Bay Springs Owner Terri Hyatt and staff recently hosted Jean Charles Modet, Nicolas Harouet and Nicolas Leclerc.
Hyatt said she received an email from the three stating they were traveling across the United States and looking for lodging. They ran across Bay Springs Motel on the Internet.
Hyatt said they are putting these lodging facilities and other attractions in the areas in which they visit on a website with videos and sound bytes which they will use to attract other European visitors to the United States.
“Actually the project is about roads and motels,” Harouet explained. “We landed in Miami and we are going to drive for maybe 10,000 miles around the country. We will make a stop and take pictures of motels, roads, and restaurants and sometimes we do some interviews of people by the road.
“The goal is to make people want to travel this way. A lot of people come to America to go to the national parks and Disney World. And there are a lot of good places to visit in between.”
The three were due to arrive late Saturday evening, Sept. 8, but got in a little earlier than they expected but things couldn’t have worked out better since Bay Springs Motel was right in the middle of its Gospel Singing held the second and fourth Saturday of each month during the spring, summer and early fall months.
From this event alone they saw a great filming opportunity.
“We arrived during the concert and Weiss Lake Bluegrass was here,” said Modet.
“It was wonderful. People were here listening to the music. We knew immediately this was something we could use. To tell you the truth, we found the motel and Terri so nice, we stayed one night more,” said Modet.
And so far they have found the people extremely cooperative and friendly who have not hesitated to let them know how much they appreciate what they were doing.
While in Cherokee County, Modet, Harouet and Leclerc travel, the “unique and winding roads “ of Little River Canyon. And American food was another pleasant experience for the European travelers. According to Hyatt, they had never been to an all you can eat buffet and looked forward to making a visit to Beans and Greens Restaurant before heading on to their next location. They also tried Captain D’s and had root beer for the first time, which they enjoyed immensely.
The three said it is more the “mom and pop” operations like Bay Springs Motel they are searching for. From here, they head to the Midwest, Hyatt said.
“We hope to see every state,” said Modet. “We are going to drive a lot, that is for sure.”
For this purpose, they were able to purchase a vehicle on ebay before arriving in the United States and picked it up in Orlando to begin their cross-country journey, Modet said.
Each of the three have their various roles to play in this project. Harouet is more the organizer, who takes most of the pictures, Modet works mostly with the sound and writing part and Leclerc provides that fresh set of eyes as a newcomer to the American countryside.
“It is the first time for me,” said Leclerc. “Everything is new to me. I have never seen a world like this.”
To visit their website, go to american-motels.com.
Hyatt said she has enjoyed getting to know her new French friends and learning more about their project.
“I think it is wonderful, absolutely wonderful,” said Hyatt.
“They took pictures of the motel. They have some really good shots, not things people would normally think of taking, but it has been great getting to know them and their experience. I told them about South Dakota and I hope they will go in that direction. I told them about some of the area up there.”
“They are going to leave soon and I hope they can stop here on their way back down,” said Hyatt.
“I told them I want to know how I compare to other motels. They are going to do a lot in the Midwest and the West.
“I am from Montana and I know how my family members are but I would like to know how people in that area greet newcomers and guests and things like that. I want to know if they are real open and friendly. Hopefully they will be able to come back and stay with us again on their way back home.”
“When they come back again, I think I am just going to monopolize Alabama and Georgia,” said Hyatt. “They just have to stay here, that is all there is to it. I am glad they sent me the email. It has been great.”