I JUST RETURNED FROM THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA, where I spent a rather decadent several days shopping for vintage clothing, eating gnocchi in North Beach, camping among Red Woods and sipping my way through Napa Valley. While in the town of Calistoga, I decided to take the advice of a native and partake in a mud bath at a local spa. I have little experience with such indulgences, so this was going to be a real treat. I envisioned a lavish waiting room with baskets of fresh fruit and bottles of mineral water, tubs of impeccable porcelain and plush towels, and well-groomed staff cooing over my every whim. Was I in for a rude awakening.
The facility was part of an older motel complex, the exterior of which was very tired. The lobby consisted of a small, dark room with well-worn couches and nonspecific scenic art. The refreshment spread included a tupperware pitcher of filtered water and paper cups. The staff were dressed in jeans and t-shirts. The towels, I admit, were quite nice; but the bath room was decrepit, with exposed rusty pipes and cracked tile. It had a distinct, high school locker-room feel, and a six-legged creature the size of a small child had set up camp in one corner of the ceiling. I swear I heard it snickering at me as I lay there, neck deep in mud.
The problem was not that the facility was older, nor that it was not upscale. The problem was it had been neglected and the staff was apathetic. Very simple improvements would have made my spa experience superior. Now, instead of praising the mud, I'm slinging it. I wouldn't recommend this place to anyone--not even a six-legged creature the size of a small child.
Keep this in mind as you read through our articles on facility maintenance and remodeling. Owners and managers often feel remodeling involves large expeditures--not true. Sometimes a seemingly insignificant improvement goes a long way. And remember: It's easier to maintain a clean, attractive site than to revive one that has gone to the bugs. In this issue, you'll read how to maintain building exteriors, roofs, pavement, doors, office interiors and more.
A final word before signing off: Please be sure to read our new "Inside Events" section. There you'll read about a special event Inside Self-Storage is hosting in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Commerce at the U.S. Embassy in London. The purpose of this evening reception is to raise public awareness of self-storage among the U.K. business community. It will be attended by nearly 300 London professionals in real estate, development, construction and finance. This is just one more way ISS is doing its part to contribute to the evolution of the industry.
Teri L. Lanza