Three years ago last month, columnist Gene Weingarten dubbed the Nevada community of Battle Mountain the “armpit of America” ("Why not the worst?” Washington Post, Dec. 2, 2001).
Some tourists say a motel in Battle Mountain is working hard to live down to the appellation.
TripAdvisor.com allows people to post comments about their experiences on the road, and one Las Vegas resident reported this: “I stopped in Battle Mountain on my way to Reno from Salt Lake City. I had always been interested in the little town of Battle Mountain, seemed like a quiet place to rest. I went to the Big Chief Motel and purchased a room. When I entered the room the smell was not a pleasant one. I then proceeded to turn on the lights and found dog droppings on the floor in the corner. I brought this to the front desk’s attention and they asked me to clean it up.”
Another reader said the stay at the Big Chief made her feel like a felon: “We broke down in Battle Mountain, and needed a place to stay quickly, and we had some friends that were waiting for a ride back to Salt Lake City … which happens to be at least 5 hours away. The front desk staff was rude, and watched us all night and day until we left. We were so threatened by this. I will never stay here again unless I want to feel like a criminal!”
Kim, a woman who identified herself in a telephone interview as the Big Chief manager but declined to provide a last name, said she was not aware of the Web entries.
“There are so many people who make the Web pages but don’t let us know.”
She declined to have the entries read to her.
“That’s OK, I’m not interested because if they have any comments, they can contact me here.”
Interestingly, the Big Chief is the highest-rated motel in Battle Mountain on TripAdvisor.com, apparently because it is the only place in the town that has drawn any reader comments at all.