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  1. #1
    Registered User -Rush-'s Avatar
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    Default Top of Georgia Hostel may not be around in the future

    Anyone have thoughts on this? There's a lot of controversy in the AT community regarding this place. Some love it, some hate it, all for different reasons.

    https://www.gofundme.com/savetoghostel
    "Though I have lost the intimacy with the seasons since my hike, I retain the sense of perfect order, of graceful succession and surrender, and of the bold brilliance of fall leaves as they yield to death." - David Brill

  2. #2
    Registered User Fireplug's Avatar
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    They are high priced. But some people dont mind that.

  3. #3

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    I am somewhat confused, is this a private business or a charitable organization?. A donation usually implies its a charitable contribution that is deductible.

  4. #4
    Registered User Engine's Avatar
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    I have some misgivings regarding a for-profit business requesting donations to remain in business. But, as long as they show the sponsorships as income and run 100% of it through their books, it's perfectly legal. In my mind, it would have been a more stand up move to provide compensation for donating in the form of a reduced price stay next season.
    “He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.” –Socrates

  5. #5

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    I'm a little confused here, so please try and help me understand something. Fourteen people are dead, hundreds of families have lost their homes, thousands of acres of forest have been obliterated and turned into an ecological disaster site for years to come, and this is a request for $10k in donations to a school for teaching people who already know how to walk to walk? To a business which physically survived the disaster, where nobody died, and is presumably about to get busier? It's a "rescue center" that "partners" with the ATC right? It's a store and hostel right near where workers and volunteers are going to be busy all spring right? Aren't they really two businesses with the Woody Gap Outfitters and Hiker Hostel 40 miles to the south? I'm curious where I can make a donation to the families who have lost loved ones forever. I'm also curious if the A.T. hasn't hit a new low in the panhandling department. Remember when hiking was a sport of self-reliance and not one of total interdependence, co- dependence, and just plain dependence on others to finance your business related hiking exploits? This is poorly timed and in incredibly poor taste. In fact, it's abhorrent. Especially given that it is a place meant to set an example to would be hikers. Hiking and begging are becoming synonymous and socially acceptable within the so-called "hiker community" in just this way. While we're on the subject: I'm so stressed out I need two weeks on St. John to raise awareness about the dangers of rum infused fruit drinks - "send lawyers, guns, and money!"

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by pilgrimskywheel View Post
    I'm a little confused here, so please try and help me understand something. Fourteen people are dead, hundreds of families have lost their homes, thousands of acres of forest have been obliterated and turned into an ecological disaster site for years to come, and this is a request for $10k in donations to a school for teaching people who already know how to walk to walk? To a business which physically survived the disaster, where nobody died, and is presumably about to get busier? It's a "rescue center" that "partners" with the ATC right? It's a store and hostel right near where workers and volunteers are going to be busy all spring right? Aren't they really two businesses with the Woody Gap Outfitters and Hiker Hostel 40 miles to the south? I'm curious where I can make a donation to the families who have lost loved ones forever. I'm also curious if the A.T. hasn't hit a new low in the panhandling department. Remember when hiking was a sport of self-reliance and not one of total interdependence, co- dependence, and just plain dependence on others to finance your business related hiking exploits? This is poorly timed and in incredibly poor taste. In fact, it's abhorrent. Especially given that it is a place meant to set an example to would be hikers. Hiking and begging are becoming synonymous and socially acceptable within the so-called "hiker community" in just this way. While we're on the subject: I'm so stressed out I need two weeks on St. John to raise awareness about the dangers of rum infused fruit drinks - "send lawyers, guns, and money!"
    +1
    I won't be "donating"
    AT hostels close all the time, business is business
    What makes them so special?

