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Trip Report Bad Experience - Lodge at Red River Ranch - Torrey, UT

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Hi Fodorites,

As you know, I live in UT and visit our Nalt Parks quite often. I had planned a long weekend and was looking for a new place with a view, fireplace and pet friendly. I settled on the Lodge at Red River Ranch outside Torrey, UT on the Fremont River.

Long story short, the room had chimney drafting problems and although the desk clerk made, and started, my fire for me (per their written policy that levies a $200 fine for open flames or starting your own fire), smoke filled my room. We had to open both doors to air it out. Once going, it didn't burn very well or long, but good enough.

The next night I declined the desk clerk's offer of a fire and told her I didn't want to deal with the smoke again. Later that evening some unexpected guests checked in upstairs, their fire was started and again my room filled with smoke. Much worse this time. Again, we had to open all the doors to the outside and turn on the ceiling fan to air out.

I asked the clerk to move me to a different room and she told me could not without permission from the manager who lived offsite. A few minutes later the answer was No because I was in the only pet room. Understand, that out of approx. 18 rooms, I and the other room were their only guests. So - I said I understood, but based on the smoke problem and no other rooms available for me, I would be checking out the next day, 1 day early.

A few minutes later the clerk was back to inform me that they would not refund my money for checking out early and the manager was coming to talk to me. Yell would have been a better word. This guy came to my room and verbally attacked me. Saying that "you come here and use our facilities and just complain." Well, yes, there is a smoke problem in this room. Then it was "it doesn't seem smokey to me. Did you light a fire?" No, you can see there is no heat or freshly burned paper, etc. in the fireplace. What was I supposed to do, keep the door shut and save the smoke for you? The clerk backed me up saying that I had specifically turned down her offer of a fire and that when I called her, the room was filled with smoke.

I stuck to my guns and said I intented to check out the next day and I expected not to be charged for the third, unused night. He said they would charge me for the thrid night I had reserved. I said I was still going to check out and we would see where it went. At that point, he literally got right in my face, yelling that "I'll tell you where it's going to go! I'm going to file a lawsuit against you that's what!!"

Again, I did not let him intiminate me, but stuck to my position. He finally offered the option of, 'well if you leave now, we won't change you for tonight or tomorrow." Since it was 10:30pm I don't think he expected me to go with that, but I did. So, at 10:30 at night on a freezing cold night, I packed up, left and went to check in at the Red Sands Motel in a clean, comfortable pet room for half the price and with a tv, microwave and frig too. Slept like a baby.

I just wanted to get this out there so those of you planning a trip to Capitol Reef would be aware. The Lodge at Red River was a nicely decorated place in a nice setting, but the management is not prepared to handle a problem in a professional, let alone hospitable, manner. Seems this guy is in the wrong business!

I've never had an experience anywhere like this before and I sure hope I don't ever again. Too many nicer, better options for lodging in Torrey - Torrey Pines B&B, Skyridge B&B, Austin's Chuckwagon Motel and now Red Sands Motel. I've stayed at all of these and would recommend any of them. All different types and price ranges, but all clean and nice properties.

Be aware and happy travels!
Dayle

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