The last time the Google Street View Car cruised past the motel, it was a glorious day, the car park only had a couple of cars and a mattress was airing outside one of the guest rooms (see picture above).
Why were newspapers across Canada doing stories about Barney's Motel? And why do universities use Barney's Motel as a model for teaching marketing?
The answer is Barney's Motel is often used as an example of how a modest business can reach out to consumers by developing a personality and using workplace humour to connect and break down barriers.
Humour can be used in an authentic way as a unique selling proposition and to communicate obvious shortcomings of a business that can't be easily remedied.
In the motel industry you have to have a sense of humour and those that don't never seem to last too long.
In a world where business can appear disconnected by taking themselves too seriously, the story of Barney's Motel using a simple philosophy of workplace humour to supercharge their success (ie deffer the wrecking ball) makes interesting reading: Click HERE to read more.
We would have loved to linked to their website www.barneysmotel.com, however it would appear that this is no longer operating - maybe the market had the last laugh?
Using the Wayback Machine that takes a snapshot and archives websites that have have long ceased to operate, we can bring Barney's Motel webpage back to life.
Here is how Barney's Motel communicated on their website the 10 Reasons to Stay:
Reason Number One
Say you have all your belongings in your car and you want to keep an eye on it. Say you only have 2 eyes and the other eye wants to watch a hockey game or some other game like soccer. Not that you're into soccer but the fights after a soccer game are way more exciting than the fights IN a hockey game.
How in the world would you be able to keep an eye on your car (with the entirety of your worldly possessions) if you were at a hotel? Easy - you can't. (and quite likely someone else is keeping an eye on your stuff, capice?)
Not so here at Barney's. It's easy to watch your vehicle because it's like 7 feet away from your head. And the cool thing is that everyone else is watching their vehicles as well so you can team up with strangers from another time and take turns watching the parking lot. (it might be a good thing to be on something when your doing this)
Reason Number Two
Dang - I went and used up my best reason right at the start! Now I'm gonna have to stretch to make up 10 things.
OK. Uhhh, the second reason to stay at a motel is that... you can sneak people into your room and no one would be the wiser. Yeah, like the number of people in our motel affects how smart we are. But this is still a good reason because the person you're sneaking in might not want to be seen by us. Maybe they're blind and they have an aversion to motels but you told them that you were staying at a big, fancy hotel. And you're a VIP so that explains the private entrance!
Hey, tell them that your room is really big and just take very small steps from the bed to the bathroom. And swerve around a fair bit so's to make the journey seem longer. Yes! You're in a suite at the Waldorf and this isn't Canada!
Whew! OK. That's reason number 2.
Reason Number Three why you should come to Barney's instead of somewhere else
You know how sometimes you fall asleep and when you wake up you're all kind of screwed up and wondering where you are? And then as consciousness is slowly creeping back into your body you feel like you have those wristbands that they put on you at the fair so they can get you and 4,000 other people to stand in lines instead of going on their rides?
But they're not wristbands from the fair. These are police handcuffs. Why? Because you stayed at a Hotel that has a bar and that idiot said something to your wife and NOW YOU'RE GOING TO JAIL.
And you're going to make some new, local friends tonight. Just because you didn't stay at Barney's. Well, don't say I didn't warn you.
Reason Number Four - this SHOULD have been number 3
You see the coolest things at a motel. Like this: (and this really happened - with just a slight embellishment ; )
I'm standing near my doorway which faces the rooms and I hear this muffled "Twenty Two!"
I'm thinking "what is that?" when I see our front desk clerk Shauna running out to a room with the master key ring. I follow a few steps behind her and when she gets to a room she inserts the keys and starts jiggling them. (the way the locksmith showed me and then I showed her - in the winter time you have to lift one leg while you're jiggling the keys)
There's a guy standing outside the room with a case in his hands and he said something to the people in the room as we were making our way to their location. He repeats his statement as we get closer, "This ain't gonna work you guys!"
Shauna is furiously jiggling the door lock keys (that's phase 2 of the unlocking solution) as the people trapped in the room all holler in unison "Twenty Three!"
The guy outside with the case yells "This ain't gonna work you guys, this doesn't count!"
Now I start fooling with the lock and the guy on the other side of the door says he's going to try to disassemble the door knob from the inside. (since the key jiggling thing didn't work)
"Twenty Four" the people (who are NOT helping with the lock) shout out.
"You guys, this ain't gonna work - it doesn't count!" says the guy with the case. I'm thinking - only at Barney's...
"What's going on?" I ask the my door taking apart cohort through the door. "We ordered pizza and then the door wouldn't open. Now my kids think we're going to get the pizza for free"
"Twenty Five!" they yell out.