  7. #7
    Registered User Sethern's Avatar
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    I will not give my opinion on the morality of this but I will give my experience after having stayed there earlier this year. I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand I did enjoy my stay when I was aloud to. The staff for the most part was friendly. On the other hand they seemed to have their heads up their bums when it comes to service. My stay there felt almost like a supervised children's camp. My first hour there I could not even get checked in because no one would even talk to me. They then spent more time telling me the rules than I had time to rest. And they some how lost my package that had been delivered the day I got there and was told that I was being rude for asking about it. (I had delivery confirmation. It arrived 20 minutes before I got there. $160 item I will never see again) And lastly a lot of what they advertise was not there. No talk with Bob. No foot soak, and no one to do a pack shake down. They advertised that it as somewhere to rest your feet and get great advice from people who have hiked the trail. There was none of that. It was just a cheep place to sleep that imo was a bit over priced.

  8. #8
    Springer to Elk Park, NC/Andover to Katahdin
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    I am somewhat confused, is this a private business or a charitable organization?. A donation usually implies its a charitable contribution that is deductible.
    I am also confused. They are a 501c3 nonprofit organization but what I do not understand is how they how they got that classification from the IRS.
    I am not young enough to know everything.

  9. #9

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    If you love it, give. If you don't, don't give. No need to trash the guy's business.

    I was planning to stay there this spring, so I hope he makes it.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthMark View Post
    I am also confused. They are a 501c3 nonprofit organization but what I do not understand is how they how they got that classification from the IRS.
    My comment above was slightly off mark if they are indeed a Non-Profit...
    Could they give vouchers for future stays/shuttles in exchange for donations, as mentioned above?

  11. #11

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    I was planning to stay there this spring, so I hope he makes it.[/QUOTE]

    Umm, he did make it and so did his business(es). It sounds to me like he needs help surviving property taxes which are due Dec. 10 - two days after the ask.

  12. #12

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    I'm a little confused. The trail closures came in November/December, after a record number year of thru hikers. Let's not forget Bob probably makes more off section hikers over the course of the entire year. So...if he is claiming this donation covers the cost of lost business, it is safe to assume ToG is making $10,000 a month? Or at minimum over two months? I'm pretty sure most hostels along the trail don't even get that revenue over 4 months. Something isn't adding up. I wish he would provide amplifying information as to just what that $10K covers.

  13. #13

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    I strongly dislike TOG, and will not never ever in my ever stay there again. I will not be donating.
    Trail Miles: 3,978.2 - AT Trips: 70
    AT Map 1: 2004.8
    AT Map 2: 265.0
    Sheltowee Trace Map: 59.0
    BMT Map: 57.7
    Pinhoti Trail Map: 0.0

  14. #14

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    this thread gave me anxiety so I'm setting up a Go Fund Me page to receive donations for a week at the beach. and margaritas.

    please, be generous...

  15. #15
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    Bob is an OK guy who is also determined to market himself as a thru-hike guru and guidance advisor. For a price.

    The hostel is not overpriced for what you get. I've found the folks to be friendly, but a little bit detached.

    I don't think his original business model for the Hostel has panned out and suspect it never really will. I think it was going to be some hiker conference center of something like that...big plans...

  16. #16
    Registered User Engine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pilgrimskywheel View Post
    I'm a little confused here, so please try and help me understand something. Fourteen people are dead, hundreds of families have lost their homes, thousands of acres of forest have been obliterated and turned into an ecological disaster site for years to come, and this is a request for $10k in donations to a school for teaching people who already know how to walk to walk? To a business which physically survived the disaster, where nobody died, and is presumably about to get busier? It's a "rescue center" that "partners" with the ATC right? It's a store and hostel right near where workers and volunteers are going to be busy all spring right? Aren't they really two businesses with the Woody Gap Outfitters and Hiker Hostel 40 miles to the south? I'm curious where I can make a donation to the families who have lost loved ones forever. I'm also curious if the A.T. hasn't hit a new low in the panhandling department. Remember when hiking was a sport of self-reliance and not one of total interdependence, co- dependence, and just plain dependence on others to finance your business related hiking exploits? This is poorly timed and in incredibly poor taste. In fact, it's abhorrent. Especially given that it is a place meant to set an example to would be hikers. Hiking and begging are becoming synonymous and socially acceptable within the so-called "hiker community" in just this way. While we're on the subject: I'm so stressed out I need two weeks on St. John to raise awareness about the dangers of rum infused fruit drinks - "send lawyers, guns, and money!"
    This whole GoFundMe thing is, in my opinion, just one symptom of a shift in cultural attitude. I was raised in an environment where you keep what you earn and NO ONE owes you anything. In addition, if you acquired something through hard work, it was much more appreciated than if it was given. Earlier this year someone posed the question regarding a GoFundMe account to cover the cost of their thru-hike. Based on the tone of the OP in that post, I believe they were serious and thought there was nothing wrong with asking others to pay for their good time

