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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
From San Jose, Calif.            Thursday, May 31 2001

Hostel ideas (continued)

As established when I started this series, a hostel is a dormitory-style lodging, popular among travelers in their teens and 20's, but also used by people of all ages. Most American hostels charge $12 to $18 per person per night, with rooms with more beds being cheaper than rooms with fewer. Some of them provide couples or family rooms, though this is a nicety, not a necessity.

A hostel adequate for Nanty Glo's budding tourism trade could have as few as two bedrooms with as few as four bunk-style beds available in each. An extra room, for singles and couples, would be a bonus if available. Separate toilet(s) and shower(s) would be required, with at least two of each preferred. A "co-ed" (one-person, locking) toilet or separate toilets for each sex would also be needed in the public youth center area. (Local law may take precedence in my general guidelines here.)

All of the equipment and facilities described in yesterday's entry as appropriate for a youth center would be available to all guests of the hostel, though the residence section of the building would be off-limits for anyone who was not registered as a hostel guest.

Many of the items would be available for free use by the guests, including the TV-video room, ping pong and/or pool table, and self-catering kitchen. Food like frozen entrees, coffee-tea-and-espresso, and microwave popcorn could be stocked and sold for a modest markup over retail or (if available) wholesale price. Use of Internet computers are usually rented by 15-minute increments, with a $1 minimum being reasonable and perhaps a $2 per hour fee for longer use. Longer use might also be limited to make equipment available to more users.

Hostels typically provide information about all attractions in the area, which would include maps and brochures on the Ghost Town Trail, historic attractions in Blacklick Valley, and other Cambria County and adjacent-area attractions like the Jimmy Stewart Museum in Indiana.

Hostels also often organize daytrips to local attractions, at reasonable prices. From Nanty Glo, some of these might include a trip to Johnstown and the Inclined Plane and Flood Museum, Loretto and the art museums and Schwab Estate, the Horseshoe Curve and the Portage Railroad sites, and possibly Glendale Lake and Seldom-Seen Mine.

Hostels frequently are not open 24 hours a day, and also typically close for several hours during the day for cleaning and a break for staff. Registered guests can be given their own access keys for late-night entry (as in motels), and it's not unusual to require all guests to vacate the premises (though permitted to leave their luggage in their room) during the daytime break. Access can be strictly restricted to registered guests.

Though such an enterprise wouldn't make anyone rich (and the biggest hostel association is a nonprofit charitable organization), it could provide several jobs (not necessarily more than one being fulltime) by local people. The hostel association linked above is the best, but many hostels are run as independent enterprises. Most of those, at least in places like California and major cities, require either a membership in a hostel association or the possession, on the guest's person, of a passport. (I believe this is largely to prevent local homeless people from using the discounted lodging at the expense of the tourist trade.) Hostels usually limit the number of days a guest can stay (residential YMCA's, which are virtually nonexistent now, used to have some permanent residents).

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

You know you are in California if:

• You know which restaurant serves the freshest arugula. (Webmaster's note: I have no idea what arugula is.)
• A really great parking space can move you to tears.
• Your car insurance costs as much as your house payment.
• You have very strong opinions about coffee and can tell Sumatran from Ethiopian at 20 paces.
• Your hairdresser is straight, your plumber is gay, and your Mary Kay rep is a guy in drag.
• It's sprinkling out, and there's a report on every news channel about "the storm!"

You can't remember... is pot legal?

Sent by Zan

Good Thoughts

He who angers you, controls you!
He who is good at making excuses is seldom good for anything else.
He who kneels before God can stand before anyone!
If God is your co-pilot - swap seats!
In the sentence of life, the devil may be a comma, but do not let him be the period!

Sent by Barry Hunt
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