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Reorganizing and Construction

MGM Qpon Queen is currently under re-construction. I apologize for being away for so long, but I needed to learn more than I thought when I started this website. I am working on new posts and a new way of life.

Weekend Travel

Steven and I went to my first ever Auburn game over the weekend and we had a blast!!! Auburn won which made the day even better for me! We spent the weekend in Auburn and stayed at this little hotel called the University Inn. It is right in the heart of downtown Auburn and near everything.

I was skeptical at first as the hotel has some pretty awful reviews, but ultimately I decided that even if it was absolutely terrible it was just a place to sleep and didn’t really matter. I wasn’t surprised by the caliber of the rooms or the parking lot, but what I was amazed by was the fact that the owners are sitting on a gold mine and not doing anything to fix it up. That being said, I am taking this post to a place where I have never gone before….hotel consulting. (insert dramatic music here)

The first thing you have to understand about this location is a 14 minute walk (approximately 1 mile) from Jordan Hare Stadium, home of the Auburn Tigers. 

There is only one other hotel closet than the University Inn. The other hotel is a 3 star hotel. They have tons of room and have an amazing location. If the University Inn were a restaurant, Guy Fieri from Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives would do a feature on it.

Depending on the website you visit the hotel has between 41 – 46 rooms. There are several issues, but I think the greater majority of the challenges at this hotel are cosmetic. Yes, there are some construction issues as well, but I’ll get to that.

The number one thing that should be addressed is the electrical needs upgraded. In our room there were a total of 3 outlets. Each of the outlets in the main room were over loaded and one actually had an extension cord hooking the mini fridge, microwave, TV, and a lamp all to out outlet. The second outlet in the main room had two lamps plugged in. The other outlet was in the bathroom sink/closet area. We also found that the overhead light in the bathroom sink/closet area was a “recent” addition. They had installed a long florescent type light over the sink, however there was once upon a time a different kind of light there and the hole for the wires was still visible. To be able to plug in our phone chargers we had to unplug lamps.

The stairs heading up to our room gave me a sense of vertigo. There were uneven and shook in some places. The building itself needs painted and some upgrades to the wiring (there were cables and wires all clearly visible in the breezeway).

The parking lot could use some could also use some work (repaved, striped, reconfigured).

The tubs and showers need replaced and retiled. The tub in our bathroom looked like it had been painted. It had a teeny tiny shower head that barely put out any water. There were 3 different kinds of tiles on the walls. The floors in the bathroom and sink areas are clearly stick down “wood look” planks. There were very cheap and uneven to walk on. The sink/vanity itself needs updating and was stained. The toilet was a commercial style toilet that you would expect to see restaurant, not what you would expect to see in a hotel.

 

The floor in the main room was uneven, but the carpet appeared to be relatively new.

That covers the greatest majority of the “construction” things. Depending on the electrical this should cost approximately $46,000. I estimated high on quite a bit, but still $1,000/room to bring it up to standard isn’t bad. I also got estimates from my friends and contacts in the business. The Inn would have to be able to use my contacts to get some of these rates.

After that it’s all the “fluff”, the cosmetic/decor stuff (and the amenities).

In our room there was a table that we used as a night stand on one side of the bed, nothing on the other side. There was a desk, double dresser, two side chairs, and the mini fridge “holder”. The TV sat on top of the double dresser. There were two side lamps and one touchier type lamp. There were 2 generic “flowery/pastel” pieces of art.

As for upgrades, I don’t think the bed was that bad, the mattress slept fine and the headboard was ok. The linens (both on the bed and the bath linens) desperately need upgraded. There should be a side table for both sides of the bed in a King room and one in the middle for a double room. The dresser was cheap and the laminate was pealing. None of the furniture matched.

I think the artwork should be changed out to something that would depict the fact that this is an Auburn hotel. The hotel is less than a block away from Toomer’s Corner. If the owner took pictures around town and framed them, this would be perfect art for the rooms. As for the linens, I would monopolize on the burnt orange and navy of the Auburn colors. Navy bedspreads with burnt orange throw pillows. Upgrade the sheets and the towels. As for the rest of the furnishings in the room I would choose one style and go with it.

The overall decor upgrades should cost approximately another $65,000. Again I estimated high. And again, I used my friends and contacts in the design and decor industry. I also didn’t include the price of a coffee maker per room, which they could desperately use.

Now I know what you’re saying. “Carol, that’s $111,000 just in upgrades and repairs. How could they ever recoup that cost?”

The current base rate for a room on a football weekend is $220. They have a 2 night minimum stay requirement which means that each football weekend each room brings in approximately $440. This season alone, Auburn has 7 home games. If they sold out the hotel (which it usually is) for each of those games, that brings in a total of $141,680.

There are hotels in the area that are charging $300 – $400 a night with a 2 night minimum stay. If University Inn did some of the upgrades I’ve mentioned they could continue to charge the regular $220. But if they did all the upgrades I’ve listed, installed coffee makers in each room, and had a better breakfast offering (instead of day old honey buns and bottom of the pot coffee) the Inn could charge at least $300 if not more.

