I stayed at the Avanti earlier this month while on a road trip with my dad. We booked this motel for a night because it was affordable (especially considering how expensive Rapid City is), Lonely Planet recommended it, and there were decent reviews on here (although they were old). BIG MISTAKE. While the stay started okay (the guy who checked us in was very nice), we had a strange feeling about the place. It didn't appear to be dirty (I even checked the mattresses for bed bugs, and they appeared very clean, although strangely covered with plastic below the sheets), but there was a VERY weird vibe and we decided that there was no way we were spending any time actually awake in the hotel. We came back late and the second my dad actually sat on his bed it was clear the matress should have been replaced 10 years ago (I could see how uncomfortable it must be. He looked like he'd just sat on a half deflated air mattress). The reception was already closed so there was absolutely nothing we could do about it (although I'm not sure they would have done anything anyway). My poor dad had a misearable night of sleep. I slept fine (my mattress wasn't so miserable) but when I woke up in the morning I realized that I hadn't had a good night of rest. My neck was covered in huge red welts of bug bites that were NOT there when I went to bed. I also had one bug bite on my left inner arm near my wrist with a giant red circle around it and a streak moving 2/3 of the way towards my elbow. It was the most bizzare thing I've ever seen.
We immediately packed our stuff and I bagged everything that had touched my bed in a ziploc for fear of taking bugs with me. These were NOT bed bug bites. I have no idea what ate me. When we checked out we told the woman about the mattress and her response was "I'll tell maintanence"-- no clue what they would do about that. Nothing to fix-- just throw away and replace! When I showed her the bites she said "huh" shrugged and wrote it down and did not seem the LEAST BIT suprised. This has clearly been a problem in the past.
We went to a pharmacy to get hydrocortisone and I asked the pharmacist if I needed to be worried. She said the bites on my neck looked like spider bites, but she wasn't sure. She said to take Benedryl, watch the bite on my arm and if the streak grew go straight to an emergency clinic or ER. A couple of hours later the streak was up to my elbow-- very quickly. We went to a doctor, and $150 later I was stocked up with a weeks worth of antibiotics and steroids for the infection and swelling in my arm. He said that the bug must have been carrying bacteria that went straight into my bloodstream when I got bit. He confirmed the bites were not bed bugs, but may be spiders (or something else. he said it's impossible to know for sure).
It took another 3 days for the infection to clear my system (it got worse, to the point it was almost at my shoulder) before it got better.
So much for a cheap night at a nice motel...
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