    This seems to be more of the same. Without going any further into it, let's just say that bailing out Chevrolet wasn't high on my list of smart moves. No business should be considered too big to fail and furthermore, how in the heck did this one achieve non-profit status with the IRS?
    Last edited by Engine; 12-16-2016 at 16:21.
    “He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.” –Socrates

  17. #17

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    Can't comment on the place or the owner, but it's a tough business and isn't a gold mine. Nothing wrong with throwing up a gofundme; people won't give you a dime if they don't see the value in your business or feel it's worth contributing to
    I've seen many hostels, cabin retreat type places, etc, switch owners or be abandoned

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Engine View Post
    This whole GoFundMe thing is, in my opinion, one just symptom of a shift in cultural attitude. I was raised in an environment where you keep what you earn and NO ONE owes you anything. In addition, if you acquired something through hard work, it was much more appreciated than if it was given. Earlier this year someone posed the question regarding a GoFundMe account to cover the cost of their thru-hike. Based on the tone of the OP in that post, I believe they were serious and thought there was nothing wrong with asking others to pay for their good time.

    This seems to be more of the same. Without going any further into it, let's just say that bailing out Chevrolet wasn't high on my list of smart moves. No business should be considered too big to fail and furthermore, how in the heck did this one achieve non-profit status with the IRS?

    ++
    The majority of money recieved by many people is likely from friends and family, that for some misguided reason, want to send Susie on a vacation because shes such a great gal and worked so hard in school.

    My father in law passed away recently. Someone set up a go fund me page for my mother in law. She received about 10K from people that heard and donated. She got $500 from someone that was a friend of her brother, never met her.

    Does she really need the money? Well, she got laid off about same time, but not really. Shes got kids who will take care of things for herr if needed, the life insurance $150K, retirement savings that are for 1 now instead of 2, shes not in any financial danger . Its just a gesture some feel good about.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hikingjim View Post
    Can't comment on the place or the owner, but it's a tough business and isn't a gold mine. Nothing wrong with throwing up a gofundme; people won't give you a dime if they don't see the value in your business or feel it's worth contributing to...
    +1 I read through all those that donated. I personally know 5. They wouldn't have given a dime if they didn't see value.

    I've heard offended and negative opinions regarding Greasy Creek Hostel, Uncle Johnny's in Erwin, Standing Bears Hostel, Elmer's Sunnyside Inn, Rusty's Hard Time Hollow, against the town of Damascus, The Place in Damascus, Bears Den Rocks Hostel, The Doyle, Jailhouse Hostel in Palmerston, Twelve Tribes of Rutland, Hikers Welcome Hostel in Glencliff, the people of Hanover, The Andover House and The Cabin, White House Landing, GSMNP and S NP.... and on the PCT Ziggy Bears, Vermillion Valley Resort, and probably a few more I'm not immediately recalling AND NOT ONE OF THOSE OFFENDED OPINIONS OR NEGATIVE REVIEWS EVER PROVED TO DEFINE MY EXPERIENCES AT THESE PLACES OR WITH THOSE THAT ARE ASSOCIATED WITH THOSE PLACES.

    To each their own but other's 'own' doesn't have to define my reality.

    JYOJ - Journey your own journey

  20. #20
    Registered User Sidetrail's Avatar
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    I have a reservation to stay the around April 10th. If I remember right, I had to pay in advance. I better check on that!

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