Monday, August 1, 2016

Our mountain resort

We spent last week at a resort near Gatlinburg, Tenn. It seemed more like a log cabin to me, although a luxurious log cabin and nothing like the one Abe Lincoln was born in. There was a swimming pool and a tennis court on the property. Is that what made it a resort?

Turning to The American Heritage Dictionary, I see a resort is "a place frequented by people for relaxation or recreation." By that broad definition, a resort might also be your neighborhood tavern, a city park, a pool hall, a bowling alley or, for that matter, your own living room.

Driving through Gatlinburg, I noticed few motels and even fewer hotels or inns, but there was one resort after another, even though most of them looked, at least to me, more like motels, hotels or inns. Some looked like campgrounds.

Last year we stayed at two resorts. One of them, located in Michigan, looked like a nice motel, although we had a three-room suite with a balcony. Did that make it a resort? The other, within 10 minutes of the Disney parks in Florida, had a gate and guard, and inside, in addition to the large pool and tennis courts, there was a clubhouse with a store, a game room, a lobby and even a movie theater. Now that was a real resort.

Clearly the word resort has become cheapened so that it can mean practically anything. We loved our log cabin adjacent to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and may even return there next year. But it's not what I picture in my mind when I hear the word resort.

My idea of a resort

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