Dear Web Guest:

I was just working my brain to come up with something to write about for my “reflections” article, when I realized that I haven’t yet mentioned the most arduous task of a corporate hotel person and that being the “road trip”.

I like driving and we have a hotel in Ft Walton Beach Florida that is not a bad drive from Atlanta. In fact sometimes you can get there faster by driving than flying. (Thank you Delta Airlines). The point though that I want to make is that after you leave Atlanta proper and get out on the open road, why is it that fast food rules? Hasn’t anybody heard of Starbucks or Panera’s?

I like a good calorie laden burger and fries as much as the next person, but as my age advances, so does the disapproving looks from my doctor over my cholesterol count. So, being on the road shouldn’t force me to have mediocre choices of dining. How about the people who live in some of these small towns? Are they subjected to a lifetime of nothing but fast food? Oh wait, sometimes you get a break from fast food and get barbecue restaurants. Well, good bye burger but hello cholesterol builders. Barbecued ribs, cornbread, peach cobbler with ice cream, ugh! (You know this is a humorous column right?)

Anyway, my point is that for every small town, there seems to be a dearth of non cholesterol building eateries. Why is that? Is there a plot to kill small town America by forcing them to eat huge calorie laden meals? I wonder! Is this why the population centers of this country keep growing and the small towns get smaller? All because soup and salad bars don’t exist in Eufaula, Alabama or Lagrange, Georgia? Have I uncovered a sinister plot by a huge corporate conglomerate to undermine the small town calorie count?

Okay, this is what I have to consider now. I should just pack a lunch. After all, I am a hotelier. I know how to plan a menu. What the heck. Just pack it, carry it to the car, stop on the side of a road, visit with some cows and horses and enjoy my low cholesterol meal. Safe and easy right? Wrong! Because then my conscience will say “hey how about supporting the smaller towns of our country? Let’s keep these wonderful hardworking people enjoying the finer things in American life. Let’s eat those burgers and fried chicken dinners and forget about the cholesterol. You have a job to do mister!”

I would continue on but I am afraid my burger and French fries bought here in Dothan, Alabama would get cold, so I must go now. I wonder if there is a Starbuck’s imitator anywhere around here? I need an espresso badly.

By the way, as an ending to my reflections as I have mentioned in the past, how about calling or writing me about any hotel management opportunities that you may know or hear about for our company? After all you didn’t think this was a column without a sales pitch did you? We are building this company and we are very good at what we do and we would like to share our story with you at anytime.

Thank you for reading my “reflections”.

Marc Leffman-COO
Oct 25, 2005