The following syndicated column, written by Ink Dipper, appeared in newspapers in the 2nd week of October, 1976:
A CB HOT line? That’s what Maryland CBers are talking about. Or how about a Holiday Inn CB line? One of the latest improvement in the CB world involves travelers being able to use CB more effectively.
If you haven’t been through Maryland this year then you may have missed one of the more original and best organized CB plans.
Maryland’s Division of Tourist Development has started a program called CB HOT line (Helping Out Travelers). The program trains CB club members to give out reliable tourist information via CB.
And if you’re wondering about how these CB helpers are designated, well, they’ve thought of everything. Just look for bumper stickers saying Maryland Travel Info, the CBer’s call numbers, and the channel monitored.
The originator of the plan, Bob Willis, Maryland Tourist division director, says he happened to be traveling in a car with a CB, and heard someone asking directions “by making an appeal over the air waves.”
That “appeal” may have lead to the development of one of the most coordinated travel bureaus in the United States.
But you may not have to go to Maryland to see the system in action. Willis says he was contacted by a governmental agency which would like to use the idea of a HOT line nationwide.
Could this be where CB is heading? CB was first planned for small business purposes and not for chit-chat, so perhaps Maryland is giving the rest of us a hint of what will come.
It’s a great idea for those travelers who always leave the road map on the kitchen table. Or those who are a little too adventurous for their own good, and need help.
There’s also the Holiday Inn trial of CB going on in the Boston Area. The plan has received both good and bad reviews from innkeepers, as well as guests.
One Holiday Inn representative says the problem is the excess noise on CB. The base stations for the experiment were placed behind the main desk so the person working could hear the calls or give them. Holiday Inn executives just couldn’t see the practicality of hiring someone only to monitor the CB action.
But placing the unit near the lobby area has brought complaints from guests who say it’s too noisy and only aggravates them. And innkeepers aren’t saying anything good about its use yet.
Holiday Inn people say they’re not trying to sell rooms by CB, but are simply trying to do a public service by giving travel conditions, directions and, if asked, room availability.
Their main worry is that if the plan is put into effect then there is no reason why unprofessional innkeepers won’t take to the air waves to barter for the cheapest room. Their greatest hope would be that the FCC would help by establishing one channel for just this type information.
There’s been no final word from the committee, which decides of the worldwide chain will get ears. But if they do take to the airwaves it will benefit every CBer from campers to traveling salesmen.
With one sate and a well known American institutions getting into the CB routine, at least a few channels may get some badly needed organization.