Yes, I know it’s a lot of up front cost, but ultimately the return would be amazing and it would pay for itself in one football season.

Invisible Illnesses

I know this is not coupon or savings related, but this issue is very important to me and I hope you will indulge me as I share my story.

I am continuing this tradition for myself. There is ALWAYS someone out there that needs help and I will be there for anyone that asks for that help. If you need someone to talk to, CALL ME! If I can’t help you through your challenges, I have an amazing support system and there is SOMEONE that can help you…that has been RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE NOW. Don’t continue to suffer in silence.

On this day eight years ago, I never would have thought that my life would be where it is today. Today, I am married to a man that I love wholeheartedly, and I have been given the opportunity to be a bonus mom and #sistermother, when I thought it would never be a possibility. I have forged new friendships that have greatly helped me through a major struggle and transition into my new life. I have lost friendships that I thought I could never live without, but bonded stronger with the true friends that stood beside me through the dark period. However, I am reminded of 8 years ago today (which seems like a life time ago). I married my best friend in the whole world, my first love, and high school sweetheart. We had known each other for over half of our lives and I was in 7th heaven. If you told me that day that everyone (except my parents) would not be part of my life in less than 4 years, I would have had you committed. If you told me that day that in less than a month my husband would start having “problems” I wouldn’t have believed you. In fact the concept that Chris and I wouldn’t work out was so far out of the realm of possibilities, not just in my mind, but most everyone’s. When we started the divorce process, I was in shock for quite a while (even though I knew it was for the best) and I slowly started to realize that my life would never be the same. I suddenly went from having friends that I had know my entire life, “nieces” and “nephews” that I watched being born and growing up, siblings that lived in the same city as I did…to emptiness. I lost almost every friend I had in town, people that had know me for most of my life, because I was doing what was best for me and “killing” him in the process.
I say all that to say this:
While you do promise to love and cherish, in sickness and in health, there is a difference between loving and cherishing and staying in a marriage that is toxic. To this day I love Chris and I probably always will, despite all the hell he put me through for years, but there is a point that you have to decide what is best for you as a person and there is a difference between love and IN love. There are many forms of illnesses in the world and some of the hardest to deal with are the invisible ones…the ones that most people don’t see. Depression, addiction, bi-polar, etc. these are all invisible illnesses and people don’t understand the hardship that is involved not just for the person that is “sick”, but also their spouses and children. And as with any illness, if you don’t get help (of some kind) you won’t get better. I have heard through the grapevine that Chris is getting better day by day. I hate that it took the dissolving of our marriage for him to finally get the help he needed, but I’m glad he’s finally getting back to the person he used to be.
If you know someone suffering from an invisible illness…if you are married to someone that is…if you are that person yourself, PLEASE ask for help from somewhere. There are resources out there to help you.
But despite all that, I hate that I had to go through the darkness to get to this light. You have to live through the rain to see the rainbow.
#addictions #recovery

JCPenny Coupon | $10 off $10+ Purchase

jcpenney coupon code

This Saturday (7/22) head to your local JCPenny where they will be handing out coupons for $10 off a $10+ purchase!

Be sure to get there early because they will only have a limited about of coupons and once they’re gone they’re gone.

Also, don’t forget that this weekend is tax free weekend here in Alabama so you can rack up on some good deals.

Target run 7-15-17 Only $105

One of my favorite things about shopping at Target is the free gift card deals. People often ask me how I can afford to do Christmas like I do (remember 8 siblings most of whom are married with kids and some of the kids have kids). The answer is two fold…1- coupons for everything and 2- Target gift cards I get through out the year. This was our latest haul.

I haven’t been shopping in almost a month so we needed quite a bit of stuff. With the exception of perishables this should tide us over for another month or so. So here is the receipt: (be forewarned it’s a long receipt and I had to piece it together LOL)

Yes that bottom line figure says $174. And it doesn’t look like I saved a whole bunch. But let’s break it down some. A big part of the $174 was stuff on clearance (remember my post over the weekend here about checking your clearance sections?) so that makes a huge difference. Then I was able to use coupons and Cartwheel on top of the clearance items.

Next thing to note is that I got $20 back in gift cards and I bought a $25 Starbucks gift card. So this brings my total down to LIKE $130ish.

Then we have the online and app rebates here:

This brought my total down to $120. Then I submitted a $15 rebate for the vitamins here which will bring my total down to a whole whopping $105 for a month (more or less) of non perishables and health goods.

Welcome!!!!

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Hello all!!!

With the official launch of MGM Qpon Queen I just wanted to say hello and welcome! The purpose of this site is to help you save money and share the good karma.

It is my hope to eventually start doing my own coupon matchups (matching the store ads to the coupons available), but I can’t do that JUST yet. I have to have an established and running website before the companies will start sending me updates. Just know that as soon as I can, I will do it.

Remember that this is a work in progress and I’m learning as we go on this journey together. I always welcome comments and constructive criticism.

 

Carol