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  1. #1

    Default Doe River Hiker Hostel Ruffling Feathers in Roan Mountain

    I did the Carvers Gap to 19E stretch this weekend as I have 5-6 times before. Trip went great. As I came up to 19E there was a laminated sheet of paper with a rock on top about 50 yards from the road, printed out to advertise Doe River Hiker Hostel. Same kind of info you see at many road interchanges. As I came up to the road, there was a dually backed up so close to the dirt path that it was a burden to get around it. The gentleman manning the truck started in on if we needed a ride and sporting that he was the owner of Doe River Hiker Hostel. I explained "No thanks we are headed to Mountain Harbor B&B". He started in bad mouthing the crap out their establishment, saying that they were closing down and to not bother with them. Well....I didn't say nothing just started walking down the road, not wanting to start any conversations with him.

    As always, MH B&B was first class and went above and beyond to be a great hiker establishment. On the way back up to Carvers Gap, I mentioned these happenings at the trailhead to the owner of MH B&B, and they informed me that this is the same guy that has harassed hikers, and CC's Hostel for so many years. That he has now moved shop, and opened this place up down 19E from the trailhead. The owner informed me that he blocks the entrance to MH with his truck, has literally run their shuttle vehicles off the road, and will park at the trailhead as I saw him doing, telling people that MH was closed for good! I don't know what can be done about this situation, other then getting the word out there to direct as much business back to MH B&B, and I don't know what has possessed this man to be such a sore thumb in this area of the trail. I was also informed that he is intimidating hikers, some times from other countries, to use his service and when they don't he gets aggressive - One instance I was told about was a British gentleman in Bobs Dairyland who wanted to eat there, and this guy got in his face and told him to get in the damn truck they were cooking dinner when they got to the hostel. MH B&B went and picked that guy up who seemed to be quite shaken up once they got him out of there.

    Just wanting to inform the hiking community of this situation
    Trail Miles: 3,715.9
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    AT Map 1 Completion: 1818.9 Springer, GA - Franconia Notch, NH
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  2. #2
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    Good information. Depressingly US 19 E seems to be a magnet for bad news over the years which MHBB seems to have redeemed.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 06-26-2017 at 13:38.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    Good information. Depressingly US 19 E seems to be a magnet for bad news over the years with MHBB seems to have redeemed.
    They are doing outstanding. They are very quickly becoming a 1 stop shop in a location that needs it desperately. I have been dealing with MHBB for about 4-5 years now, and never anything but A++ feedback for them.

  4. #4

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    I make a point to never give my business to any place who puts a sign on the actual trail. I figure if they can't respect the trail, they're not going to respect much of anything else.

    As for local owners who trash their competitors, that's just idiocy. Successful businesses will intentionally set up next to their competitors, and throw each other overflow business, creating a local hub where consumers can be confident they'll find the service they're looking for. It's the blue highway services sign theory. If I see four gas stations and six restaurants on the blue sign, I'm more likely to pull off at that exit.

    I zeroed at the Roan Mtn Bed and Breakfast, a wonderful, if expensive place. They had nothing but nice things to say about Mountain Harbor B&B, as well as all the other little businesses in their community.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Puddlefish View Post
    I make a point to never give my business to any place who puts a sign on the actual trail. I figure if they can't respect the trail, they're not going to respect much of anything else.
    FYI, there is truce on signs on the trail in some areas of the AT. I had one business that had signs at trail crossings on my boundary section and was informed that I was not to mess with the signs. I think its a decision to enforce or not enforce on the local trail clubs level. Given that there reportedly is 1/2 of one National Park Service law enforcement official for the entire trail I expect local signage on the trail is low priority
    Last edited by peakbagger; 06-26-2017 at 16:08.

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    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Yet blazes are removed in some sections. Go figure.
    Wayne


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    Registered User soilman's Avatar
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    Commercial advertising is prohibited on National Park Service and Forest Service land. The ATC has a policy on such advertising. https://www.appalachiantrail.org/doc...).pdf?sfvrsn=4 This policy states advertising should not take place on the trail corridor. Over the years I have seen ads posted in shelters and along the trail away from road crossing. I agree it is hard to enforce this policy.
    More walking, less talking.

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    Registered User BuckeyeBill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soilman View Post
    Commercial advertising is prohibited on National Park Service and Forest Service land. The ATC has a policy on such advertising. https://www.appalachiantrail.org/doc...).pdf?sfvrsn=4 This policy states advertising should not take place on the trail corridor. Over the years I have seen ads posted in shelters and along the trail away from road crossing. I agree it is hard to enforce this policy.
    There is a difference between ATC Policy and Local,State and Federal Regulations. Policy can not be enforced, as they are basically ideals or principles that the ATC would like the local maintaining clubs to adopt. While I whole hardily agree with the ATC position, it has no teeth. Local, State and Federal Regulation are written Laws that can result in a citation and or a court appearance. Another factor is the lack of personnel to enforce the laws we already have. That's where ridge runners come in. They have no authority to cite and or arrest someone, but if the violation is serious, They can and will radio for a Park Ranger or Law Enforcement agency to come handle the situation.
    Blackheart

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    top of GA was doing this years back, slamming Ron Haven

    IMO the trail guides are hard to follow for some hostels - hence the "truce" for signs

  10. #10

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    Sad to hear that folks think they need to push down the other guy. If you got a product that is good and fair priced then you will do well.
    There are wonders out there, now to find them.

