Stranded in Lake Tahoe Blizzard

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Aug 28, 2015
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I am not sure how I feel about this yet so I wanted to feel out the Brain Trust. I've been stranded since Monday in the Ritz Carlton Lake Tahoe due to a major blizzard. We just got power back on after 24 hrs. The staff has been amazing. I have absolutely no complaints and everyone has done the best they can under the circumstances. Of course due to the power outage, certain services are impossible. The hotel went through about 3 generators and staff had had to stay overnight. We drove here from San Francisco on Sat planning to leave Monday.
I'm still not sure how I feel about the room rate remaining the same. There has been literally no way to leave and I have extended the room each day upon learning we have no choice due to circumstances completely beyond RC control. Any thoughts?
 
Aug 31, 2015
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Don't turn around . . . .
they should 'amend' the room rate given the lack of power - without power - no amenities.

I have an idea- how about you offer to pay their bill - and they give a freebie the next time you come for the same number of nights . . . might be easier than arguing over the relative 'value' of electricity -

Is there heat? Or does the lack of power preclude that? Sitting in a 45F room at a luxury resort certainly kills the good juju. . . .

Any other local hotels with power that might cost less than $600 a night?

Given Donner Pass right now - you're not likely to get out there until Sat . . .
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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Lucky you, actually! We were snowed in 3 days at an InterContinental in Berchtesgaden (Hitler's Eagles Nest) and loved it .. but the cost of meals nearly bankrupted us. I'm used to comp breakfast at Hilton, didn't ask and nearly fainted when IC charged us $50 EACH for our (seriously wonderful) breakfasts. We were able to slither down the mountain the second day and buy some really nice cheap German wine, thank goodness, and were never without power. I had booked on points and it didn't occur to me to ask for some of them back. So I am very interested to read what everyone thinks about this.

The few people I've told about our little escapade at the Paris Orly Hilton with Dan's hip last year have all said the same thing: Hilton should have comped the room. They did extend our res for 5 nights at the weekend rate, so that saved me a great deal of money.

Being without power for 24 hours would see me offering to pay 50% of that night's rate, and at least one comp dinner; otherwise, I dunno. It was gorgeous here today, so you probably got out ... safe travels!
 
Nov 14, 2016
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I am not sure how I feel about this yet so I wanted to feel out the Brain Trust. I've been stranded since Monday in the Ritz Carlton Lake Tahoe due to a major blizzard. We just got power back on after 24 hrs. The staff has been amazing. I have absolutely no complaints and everyone has done the best they can under the circumstances. Of course due to the power outage, certain services are impossible. The hotel went through about 3 generators and staff had had to stay overnight. We drove here from San Francisco on Sat planning to leave Monday.
I'm still not sure how I feel about the room rate remaining the same. There has been literally no way to leave and I have extended the room each day upon learning we have no choice due to circumstances completely beyond RC control. Any thoughts?
Well, I have one question and two thoughts:

1. If they were running generators, did you have NO power? No heat? No hot water? What services were unavailable?

2. As you said, this is a freak of nature and the "staff has been amazing". I'm not inclined to ask for money off or extra services when someone is busting their butt over and above expectations. The fact that you can't leave because there's a blizzard is not their fault nor is it their responsibility. I think asking for something here feels more than a little greedy unless you've had no heat, hot water or other very basic services.

3. Actually, you're fortunate that the room rate remained the same. I have heard of tales where the hotel jacked up the room rates when everyone got snowed in knowing they had a captive audience that couldn't go anywhere. Now that's a crappy thing to do.
 
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Feb 9, 2016
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@Kahhss freak of nature?

Not a chance.

This is how winter used to be here in Calif. every 4-6 winters. It's normal.
yep. you go from DROUGHT and "if it's yellow, let it be mellow. if it's brown, flush it down" to feeling as if you now understood what the Donner party enndured.

Naked snow angels anyone? I hear they're the original cryotherapy!
 
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Nov 14, 2016
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@Kahhss freak of nature?

Not a chance.

This is how winter used to be here in Calif. every 4-6 winters. It's normal.
A snowstorm that causes 9 feet of snow in 3 days is a freak of nature. It ain't normal, even in the Sierras. Also, something occurring every "4 to 6" winters isn't normal. One out of 5 isn't normal, it's an exception. In fact, we're talking 1 week out of 260 over those 5 years. That's quite unusual.

Regardless, even if it were something that occurred somewhat regularly it still doesn't address any of the points I made in my post above. AAGK is lucky she's being treated so well.
 
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Aug 31, 2015
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Don't turn around . . . .
We get 18" of rain on average here in my part of the LA Basin every year.

But that's because you take 30 years of rainfall and divide by 30.

What happens in the real world is that you get 12" of rain for 4 years and then 42" in the fifth year, deluging everyone. So you technically have 4 years of drought.

That's what passes for normal in California
 
Aug 28, 2015
3,729
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New York
they should 'amend' the room rate given the lack of power - without power - no amenities.

I have an idea- how about you offer to pay their bill - and they give a freebie the next time you come for the same number of nights . . . might be easier than arguing over the relative 'value' of electricity -

Is there heat? Or does the lack of power preclude that? Sitting in a 45F room at a luxury resort certainly kills the good juju. . . .

Any other local hotels with power that might cost less than $600 a night?

Given Donner Pass right now - you're not likely to get out there until Sat . . .