Now the Domino's guy wants to help with the door handle. He's just as frustrated as me to learn that it's all up to my screwdriver / knife wielding compatriot on the money side of the door. Only HE has the power to see that this door opens in the next 4 minutes.
Anywho, the door did eventually open and the pizza guy delivered his product before it became free.
It was a wacky few minutes and all was saved but even if you do get trapped in one of our rooms - don't panic! Every room at Barney's has snacks, soup, canned stew, and drinks / juice just in case this happens. The way we have it figured - anyone could be locked in their room for 3 days and not suffer (unless you are allergic to Kraft Dinner - then you're in trouble).
Reason Number Five
We have a really small pool in every room. And uhhh, No Diving! And because we know that as soon as you get into your really small pool you have to go to the bathroom, we put a toilet right beside the pool. And pool towels.
Big Reason Number Six why you should stay with the Barnster
Pretend you're working your way through university. (Remember, this is just pretend) But man, you need a break! And some money. How about coming to Barney's Motel and earning money by killing flies. We hate them so much that we pay a ten cent bounty (in Canadian funds - about 4 cents American) for every fly sent to fly heaven without marking our walls.
Then again, you might be the kind of person who abhors the mindless slaughter of flies.
Of course, That would also mean that you've never endured a night at the Barnmeister's with 15 eye licking flies in your room - infecting you with sleep deprivation. Kill them, Kill them - if you stay. Kill them, Kill them - we will pay!
It's a great way to pay for your room - if you can find 590 flies!
Reason Number Seven why you should never stay anywhere but Barney's
Have a big gut? Laugh it off here. We have funny signs and a joke book in every room. (it's a thick joke book and in some rooms it takes the place of a bed) Actually, laughing is very good for you, except for when you laugh AT people. Heck, we've even been nominated by the Canadian Therapeutic Humor Association for our use of humor.
So we do try and laugh allot around here in preparation for payday. In fact, I'd say a sense of humor is imperative to living a full, non murderous life.
Reason Number Eight to avoid hotels like the Plague
You will save $ 39,600 by carrying your own suitcases into your room at Barney's (the proof will AMAZE you). Let's say you stay at hotels 360 days a year and you've been doing this for, ohh - 20 years. You're homeless but not because you don't have money. It's because you were a candidate for the Rhino party in 1983 and as a result your community asked you to leave. OK - the townsfolk torched your house and your family didn't feel safe with you around anymore. So now you do the hotel thing.
Anyway, back to our story... 360 days times 20 years equals 7200 nights in a hotel. Let's say that half the time a bellhop (another reason why you should shy away from hotels) carries your bags into the room and he wants one dollar per grip. And you have 11 bags. (you're homeless, remember?) Alright. 7200 divided by 2 equals 3600. Times that by 11 dollars per trip and you come up with and astounding $39,600 that you spend JUST on getting your bags into your room.
And that's not including the cost of the room! Man, I wish I would have figured this our sooner!
Number Nine Reason that you should spend some of your life at Barney's
Sure there are places you can go to get the bejesus scared out of you. And I'm not talking about thrill parks, I'm talking about hotels and motels where you wonder if the clerk knows that you're still there. What do you want NOW?! - they usually say with their faces. Of course, their lips say: Hello, how may I help you?...
At the world famous Barney's Motel, you'll get treated like we've known you forever and you owe us money. You'll think that we remember you even if this is your first visit. We KNOW who the boss is around here. (and it ain't me, I can tell you that!)
So dagnabbit, if you're looking for a place where folks do what they say they're gonna do, then look no further. If we say we're friendly, we're friendly. If we say we trust you - hey, we trust you. And if we tell you that someplace is this far and it turns out to be further, they moved it.
Fine - al - ly! - Reason Number Ten why every person in the world should stay at least ONCE at Barney's
Can you imagine yourself on your deathbed and the person holding your hand pops the last real, meaningful question about life to you? They lean close to your ear and whisper... remember Barney's Motel? A smile creeps through your lips and hangs there for a moment. Ahh yes, Barney's Motel. Ain't nothing like the real thing, the actual meaning of life to recall as your moving onto phase 2 (or 200).
The Barnster has set things up so's a person reflects on the important stuff in life during your visit. And it ain't stuff. It's you, your family and being happy just to be alive. And we are happy here in Friendly Manitoba. But we'd be happier if you came to see us - and now you have ten more reasons to do exactly that!
Wow! I did it! I found ten more reasons why I want to hang around here too. Hey - that wasn't as hard as I though it would be! Yahoo! See you at Barney's!!