Originally Posted by vinn
Great questions and I'm actually really interested in all of the answers. We're actually in the middle of a large wireless mesh installation this summer (Cisco 1500 AP's.)
Question for everyone: we're setting up a revenue model where we'll have free Internet access in the lodge, free access for homeowners, but pay access for other lodging guests. How does everyone feel about pay access?
I've always found it odd - if you go to the airport or Starbucks, you expect to pay for Internet access. If you go to Super 8, you expect free access. Ironically, on the high-end of lodging, such as Vegas and Hyatt's, etc there tends to be a pay model.
Oh, and with regards to my answers, well: yes, no, no, yes - if it truly becomes a problem, sure...
Since you asked in earnest, I probably wouldn't pay. My phone has EVDO or 1x access in most locations, as does the card in my laptop, so in a pinch I could use either of those. I have never taken my laptop to a base lodge, but use it regularly from the condo or hotel room. I haven't carried my phone on the hill in over 4 years, but I do check to see what is going on if I return to the room/condo for lunch. I've used the lodge payphone to log into voicemail or call the office and ask if anyting urgent has come up. Many times I have also skied back to the room/condo to participate in pre-arranged meetings via phone/internet. I wouldn't choose to do that in a base lodge, but who knows ... never say never.
99% of the time the only things I have with me on the hill are a key, a credit card, and my insurance card. Maybe a snack bar. The other 1% I might snap a 2-way on my arm if I split up from the group (like going back for a meeting) and need to reconnect without having people (them or me) standing around at pre-arranged locations.
My goal is to use technology where it makes my life simple.
For the original questions:
No haven't used my laptop in a ski lodge. Don't care one way or the other if WiFi is/isn't available, although in today's world non-connected public places will become more rare. There probably should be some provision to address conflicts with paying food patrons if there isn't enough seating. Maybe by limiting access time or providing reserved seating for paying customers (internet or food). For non-paying brown baggers and racer moms, it's up for debate whether the mountain is obligated to provide a table and chair (or a roof overhead for that matter). Everything is negotiable - that said, people tend to walk if they aren't getting what they think is good value for their money.