We have a group of 16 guys that has been going to Garland for 10 plus years. The accomodations have always been excellent with friendly and helpful staff. The golf courses provide a great challenge and are beautiful and well maintained. We go back every year because of the beautiful courses, very reasonable package prices (we stayed 4 nights and had 7 rounds of golf for a total package price of $695 - yes, both golf and lodging included), outstanding scenery and fantastic temperatures(we again had mid 70's and sunny for our entire stay).
The reason I say that it used to be better is that ownership of Garland changed hands perhaps 5 years ago. We have noticed a number of changes since the ownership change. None of them good. For starters, the place used to have good crowds. Crowded but not overly so. We have noticed the last couple years that the crowds have been in decline. We used to go in after an afternoon round and there were numerous groups sitting outside or inside at the bar enjoying food and beverage. On this trip like last year it has not been uncommon to be about the only group either outside or inside. Garland used to have live entertainment in the bar at night and the place was hopping. Not anymore. Also, outside they had a little outside cabana we referred to as the 'Tiki Bar'. This was part of the outside seating area that our group used to sit around having beers, etc. often until 10-12pm at night. This year they moved the cabana bar about 50 yards off the main outdoor seating area. And to boot it now closes at 5pm. Really!?!?!? That was one of our favorite places to hang out after a round of golf. We were told it was moved because it was competing with inside bar in the evening. What?!?!? All going to the same pot isn't it.. Doesn't it make sense to give the customer what they want?
Another change is that they used to have 4 golf courses located on the resort grounds available to guests. A few years ago the closed one of the courses, Fountains, to public play. It is now only open to members. This was probably the favorite course of guys in the group. So, another aggravation. Don't think in the last 2 years I have ever even seen anyone teeing up at the first tee of Fountains. Was it really necessary to close to the public??? How about keep it open to members only in the morning then open it to public in the afternoon or some similar compromise?
The resort also now 'controls' the ability to bring in your own alcohol even to your own room. You are not supposed to do it. Obviously people still will. However, it is just one of the new rules which is unnecessary and aggravating.
The owner is Chicago area based. There have been 4 resort managers in the last 5 years according to one un named employee. We talked to several employees as well as locals in Lewiston (if you go you have to go to Tally's. Probably the best burgers I have ever had. This is echoed by most in my group). They all generally are frustrated with the new ownership of the resort it seems. They are frustrated that crowds and business are down.
We all like Garland and intend to return because we like the golf courses, the resort, the service staff and the weather.
Suggestions to the owner who we wonder how he keeps the place open: listen to your customers. Why not actively seek input from your guests. Believe me, they have a lot of them. Also, perhaps you should advertise. The owner is from Chicago and yet I have never seen an ad for the resort. I am not suggesting you go back to the way things were. Perhaps some changes were necessary but changes made haven't resulted in increased business. Maybe time to assess why.
- Also Known As:
- Garland Lodge And Resort
- Garland Hotel Lewiston
- Garland Resort Lewiston