August 12, 1922

By Gregory Clark, August 12, 1922.

Hotels, golf, motor cars are the death of summer resorts – these three, and the greatest of these is hotels.

No hotel ever founded a summer resort.

Years after a few plucky pioneers had gone out into the wilderness and located a place of beauty and had developed a good transportation system by rail and boat, along comes a hotel and squats down in the midst of the cottagers. And revelry departs.

The hotel starts a golf course. It jollies the natives into making good motor roads. Presently these monsters of the city invade the sacred calm of the summer resort, endangering the lives of the children of the cottagers, kicking up dust that never had been raised before.

A crowd of gaudy strangers, with no stake in the community other than a sixty dollar hotel bill for their two weeks at the summer hotel, come and swarm all over the place, make the still water echo with their yells at evening, go strutting past the cottages with their golf bags, thus enticing the men of the cottages away from the pleasant and proper idleness of the veranday, spooning in the ‘cottagers’ private groves, dancing to all hours to the raucous music of a four-piece orchestra, which fills the night that hitherto had been filled only by the mellow note of the whippoorwill and the cricket.

Do these two-week strangers acknowledge any indebtedness to the cottagers for having come and pioneered this beautiful place and made it possible for a hotel to accommodate them? Not they. With their sixty dollar investment in a hotel bill, they swank on all their giddiest garments, sneer at the cottager, who tries to maintain the ancient summer resort traditions of “old clothes and comfort.”

Most of these two weekers, by the look of them, spend the rest of their year saving up fancy clothes to flash on the summer hotel. It is possibly their principal reason for coming to the summer hotel. For they certainly do not otherwise enjoy the realities of a summer holiday.

And why should men who play golf all the year round bring golf up to their summer holiday? It is pure swank. I think most of these people who play golf at summer hotels don’t belong to a club at home, and play golf only at the summer hotel. I have watched some of them playing, and I think I have the right dope.

As a matter of fact, I think most of them borrow the clubs they bring up, because I saw one man solemnly trying to play right-handed with a set of left hand clubs.

And as they stroll elegantly from place to place over this beautiful land saved from the wilderness by the pioneering cottagers, these two-weekers cast haughty glances at the cottager, who, in a pre-war pair of trousers and pre-hotel pair of running shoes a little split around the toes, dares to enter the hotel to patronize it to the extent of a plug of tobacco (which they keep for the hired help).

They look on the cottager, with his investment of thousands in his cottage and his hundreds in annual operating expenses, as a hick.

There is only one escape. To go on and on, into some remoter wilderness, there to enjoy the peace and beauty of nature, until you have so improved the train and boat service that a hotel can come and usurp your paradise.

There is no law against hotels and motors and golf. They mean nothing to your true pioneer of summer resorts. They are the perquisites of the two weeker.