Hot air balloon bees

I was robbed

sunset over ColoradoSeriously. I was robbed. As a result, my art show season ended with some big surprises last fall in Albuquerque, NM.

And really, I’m okay with that.


I was in town doing The Rio Grande Arts and Crafts Festival, which runs the same time as the Hot Air Balloon Fiesta. The fiesta is one of the largest international balloon events in the world. Albuquerque

On day three of the two weekend event I returned to the hotel found a big surprise: my trailer had been stolen.

The police were called in and the papers filed. I was told at that time “good luck” getting it back and that it was probably long gone in Mexico.

In the hope of getting some relief, I talked to the front desk at the Days Inn and asked to talk to a manager.  The manager was not in but I was assured there was surveillance video of the parking lot. The next day I returned to talk to the desk because I still had not heard from the manager.  I was told she had been ill and would call me later. Did I mention it was the Days Inn in Albuquerque on Menaul Blvd?

I heart those boots.

My good friends, David and Judy who were also at the art show, let the show directors know of my plight.  The show directors called a local news station and I made the evening news.

This was good because it brought people to my booth that might not otherwise have stopped.

My second surprise came when I realized the Days Inn in Albuquerque on Menaul Blvd doesn’t give a care about me or my trailer.  I never heard from the manager. I never received a phone call. They even refused to hand over the surveillance tape to the police.  I even went so far as to call the chain to see if I could file a complaint and never heard back from them either.

We  stayed at that Days Inn in Albuquerque on Menaul Blvd ELEVEN days and nothing EVER happened.

Then my third surprise came!

I got a call on the Friday of the second week of the show and the police had spotted my trailer in downtown Albuquerque. According to the police I was one of the lucky 1 in 20 to get theirs back!

Great news, I was ecstatic!

During this time I was thankful I had insurance to cover my trailer. I was lucky that most of my art and booth were at the show. I lost three bins full of prints, display items, packaging materials, lighting equipment and a small original.

However, when I tallied up the number on exactly what it was that I lost it was still at around $2,000. I thought this was still worth putting in a claim.  This is where surprise number four came in.

After putting in my claim I was told it was not going to go through. They said it was because my art business is, “only covered up to 500 feet of my office.”

MY office?

What office?

I am a fine art painter!  My agent knew the nature of my business when I signed up for the policy.  I stated that I need the insurance because I travel and do outdoor juried art shows.  I needed protection from weather, theft and car accidents. I needed to have the trailer and its contents insured!

Hot air balloon beesAccording to the agent, after the fact, none of this was covered.  The reality stung.

I felt as if I had been robbed. Again. Twice.

Once by a couple of yahoos in a hotel parking lot and a second time by a licensed insurance professional.

Then I began to thank my lucky stars.

You see, I had been in an outdoor show last spring where a small twister took out 10 booths in a different part of the show.   Had I been one of those artists, I would have lost everything.  So I am in pursuit of a new agent and insurance because April 6, 7 & 8 I’ll be at the Deep Ellum Arts Show outside of Dallas in Deep Ellum, Texas to kick off my art show season (I’m in Booth 20!)

Lesson learned ……I will make sure all my bases are covered properly. After all, this is a business and not a hobby.

Just to be clear – did I mention it was Days Inn in Albuquerque on Menaul Blvd?


15 thoughts on “I was robbed

  1. I would have suspected the Days Inn manager at that point to be perfectly honest. As for your ‘office’ what physical address do they have for it? Otherwise who is to say your booth wasn’t your office? Always best to cover yourself though, can’t be too careful.

  2. Chrissy, I have a marine policy for my art business. This covers the everything coming and going to shows, as well as in galleries and other places my work is hung. This is through Bremer insurance out of Amery WI.

  3. Thanks kijo,

    No more Days Inn for me. My insurance agent was very clear on the nature of my business, in fact he seemed truly as shocked as I was when we got the news. I guess the moral of the story is to check over your policies and DO have insurance because you will need it.

  4. I can’t help but think about the “loss” of faith in people/organizations! I suppose to look at the long view, you are now properly informed and insured, but what a way to learn. . .the stress! Good luck in the future. . .

  5. Glad you had a relatively good outcome. Seems you were mis-sold that insurance policy. That is illegal in the UK. Might be worth chasing them. Was that the Days Inn in Alberqueque on Menaul Blvd? I’m not sure if you mentioned them. 🙂

    • Hi John,

      Yes, I am actually thankful and lucky to have my trailer back. I guess I must have mentioned the address….Stay away. We actually had a few other problems there that were never addressed such as a door that would not lock unless you slammed it. We reported it to the desk but every day we would come back our room would be unlocked. I am sure they must take better care of you in the U.K.

  6. How great the your trailer was recovered. whew!
    I agree with Kijo; something’s fishy @ the day’s inn. how could they not comply with the police request for the surveillance video? contact an attorney.
    good luck in texas!

    • Yes something is fishy is right! My brother in law owns a motel and he said the tapes run all the time so if you don’t check them in 24 hours they are useless. Thanks for the good luck in Texas! I am looking forward to heading down south.


  7. Lucky you got it recovered! Must have felt awful up until then, especially considering just how helpful the Inn staff seemed to be.

  8. Dear Christine – You should contact the Wyndham Hotel Group, they are the corporate entity for about 15 other properties. Inform them in a professional manner that you and the art community plan to make publically known exactly how you were treated. This group owns some impressive properties – like Planet Hollywood in Vegas.

    I have had success with several large corporations and namely airlines by going to the corporated level.


  9. If you have a lawyer friend who will work for cheap, or, can find one who will work for less than a half an hour for less than a fortune, have them re-tell your story as an affidavit. Stress the TV report. Send one copy to the CEO of the Wyndham Hotel Group and another to their chief council/ law office person. Have it noted on each that a CC is going to the other. (Though the lawyer may do that as a matter of course). Good luck!

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