Donner pass open - travel not recommended unless absolutely necessary - 30mph limit - chains required - dunno if you can get from Tahoe to i-80 but you can leave if you want - and have chains.

http://www.localconditions.com/weather-donner-pass-i80-california/96162/traffic.php
Thank you all for the replies. Joe, you nailed the issue. We didn't have the right car and considered getting chains but we didn't want to drive 30 mi/hour and the roads towards San Fran were closed. Also, the hill we are on was closed and they had the staff sleepover. There was no power for 24 hours. While we had the room, there was no TV, internet, spa closed, no phone, no heat, no food but they served breakfast and lunch downstairs for free buffet style. The bar was open and they charged our cell phones. They went through the generators and the power was restored a couple of hours after the last generator failed. We had water.

It wasn't that bad but there wasn't any discount offered. I had a conversation with the manager about the room rate. He offered to move us into a much smaller room for $349, a slight discount for that level, but at that point I was comfortable in my room and didn't want to move in the dark so I told him I would stay put. He didn't offer any reduced rate on this room. I like the idea of asking the hotel for a free night or two at another property to use within the year, or maybe removing some of the room service charges since we had no other food options. I definitely don't want to get into a debate with them about the value lost, but I do think something is owed. If they want to do a discount across the whole bill then that would work too. There weren't even cabs available to go to Walgreens or something for some necessities and they charged us for extra toothpaste. It seems the staff has done their best but I'm not sure anyone here is in a position to make any revenue decisions. I will give RC a call when we leave and if that fails, send a letter. They don't really have a great points system so only a massive gift of points would get me future night free. Im starting to feel more strongly that the night without power should be comped.
 

johnbaker

Verified Member
Oct 2, 2014
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If it was me, I'd start by asking the manager for a "do over" with a number of free nights equal to the number of nights you had with out amenities. When he says no, try for the equivalent in Marriott points.

I'd reach out to Marriott next and finally a chargeback (if you're willing to never stay there again if you get banned)
 
Aug 29, 2015
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There was no power for 24 hours. While we had the room, there was no TV, internet, spa closed, no phone, no heat, no food but they served breakfast and lunch downstairs for free buffet style. The bar was open and they charged our cell phones. They went through the generators and the power was restored a couple of hours after the last generator failed. We had water.

Im starting to feel more strongly that the night without power should be comped.
I think a reasonable person would agree that with no TV, internet, phone or heat, they did not provide theexperience expected, particularly considering you were unable to leave.
 
Nov 14, 2016
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Thank you all for the replies. Joe, you nailed the issue. We didn't have the right car and considered getting chains but we didn't want to drive 30 mi/hour and the roads towards San Fran were closed. Also, the hill we are on was closed and they had the staff sleepover. There was no power for 24 hours. While we had the room, there was no TV, internet, spa closed, no phone, no heat, no food but they served breakfast and lunch downstairs for free buffet style. The bar was open and they charged our cell phones. They went through the generators and the power was restored a couple of hours after the last generator failed. We had water.

It wasn't that bad but there wasn't any discount offered. I had a conversation with the manager about the room rate. He offered to move us into a much smaller room for $349, a slight discount for that level, but at that point I was comfortable in my room and didn't want to move in the dark so I told him I would stay put. He didn't offer any reduced rate on this room. I like the idea of asking the hotel for a free night or two at another property to use within the year, or maybe removing some of the room service charges since we had no other food options. I definitely don't want to get into a debate with them about the value lost, but I do think something is owed. If they want to do a discount across the whole bill then that would work too. There weren't even cabs available to go to Walgreens or something for some necessities and they charged us for extra toothpaste. It seems the staff has done their best but I'm not sure anyone here is in a position to make any revenue decisions. I will give RC a call when we leave and if that fails, send a letter. They don't really have a great points system so only a massive gift of points would get me future night free. Im starting to feel more strongly that the night without power should be comped.
The hotel sounds like they did everything they could to keep you company with an extended power outage due to no fault of their own. They fed you for free. You chose to "extend your stay" knowing the conditions. They could have raised the rates. They could have closed the property. They didn't do any of those things. You got lucky.

While they could have given you toiletries they would have probably run out leaving some people without them leading to more complaints. I don't see where the power outage, road closures or that "cabs weren't available to go to Walgreens" is any of their responsibility. You mention the "room service" charges but you also said they had a buffet set up for free. Did they charge you for room service for the buffet?

I'm of the mindset that the hotel did all they could within their power due to an exceptionally unusual weather event and you aren't really owed anything. I wonder how people would feel asking for "compensation" if the blizzard had caused an avalanche that killed a dozen people in a nearby valley. I bet the tone would change quite quickly from "you're owed something" to "thank goodness you were safe and unhurt in the hotel".

Good luck with your request.
 
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Jan 11, 2017
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I am wondering. The forecast of this blizzard was all over on Californian media last week - with travel warnings. How did you plan to drive back on Monday? With no adecvate car/snow chain? Have you tried to cancel/change your reservation before Saturday?
 

mmb

Verified Member
Jan 20, 2015
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I'm w/@Kahhss on this. If 'weather' lets the airline off the hook totally, what changes if the service provider is a hotel?
Not their fault either. Act of God.
Seems like they kept you safe and fed which is all anyone should ask in these cases. Yeah, bummer vacation.
 
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