When guests check in at Birchwood Lodge in Sister Bay, we always give them the number of keys they request (up to a maximum of three) for use during their stay with us. Sure, we get asked, “How come you don’t use key cards?” the simple answer is,“The securest way not to get hacked,” he said said a hotel industry security expert, “is to be offline and to use keys.” Electronic key card locks don’t always work as intended. Eco-friendly key cards aren’t always recycled; plastic key cards are easily demagnetized, causing guest inconvenience. Case in point, I was once a guest at a corporate chain hotel in Tennessee. The key card did not work on the lock to my room, so I went back to the front desk and retrieved another key card that I was assured would work. Nope,…same problem. So the front desk clerk said, “You mus be inserting it the wrong way.”  Now I admit that there are some things that do challenge my technology skills, so I asked him to accompany me to my assigned room and try the key card himself. IT DID NOT WORK. “Well, I’ve never had that happen before”, he said. We’ll just have to assign you to a different room.” That was his solution, and I must admit I was not pleased because I had requested that specific (pet friendly) room on the ground level to make it convenient for me to walk our dog outside, through the exit near that room. That made me a a supporter for metal keys. Call me out of date, but I’m sure I’m not alone in that opinion. Old-fashioned metal keys and locks are pretty reliable, even after all these centuries. A hotel manager, writing in an industry journal stated, “Metal keys gives his staff an “opportunity to interact with guests and anticipate guests’ needs.” That’s what we like at Birchwood Lodge. Giving out keys gives our staff a chance to provide more personal interaction with guests both coming and going. We like the face to face contact, which often gives us time to better acquaint ourselves with guests and to provide as much information they request to enhance their experiences in Door County. based on our comments and recommendations for entertainment, shopping, dining, and recreation. From our perspective, eco-friendly key cards aren’t always recycled and plastic key cards are easily demagnetized, causing guest inconvenience. We want your stay to be “frustration free”. Yes, there are times when some guests struggle with keys, but for the most part, they discover that they had locked the deadbolt on the door, or they didn’t turn a lock hard enough. We’ll keep using keys here at Birchwood Lodge, if for no other reason than to give just a little more time to get to know each other. If you want the “key” to some happy times in Door County, give a call, toll-free at 866-854-7195. On-line reservations can be made at www.birchwoodlodge.com.