Home -> Our Goals
Our current goals are two fold:
One: To provide everyone that needs lodging in La Plata, Kirksville, and the region with an upscale comforable experience that is also affordable.
Two: To provide train enthusiasts and their families with comfortable lodging surrounded by displays of railroad heritage and live railroad action.
To meet these current goals, the Depot Inn & Suites was created with a railroad theme and ambiance throughout. There are hundreds of genuine railroad artifacts and photographs on display throughout the hotel. Directly next to the hotel are two ex-Amtrak Mail Handling Cars (MHC). One houses the complete collection of the Amtrak Historical Society with memorabilia from every year of Amtrak's history even dating back to Amtrak's creation in 1971. The other railcar will soon house a professional and extensive display of model railroad equipement. A Train Watching Lookout Point was added within walking distance of the hotel overlooking the dual track busy BNSF mainline where the east and westbound Amtrak Southwest Chief also passes each day. The Train Watching Lookout Point is enclosed, heated, and offers free WiFi and electric outlets for computer use. It also features a live audio feed from the train conductors, engineers and dispatchers using a railroad radio scanner. A live audio/video feed from the Lookout Point can be monitored on Channel 43 on the TVs of every room in the hotel for an even more comfortable train watching experience around the clock. From anywhere in the world, people can monitor the train activity at the Lookout Point and at the La Plata Amtrak Station from the live railroad webcams at www.RailCams.com/lap/.
Future enhancements call for the addition of ATCS Monitoring both by computer online from anywhere on the web as well as on another private hotel channel in every room and a monitor screen at the Train Weatching Lookout Point. Plans are in the works to add monitoring of addtional webcams around the nation and the world to the Lookout Point.
While visiting La Plata, you are also welcome to take a tour of the Silver Rails Event Center, the refurbished La Plata Amtrak Station / historic Santa Fe depot, the building of TrainWeb.com / TrainParty.com, and the Railfan's Friend shop near Downtown La Plata. We also offer escourted tours of heritage sights and current life in the region, both rail and non-rail related.
Our future goal is to build a 160 acre enclosed all weather resort where visitors will enter a world of entertainment, education, and luxury while immersed in railroad themed surroundings. Our future goals are ambitious but doable. For more information about our planned expansion of the Depot Inn & Suites into the Silver Rails Resort, please click here.
As mentioned above, we desire to provide everyone that needs lodging in La Plata, Kirksville, and the region with an upscale comforable experience that is also affordable.
I recently attended a trade show in Downtown Houston and stayed at a major brand hotel at the special convention discount rate. You would recognize the name of this chain of hotels as it is a well known upscale hotel chain with hotels around the globe. I was quite disappointed in the hotel. I would be quite embarrassed if we offered this lower level of lodging for the price charged, especially at the "discounted" convention rate.
Right off the bat, the arrival experience was not pleasant. I got lost trying to find the "self-parking" for the hotel. The reason for that is there isn't any self-parking. They only have valet parking at the rate of $24 per day on weekdays, $12 on weekends. If you are staying at the hotel, where else are you going to park? To me this was an exhorbitant hidden additional cost for the room. It costs less to rent some cars than to park those cars at this hotel!
I am a member of their hotel rewards program and I have stayed enough at the hotels in this chain and its affiliates to have earned being placed on the "Executive Floor" at no extra charge. That was nice. But I could not find any extra ammenities on my floor. Maybe it is the two free bottles of water they give me each day. The desk mentioned they have comfortable mattresses on this floor. Do they have uncomfortable mattresses on the other floors?
The cost of my regular room at this hotel is more than the cost of a suite at the Depot Inn! And remember that I only paid the convention "discount" rate. Unlike the Depot Inn & Suites that features a refrigerator, microwave, and DVD player in every room, this room had none of those ammenities. The do provide free high-speed internet (but no WiFi), so that was nice. The Depot Inn also provides free high-speed internet including WiFi.
The prices in the restaurant were very high. That is not uncommon for hotel restaurants. I guess they figure you really would rather relax and just eat at the hotel than hunt for a restaurant outside, so they might as well charge you for the convenience. But what makes it worse is if you have enough food left over for another meal, you can't take it back to your room. Unlike the Depot Inn, there is no refrigerator to preserve it and no microwave to rehead it. Thus, if you want to stay in the hotel for another meal, you have to buy another one at their exhorbitant prices! Fortunately at the Depot Inn & Suites you can just walk next door for very good food at very good prices.
Room service is another story. In addition to charging you the same high prices as in the restaurant, they also automatically add a 20% tip, a $1.50 deliver charge, and then leave space on the charge form to add more of a tip!
The room does have a coffee maker, but it only makes one cup at a time. They only give you enough coffee for two cups. The Depot Inn gives you a regular pot to make at least four cups at a time. But you might seldom want to even use that as there is free fresh brewed coffee in the lobby around the clock!
There is no free fresh brewed coffee here. There is no free breakfast here. They do have a breakfast buffett that is quite expensive. There are no managers receptions, no free evening drinks and snacks.
To top it all off, I tried to take a shower mid afternoon on my first day here. I had to give up on that as there was no hot water. I'm not talking about the water not being hot enough for me. I actually like luke warm showers. I mean there was NO hot water. The water was ice cold coming out of the faucet! i figured maybe everyone taking a shower in the morning had used up all the hot water and decided to try again later. I did try again in the evening and it was still ice cold! I called up the front desk. I do have to say they had the building engineer up in our room in less than 5 minutes. I asked if they had separate water systems for different parts of the hotel as I could not imagine how they could go all day in a hotel this big without any complaints about the lack of hot water. He said they did have one other complaint earlier and that the entire hotel was on the same hot water system. I was amazed they weren't inundated with compaints. But to their credit, the hotel engineer did get hot water running in our room within the next 20 minutes. It just seemed like an odd thing to be in a major upscale hotel chain and not have any hot water all day long.
I certainly hope that this is not what it takes to run a financially viable hotel as I could not treat our guests that way in good conscience. We will always strive to offer you the best experience that we possibly can and to provide you with the best value for your money.
I know the above is probably not something you will find at any other hotel website. I hope it comes across as what it is: the personal experiences of a "real" person. Those of us who are involved with the hotel are not some nebulous blob. We are real people just like you. We want to provide you with the same enjoyable experience and the same value that we'd like to receive when we stay at a hotels.
Please don't hesitate to contact us at the link below if you ever feel that we are not living up to your expectations. This is a learning experience for all of us and we certainly want your stay to be so enjoyable that you will be certain to come back and stay in our hotel many times.