"This is the Shore hotel,” I heard after answering the phone.
That sounds routine, but it brought joy to my heart. It was a first call!... I almost never acquire new hotels, and the Shore, an upscale boutique on the Santa Monica beach, had opened a month earlier.
I keep an eye on hotels under construction. As the opening nears, more aggressive doctors approach the general manager or visit the staff to extol their virtues. I send a dignified letter of introduction to the GM. This rarely works, but after more letters and the passage of time – perhaps a decade or two – calls often materialize.
Before leaving the Shore, I stopped at the front desk to introduce myself, give thanks for the referral, and pass out business cards. The clerks responded with enthusiasm, accepted my cards, and promised to keep me in mind, but it was clear they had no idea who I was. When asked who had contacted me, they scratched their heads, consulted colleagues, and admitted they had no idea.
This reminded me that over thirty years, every Los Angeles hotel has called at least once. First calls always excite me, but it turns out they mean little. If I get a second, more follow.
So far the Shore has been silent.