Monday, July 28, 2014

Why it's so hard to find a newspaper at your hotel

It's always annoying to me when a hotel PR person showing me around a property says with obvious pride, "We don't have any newspapers here because we try to be green."

It apparently doesn't occur to that person that newspapers and magazines are what pay for the food I eat and the roof over my head. Not that it would matter. Although I am always thrilled to find a USA Today -- or any other paper -- outside my hotel room door or in the lobby, that tradition is fading. And it's not just about being green.

Housekeeping staffs just hate newspapers. Fewer people read them these days, so some just sit outside hotel rooms until the staff picks them up. The people who do read them tend to disembowel them and leave them scattered across the room. What should be done with them? Throw them away or put them back together neatly (time-consuming and annoying) and leave them for the guest? Newspapers also trash up lobbies pretty effectively. Finally, there's the expense of getting them. Hotels sometimes try to pass that cost on to guests, but it makes us mad, especially if we aren't told about it in advance.

So: Newspapers are going away. A few hotels substitute a small iPad on which we're told we can not only read the day's news, but also order room service. Meh, I can do without that. I have a phone and a tablet of my own, which I'd rather use than theirs. What I like best, though, is a nice, big, ink-and-paper newspaper to spread out and read while I drink my room coffee, assuming there's room coffee -- but that's a subject to whine about another day.

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