wrong. Everything went fine at first actually. They said they had wheelchair accessible rooms and everything. So then I asked the lady I was speaking to, what makes their accessible rooms "accessible." Then she said, and quote, "we have a chair in the bath tub." I asked her again just to make sure sure she heard what I had asked, and that was the same answer I got. I couldn't believe it. I told her that that didn't make their rooms accessible, and then quickly thanked her and told her I would look somewhere else that had actual wheelchair accessible rooms.
So now for the WORSE of the hotels that I called about accessible rooms. The "worst of" trophy goes to the Viking Motel. Now to be honest, by this point I wasn't expecting much. And by the name and look of this place, I really wasn't expecting much. But what was so amazing, and I mean that it the shocking / caught-off-guard way, was what the man that answered the phone when I called had to say. Like I've said before, I gave the usual speech, and everything seemed like this place might actually work out. The man said they had wheelchair accessible rooms and the price was decent. But just like the last location, I asked what exactly their wheelchair accessible rooms were. Now this is what was crazy. And just to reiterate, I'm not bullshitting when I say that this is what the guy said. He literally said in response to my question "our accessible rooms have a mini fridge and a microwave." Yes, you read that right. A damn mini fridge and microwave! Can you believe this shit?!? On what planet does this make sense. "Excuse me sir, I'm in a wheelchair, but if I had a fridge and a microwave my room would be instantly totally accessible." Seriously?!? On top of all of that, as soon as the guy said that, Alexis and I busted out laughing in the background. I just couldn't believe it. How does that work? I just told him that that wouldn't work and then hung up. We then laughed for about 10 more minutes. Thank you Viking Motel for giving me a moment I'll never forget.
After all of these duds, in terms of finding a place, we eventually did find a Motel 6. The room, accessibly features, and everything else turned out great. So now Alexis and I have figured out how and where we're staying in the PDX. I just can't get over the fact at how difficult it was to find a place that was accommodating. First off, every place should have some type of accessible rooms, or at least strive to make sure that they are woking towards creating them. Why in the hell would you cut yourself off from a segment of customers? This is basically what places are doing by not having the appropriate spaces. Secondly, these places have got to read a damn book! Find out what accessible means. Talk to some differently-abled people about what they look for in hotels and motels. We're in 2014, and your idea of accommodating is having a plastic chair in the tub?!? Wow. So please, if anyone reading this is differently-abled, and just so you know, technically EVERYONE is differently-able if you think about it, so that includes you, stay away from these places I had to put on blast. Especially that Viking Hotel. A refrigerator and microwave makes a room wheelchair accessible?!? Cripple Please!