'They treat you like a customer, not a patient': Texas man's Holiday Inn retirement plan goes viral

Poolside deck chairs at the Holiday Inn Express Waikiki (Honolulu).
PHOTO: Facebook/Holiday Inn Express Waikiki (Honolulu)

CHICAGO - American seniors seeking to retire on the cheap have a new source of inspiration: a Texas man who plans to spend his golden years in Holiday Inn hotels to avoid costly nursing home fees.

"For a combined long term stay discount and senior discount, it's US$59.23 (S$79.80) per night," Houston-area resident Terry Robison said on Facebook three weeks ago in a post that has since gone viral.

"They treat you like a customer, not a patient," Mr Robison says. "Want to see Hawaii? They have Holiday Inn there too."

More than 113,000 people have shared Mr Robison's idea - a fairly detailed one, at that - to rely on the budget hotel chain, with free breakfast, for daily living.

"The maid checks to see if you are ok. If not, they'll call an ambulance... or the undertaker," Mr Robison adds.

The plan has resonated at a time when costs for retirees have skyrocketed. The annual median price of a private room in a nursing home, with trained medical staff, is now just over US$100,000, according to a report by CNBC.

Competition is at least partly to blame, with some 10,000 baby boomers retiring each day, according to the business news channel.

"I've actually met an elderly lady one time that was actually living in a Hampton Inn. She was quite content," said one Facebook commenter in reply to Mr Robison's post.

Asked by AFP if he was serious about the plan, Mr Robison said: "It's humour, but not a joke. Definitely considering it as an option, but maybe not a Holiday Inn."

InterContinental Hotels Group, the parent company of Holiday Inn, did not immediately return a request for comment.