The challenges of technology

Greetings Friends of Pisgah Inn

We are pleased to be open for our 2018 Season. Things are going well and visitors seem to be pleased with the improvements we made this past winter. On that note, please allow me to share a challenge we have and the ways we are attempting to meet it.

Technology is our challenge. The expectation of our guests these days is different than what it was when I first got here almost 40 years ago. Now, high speed internet, cable TV, and “connectivity” in general is in high demand. When I realized that this was becoming important, we immediately started looking for options.

Well, up here, we quickly found out we have some unique challenges. First, the buildings themselves do not lend themselves to WIFI. There is to much steel and concrete. Next, we do not get “cable” up here. Then, we found out the phone lines up here will not support what is expected by our guests. And the challenges go on and on.

A few years back, we were able to get a satellite TV system. It is now outdated and must be replaced. Our internet started out as a slow satellite connection and has more recently been converted to a “RF” (radio frequency) connection. It is ok, but not great.

A few years ago, we had to run cables into every room because the WIFI was simply not going to work. The cables improved things, but still not to the level our guests expect.

There is a challenge simply installing all of this stuff in a 50+ year old structure. We are doing all that can be done.

Please know that it is a priority for us in the near future to increase our connectivity and the quality of our technology service here. If it can be done, we will do it. I welcome your suggestions and comments.

By the way, I still do hear from the older guests that we do not need TV or internet or phones up here. They like the idea of NOT being connected. I get that, but……though I try, I cannot stop progress.
Bruce


13 Comments

  • Martha Norton April 8, 2018 at 6:55 pm

    I believe that you would not be stopping progress, but rather be maintaining the charm of the Pisgah Inn. We need places to go to in order to get away from all the technology. Anyway, Asheville, Brevard and Waynesville are really close. In truth, the Inn is not shut off from the rest of the world. Cell phones seem to,work just fine. I also really believe that if there could be a vote, there are more of us who would want Pisgah to,stay the way it is. Just my two cents worth. Thanks.

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  • Brent April 13, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    Despite being a software engineer, I’m in the camp that thinks it’s OK to be disconnected once in a while and welcome that aspect of my mountain trips.

    As a compromise, have you considered just making the WiFi available in a common area or two to avoid the infrastructure challenge of enabling every room? This would have the double benefit of encouraging folks to make new “real world” friends instead of staring at their screens.

    Reply

  • Tracy Gibson April 18, 2018 at 11:46 am

    How is Verizon service within the building? I haven’t booked yet, so if Verizon picks up well then I can use my hotspot. Otherwise, I may rethink. Thanks in advance for letting me know.

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    • Susan April 18, 2018 at 3:20 pm

      Verizon’s connection is very good in our rooms.

      Reply

      • Tracy Gibson April 18, 2018 at 11:49 pm

        Thanks Susan! I do enjoy a break from technology, but I’m also an avid planner and terribly directionally challenged, so it will be nice to be “connected” in order to plan out where I am going when!

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  • David Duggins April 18, 2018 at 5:34 pm

    Dear Bruce,

    You all do an incredible job at The Pisgah Inn. As to communications/connectivity, my Verizon phone has a great signal when I’m up there for lunch or dinner. Just keep doing what you and your staff are doing and if you ask me don’t change a thing.

    David Duggins
    (formerly with J. Scott Graham)

    Reply

  • Pamela Gibson May 7, 2018 at 5:56 pm

    Love the Inn and I am in the camp that could be disconnected. Have an area where like minded could come play cards, read a good book and just enjoy the beauty of the mountains.

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  • T Sloan May 9, 2018 at 1:31 pm

    Bruce, you do a phenomenal job. Those of us who have been coming for years know of your commitment to serving the guests. If the Inn must remain techno challenged, oh well. Perhaps the Inn is not a good fit for those who need tech 24/7. Just saying…..

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  • Xanthe Perez May 13, 2018 at 4:25 pm

    My husband and I have been guests at the Pisgah Inn and campground for over 30 years. My family started coming up in the mid 70s, so I even remember getting to go inside the old Inn when there was inclement weather to attend the ranger “Campfire Circle” program. So we know what it was like before and after connectivity, not even a phone in the room. For the last 20 years my husband has worked in the tech field, but his need for connectivity has never stopped us from coming. We totally appreciate the hard work and improvements that have been made. One hotel chain used to say, “the best surprise is no surprise”. It is never good to have your expectations not met, but if you have done your job at explaining what to expect before a customer commits to a reservation, both parties are in position to accept the terms.
    We would suggest that you continue, as you have, to do what makes sense. The idea of the most robust connectivity being available in a “common area” is a good one. Inform the people and allow them to decide if the Inn fits their needs, or if they would be happier staying in the valley. Either way you will never have a problem with occupancy.
    We love our Pisgah Inn!

    Reply

    • Margaret L Love November 6, 2018 at 2:30 pm

      I’m replying to an old post, but I don’t think you need to worry about it. Technology is racing ahead of you. If someone NEEDS to be connected, their hotspot will do it for them. You can download whatever TV show or movie you want to and bring it with you. If you need ballgame scores or news, you can get that on your smartphone. If you don’t have a smartphone then you probably don’t care about being “connected” anyway. I think trying to upgrade the property is not worth the effort and money. Once you do it it’s hard to keep it working. People can manage it themselves. If you feel compelled, you could add a common area with wifi as someone suggested, but my vote is for your peace of mind – and ours – to leave it alone.

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  • A W Warn September 4, 2018 at 8:37 pm

    We’ve been coming to Pisgah Inn for decades, since we were children.
    Connectivity is not an issue for us since our smart phone provides everything we need. There is no need for you to duplicate or provide any internet service.
    In the old days I enjoyed coming into the office to use your computer to check for messages, or to use the phone ;-), because most of the time we ended up having a conversation with a new friend.
    We appreciate the upgrades you have made to your facilities. Each time we stay, we can’t wait to come back.
    Even if we do not stay overnight every time, any time we are in the area we always stop in for a meal.
    Thank you for providing the service you do!
    Regards,
    A

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  • Marion October 5, 2018 at 4:31 pm

    Personally I go to the Pisgah Inn and surrounding area to disconnect from technology, phones ringing, televisions blaring, laptop screen glares. I love sitting on the balcony for the scenery, watching the sunrise, listen to birds chirping, and watching the chipmunks gathering for the winter. For those who want to remain in high-tech world, there are lots of hotels in Asheville where you can have all the technology you want. 🙂 Bruce – you and your staff are doing great by my standards. Thank you!

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  • Keith Jackson October 27, 2018 at 2:21 am

    Just completed a stay at Pisgah Inn. Technology has greatly improved. Dish offered multiple channels and good reception. Internet was good (was able to stream news from channels from my home town). I know there are pro’s and con’s to being “connected”. Good news for the those who wish not to connect … there is a on-off button on all devices. Thanks for providing the option to choose.

    Reply

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