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    Stayed at Mtn Harbor on June 15. Great stay and "Mom" shuttled us to Beauty Spot for our four day hike back to 19E


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    Long term section hiker Stalking Tortoise's Avatar
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    I just stayed at MH B&B for two nights with a hike from Carvers Gap to 19E in between. I also stayed in the MH hostel for two nights back in March. Between these two visits to Mountain Harbour, I've learned a lot about the proprietor of Doe River Hikers Rest.

    Back in March, the Doe River guy was parking at the 19E trail crossing and poaching MH hostel customers (with reservations). I don't know what promises he was making, but hikers would call MH late in the afternoon to cancel their reservation AFTER MH had turned other hikers away due to being fully booked with reservations. Three hikers cancelled on my first night leaving me with the hostel to myself. The next day, a hiker slogged into MH and asked if he could use their phone to call Doe River since his cellphone was dead. The MH manager rolled her eyes and let the hiker call for a pick-up, although the Doe River guy made the hiker go back to the AT crossing.

    On this recent visit, I found out that breakfast had been moved outside to a tent next to the food trailer. The Doe River guy reported MH for using the house's private kitchen to cook for both B&B guests, hostel guests and walk-ins. Granted, MH should have known the rules for operating their unique commercial venture but the Doe River guy ratted them out in hopes that the hostel would close. Nope. The existing food trailer was already licensed so it didn't take much effort to get back into business.

    Competition is a good thing. Trying to sabotage your competition will eventually backfire.
    Completed Sections: Springer to Winding Stair Gap, & Max Patch to Franconia Notch NH

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stalking Tortoise View Post
    I just stayed at MH B&B for two nights with a hike from Carvers Gap to 19E in between. I also stayed in the MH hostel for two nights back in March. Between these two visits to Mountain Harbour, I've learned a lot about the proprietor of Doe River Hikers Rest.

    Back in March, the Doe River guy was parking at the 19E trail crossing and poaching MH hostel customers (with reservations). I don't know what promises he was making, but hikers would call MH late in the afternoon to cancel their reservation AFTER MH had turned other hikers away due to being fully booked with reservations. Three hikers cancelled on my first night leaving me with the hostel to myself. The next day, a hiker slogged into MH and asked if he could use their phone to call Doe River since his cellphone was dead. The MH manager rolled her eyes and let the hiker call for a pick-up, although the Doe River guy made the hiker go back to the AT crossing.

    On this recent visit, I found out that breakfast had been moved outside to a tent next to the food trailer. The Doe River guy reported MH for using the house's private kitchen to cook for both B&B guests, hostel guests and walk-ins. Granted, MH should have known the rules for operating their unique commercial venture but the Doe River guy ratted them out in hopes that the hostel would close. Nope. The existing food trailer was already licensed so it didn't take much effort to get back into business.

    Competition is a good thing. Trying to sabotage your competition will eventually backfire.
    I call this, "The Big House on the Block Phenomenon." If you want to be the biggest house on the block, you have two choices. 1.) Work hard and build it. or 2.) Blow all the other houses on the block up. Sounds to me as if someone is trying to use the second step. If I made a reservation at an establishment, short of an act of God, I will go to that place. Even if someone else offered a better deal. I gave my word to the original place that I wished to use their facility. Ah to go back to the days when a handshake was good enough to seal the deal.
    Blackheart

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by BuckeyeBill View Post
    If I made a reservation at an establishment, short of an act of God, I will go to that place. Even if someone else offered a better deal. I gave my word to the original place that I wished to use their facility. Ah to go back to the days when a handshake was good enough to seal the deal.
    Yea ditto for sure
    Trail Miles: 3,715.9
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    AT Map 1 Completion: 1818.9 Springer, GA - Franconia Notch, NH
    AT Map 2 Completion: 263.8 Gaps From GA - PA

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    Note to self, stay away from Doe River Hostel when going through that section.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JPritch View Post
    Note to self, stay away from Doe River Hostel when going through that section.
    Is it true that there are rumors that that place is infested with ticks and you can hear the owner beating his dog and some female in his basement at night?

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    Long term section hiker Stalking Tortoise's Avatar
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    Just for reference, I met up with the 3 hikers who cancelled their reservation at MH and stayed at Doe River. MH shuttled me up to USFS 293 the morning after my arrival and I was hiking south back to MH when I met them. They had good things to say about the place (no reports of ticks or beatings), but they did confirm that the owner met them at the 19E road crossing and convinced them that he had a better deal.

    The hostel at MH has a limited number of beds, so there's room in Roan Mountain TN for another hostel. As Puddlefish mentioned above, the smart play would be to work together to keep hikers from hitching a ride to the motel in Newland NC.
    Completed Sections: Springer to Winding Stair Gap, & Max Patch to Franconia Notch NH

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    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Why Newland? For an extra mile I would go to Banner Elk. But just a clueless tourist.
    Wayne


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    Quote Originally Posted by Stalking Tortoise View Post
    Just for reference, I met up with the 3 hikers who cancelled their reservation at MH and stayed at Doe River. MH shuttled me up to USFS 293 the morning after my arrival and I was hiking south back to MH when I met them. They had good things to say about the place (no reports of ticks or beatings), but they did confirm that the owner met them at the 19E road crossing and convinced them that he had a better deal.

    The hostel at MH has a limited number of beds, so there's room in Roan Mountain TN for another hostel. As Puddlefish mentioned above, the smart play would be to work together to keep hikers from hitching a ride to the motel in Newland NC.
    They canceled their reservations and shafted the place they made reservations at. That means they are dishonest and unreliable. I would not put faith in the reliability of those alleged hikers and their claims of not experiencing the tick infestation or hearing the female screams coming from the basement.

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    Registered User lonehiker's Avatar
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    How about just gullible but fundamentally good people? I suspect my assessment is closer to reality than yours...
    Lonehiker

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