I needed to make an after dinner pickup of a package (it sounds more exotic than it was) in Aberdeen Md. and rather than make a three hour round trip, I decided to use my handy Cat. 4 Certificate and stay the night at the Residence Inn at Ripken Stadium (a lovely minor league ballpark, the home field for the Aberdeen Ironbirds, the Orioles farm team where many of their early round draft picks debut). I've been to several games here, but have never stayed and certainly not on a 5 degree night in the middle of winter. I pulled up, on a poorly lit, icy covered side street (Long Drive - get it?) around 9pm to the combo CY/Residence Inn and saw seven vehicles in the parking lot. Upon walking into the Residence Inn lobby here's the sign that greeted me
I walked through the hallway to the CY and met the personable front desk associate handling both property check ins and was given two keys, one for entering the CY from the parking lot and then one for my room at the attached Residence Inn. Walking from the lot to my room I did not see one person. The property built in 2007 has two nice lobby areas; 78 Res Inn suites and 114 CY rooms (the CY even had coffee out, but he informed me that they are going to the Bistro concept this month, so we all know what that means). The property stays busy during the week serving Aberdeen Proving Grounds (design and testing of ordnance materiel) and all of the 'consultants' (like the nearby Batelle) and from March until November houses baseball teams for the youth tournaments at the adjoining fields. Weekends in the winter can be very, very, slow the friendly front desk associate informed me - indeed. I had a pleasant stay, celebrating the fact that this Res. Inn, unlike several trending away, offered the traditional popcorn. The breakfast was fit for a king (I saw another guest at breakfast, who said I was the first guest he had seen since his 5 pm check in) and won high marks because it was old school and had it's soda fountain turned on for breakfast (by consuming diet Pepsi, I could pour more syrup on my waffle). As I checked out around 7:45 am and 3 degrees, there were 12 cars in the lot, 3 of them employees, so few guests had checked in (and I doubt if many had checked out before me). I had an enjoyable stay and the Chernobyl like environment made for an unique experience.
How about you fellow Insiders, have you had any similar experiences where you virtually had the property to yourself?
Cal Ripken Stadium - Aberdeen, MD
Youth baseball complex for tournaments - 5 fields
Popcorn still provided - entrance key and room key