My Customer Service Review of Seven Clans Hotel in Thief River Falls


I swear, every time I am receiving a service from a business, I am judging the level of customer service. I am a customer service freak. I thought for a while that I would like to write reviews of businesses and services but I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. At this time, I decided that I am going to share my thoughts. My intention is never to offend anyone, but I have personally provided and continue to provide great customer service based on my training, experience and interest, and I am going to provide my feedback via my own blog, on customer service that I receive.

My first published blog review of customer service I received will be a mixture of my customer service measure plus personal experience. I don’t travel a whole lot, but I like to get away and see Manitoba, Canada and the local distance of the U.S. that is within a reasonable driving time.

Last week, my boyfriend and I decided to join some friends, with kids in tow, to the U.S. We stayed at the Seven Clans Casino in Thief River Falls. Wikipedia states “Seven Clans Casino Hotel & Indoor Waterpark is a tribally owned casino situated near Thief River Falls, Minnesota. Built in the early 90s, the casino was called River Road Casino. The Waterpark and hotel were completed in 2001 and the casino changed the name to Seven Clans Casino Thief River Falls.The Waterpark has 4 big slides and 4 small slides. Seven Clans also has Northwoods Arcade. This is the only northern waterpark for hours.

“Red Lake Gaming Enterprises owns two other casinos: Seven Clans Casino Warroad and Seven Clans Casino Red Lake.

“Seven Clans Casino hosts an annual pow-wow, Independence Day fireworks display, and outdoor concerts. Motocross and snowmobile races are also common.

My first contact was calling to inquire about whether or not the hotel had a gym. The phone call went like this:

Me: hello, I am staying there this weekend and I was wondering if you have a gym?”

Reception: What is his last name?

I thought this was hilarious. Turns out they don’t have a gym, but they have a great deal from Sunday to Monday night stays.

I have been doing this personal customer service judging quietly for years! My personal rating chart will be rated out of a five per category and may look something like this:

  1. Location
  2. Customer Service
  3. Food (Taste, quality)
  4. Visual presentation
  5. Ease of overall stay

I have stayed at a Seven Clans hotel a year ago, but the location in Red Lake, Minnesota. My level of customer service expectation was set to low because of this experience. I generally have a high expectation of customer service ready to go at any given time.  When I receive a great customer service experience, and if I can rate it high, I am generally pleased, not overjoyed. To me, customer service is the heart of a business.

Arriving at Thief River, the parking was great. We arrived a couple hours early because of my error in the arrangements made with friends. We stayed at the Road King Inn in Grand Forks, the stay there was not really worthy of a rating. I have stayed there on a few occasions as well, and it is more of a decent pit stop.

At Thief River, you immediately smell that this is a smoking facility. If you are a smoker, you will feel an ease of acceptance. If you are not, it is semi-tolerable, if you don’t think about it. If you are allergic to smoke, this would not be the place for you.

We decided to spend some time in the restaurant while we waited for check in. We were hungry and it was about that time so this made sense to us. We were sat in an acceptable amount of time. Our drinks and orders were taken in a timely fashion I suppose. We had cheese burgers.

We asked at 2PM if we could check in early. We were told that this would be fine, although the rooms are not ready. Check back in about 15 minutes. That’s not a problem, can’t complain when we are the ones early.

The grand lobby is fantastic. The first sight you see is a moose antler chandelier. It’s super cool. It is award winning for an antler show. There is a gift shop to the right and open to the left is a huge sitting area for about 25 people with a big screen TV and an enormous coffee table. If you walk right over to the left, you have a clear view of the exciting water park. The kids are stoked and it keeps them busy while we wait, so that’s cool too.

We checked back again with reception before 3PM. Nope, not ready. 3PM came and went. Rooms not ready. At 3:20PM the receptionist motioned us over to her spot and announced the rooms were now ready for check in.

The customer service is better described as a clerk. There is no effort of ‘serving’. A clerk is behind the desk to ask your name and give you a card key. There was a small hint of ‘you’re kind of bothering me,” from the girl behind the table. I would have much better liked a smile, look in the eye, with a greeting of “Hello, welcome to Seven Clans”,  don’t worry about asking me if I found the location of the hotel ok, or if I had any questions about parking, and better yet, have my room ready for 3PM check in.

I asked if we could have the Wi-Fi password. She pointed over to a basket that had the user name and password typed out on handy business card size paper for hand out. This was fine, although, a few of us could not log on at all and if we did, we had to log on every time we picked up our devices. Over my 22 hour stay,  I logged on to my tablet twice and my iPhone about ten times. I had only logged on so I could message with my older son, back at home in Winnipeg, whom I missed his last message asking me about the oven temperature for the chicken he was cooking. He decided not to make the chicken because I couldn’t respond. From the assessment of when I returned, he had a lot of yogurt and cereal.

The hotel rooms were very spacious. It was a pleasurable sight to see when you first walk in. To the far end of the room you see the balcony shades wide open, letting in a beautiful amount of sunlight, to the left you see a fireplace, which I was not expecting and quite enjoyed. We had a fold out futon, two queen size beds, a full bathroom with an extra sink near the entrance. A spacious mini fridge and a microwave. Very good for two adults and two children. The cable selection was great!  Sure kept the kids occupied while we unpacked, got comfortable and ready to swim. There was always a movie on that was interesting enough for all of us to pay attention to.

The pool was great. I learned to carry with me a full bottle of Aloe Vera as my son’s addiction to swimming dried out his skin. Sleep, a morning swim and fun at the arcade was pleasant. Our omelettes were easily 5 eggs! By the time we had left, someone had stolen my vehicle extension cord on a -35 night.  My rating as follows:

Location 3/5

Customer Service 2/5

Food 2/5

Visual Presentation 3/5

Ease of overall stay 2/5


I’m making this up as I go. Life is supposed to be fun. If you have an experience or comments that you want to share, I’d love to hear it!

Author: Jessica Dumas

Follow me on Twitter @ Facilitator, Indigenous Advisor

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