The owner of this establishment spent the last twenty minutes of my stay here yelling at me in the lobby in front of other guests (some of them kids). Let me back up a bit. When making my reservation I spoke with an employee who told me that the only additional fee after the room charge was the tax. The price was right at the top of what my wife and I wanted to spend but I really wanted to take my son horseback riding and fishing and thought what the heck, lets live a little.
A quick review of some practical stuff: This is not a quaint little dude ranch. It's thirty-some odd cabins spread out with Colorado Rd 742 splitting the property in two. The lameness of the freeway is countered by a gorgeous length of river that runs through the property as well (this "resort's" best redeeming quality). The staff, with the exception of the eye rolling stable manager, Body, was for the most part really pleasant. The rooms were dirty. The beds were uncomfortable. The food was ordinary at best and way overpriced (do yourself a favor and eat in local towns of Almont or Gunnison). The activities were fun but also extremely expensive (again, look into other options in town).
So jump back to thirty minutes ago. I asked the polite employees at the front desk, who are illequipped to deal with questions regarding some shady business practices, why I was being charged an extra 15% service charge, the very polite Elliott called co-owner, Brad Roberts on the phone to come on down and offer some good ol fashioned, down-home customer service (what I would soon discover is not his specialty).
Enter Brad Roberts. Early fifties, small build, red faced, blood shot eyes, fuming and foaming. An angry troll dressed more like a country club manager or cruise director than ranch owner. Determined to not get angry, I shook his hand and introduced myself, cheerful as you like. I thanked him for coming down to chat with me and began to explain my concern. About a third of the way into my first sentence, Brad interrupted me.
Mad Brad: "For the last two weeks all I've heard is complaints from YOU people about our service charge!!"
Me: "Sir I'd like to finish my sentence."
Mad Brad: "Well you people keep coming down here complaining about something that we've doing for fifteen years!!!"
I watched spit fly from his lip and onto my shirt.
Me: "All due respect sir, I don't know which people you're talking about when you say "you people" but this is my first trip here, I've only been here three days, and this is my first time speaking with anyone about this issue. So while I'm sure your tired of having the same converstaion over and over, I'm not sure why you're yelling at me. Anyhow, as I was trying to explain, I was never told about this 15% service charge when I spoke to your employee on the phone."
Mad Brad: "Who did you speak to?!" His face is a mere foot away from mine now.
Me: "I don't remember her name."
Mad Brad: "Figures! Amy handles reservations and she's been here for twenty years! Now tell me why would she lie to you?!!"
Me: "I'm not saying she lied. I'm saying perhaps she made a mistake."
Anyway, this went on for twenty minutes (not an exaggeration) and ended with Mad Brad leaving the lobby while I was in mid sentence, slamming the door behind him. The woman waiting to check-in with her husband and two kids who were witness to all this said, "that man just makes me wanna stand up and walk right outta here!" As the poor employees behind the desk charged my card they each apologized profusely for the behavior of their boss. Way to go Brad.
Consider yourself warned. If you choose to go to Harmel's Don't expect a glad-handing inn-keeper in Brad Roberts. In fact just avoid this seemingly extremely unhappy man altogether. Oh yeah, and keep your wallet in your sock.
4 nights at Harmel's, 2-two hour horseback rides, a mediocre BBQ dinner: $1,875. Watching Mad Brad Roberts lose his cool (assuming he ever has any) priceless.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Harmel's Ranch Resort is has been family owned and operated since 1956 by the same family. We are a summertime seasonal operation and have 37 cabins that can accommodate up to 150 guests, 22 different floor plans for cabins that can sleep 2 to 9 ppl, some cabins have kitchens and others have just a mini fridge & coffee maker. Quite a few of our cabins are located right along the Taylor River. Resort amenities include an outdoor heated swimming pool, hot tub, sauna, rec room w/ wifi, billiards, ping pong, foosball, we also have a playground, stocked trout pond, petting farm, and laundry facilities. The activities available are horseback riding (including overnight pack trips), whitewater rafting, rock climbing, fly fishing instruction & guided trips, and massage. There is also a great restaurant on site that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a great view of the Taylor River. Our little saloon is attached to the dining room. We host multiple family reunions and weddings each summer, and we're good at it! Give us a call! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Harmel`s Ranch Hotel Almont