New management at "Dirtiest Hotel in America" vows to restore image

4:13 PM, Jan 26, 2011   |    comments
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Reviewers at a travel website have named the Grand Resort Hotel & Convention Center in Pigeon Forge the country's dirtiest hotel.

The rankings were released this week from TripAdvisor, the world's largest travel site.  This is the sixth year for the annual rankings, provided by visitors to the hotel who have logged on to the site and submitted their opinions.

See what reviewers said about the Grand Resort Hotel

According to TripAdvisor, 87% of those who reviewed the Grand Resort recommended against staying there.  The unpopular property elicited such hotel review titles as "Worst Hotel Stay of My Life," "Stay Anywhere Else But Here," and "Absolutely Horrible!"

"For the sixth consecutive year, TripAdvisor is shining a light on those U.S. hotels which have made a mark on their guests for all the wrong reasons," said Karen Drake, senior director of communications for TripAdvisor. "From TripAdvisor's core, we believe that candid reviews - good, bad and ugly - empower travelers to see it all so they can plan and experience the best possible trips."

"We knew we had some problems, and we've started to work on these problems,"  said Nicky Chaney, President & CEO of the Grand Resort & Hotel.  Chaney took over operations in December and vows to restore their public image.

"I fired one of the managers, I hired new maintenance, and new housekeeper," he said.  "We're proud of what we're doing now, and were excited about where we're going to be in the next few weeks."

In year's past, inspectors awarded the hotel AAA's "Diamond" rating

"They look at minimum standards of cleanliness, security, financial stability and go from there," said Don Lindsey of AAA of East Tennessee

After multiple complaints, that ranking was removed for 2011, though due to a clerical error it still appears on AAA's printed hotel guide and website.

While the hotel staff works to regain that status, experts say the best advice to travelers is to get as much information as possible.

"Do your homework and know exactly what you're getting, and if it's a major trip of any kind, it certainly wouldn't hurt to get some traveler's insurance just to make sure anything that goes wrong, you've got that covered," said Lindsey.

Despite the complaints, the hotel is accredited by the Better Business Bureau of East Tennessee, and maintains an A- rating.

It earned an 89/100 during a surprise inspection by the Health Department last week. 

2011's Top 10 Dirtiest Hotels in the U.S.:

1. Grand Resort Hotel & Convention Center - Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
2. Jack London Inn - Oakland, California
3. Desert Inn Resort - Daytona Beach, Florida
4. Hotel Carter - New York City, New York
5. Polynesian Beach & Golf Resort - Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
6. Atlantic Beach Hotel - Miami Beach, Florida
7. Rodeway Inn - Williamsville, New York
8. Super 8 Estes Park - Denver, Colorado
9. Palm Grove Hotel and Suites - Virginia Beach, Virginia
10. Econo Lodge Newark International Airport - Elizabeth, New Jersey

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