Just before midnight on a recent evening, Chris Loman was still busy checking people in and out of the Oak Tree Inn in Gillette, Wyoming. She asked one guest about his wife and ribbed another about a past visit.
“They’re like family to me,” Loman said. “And I am to them.”
The Oak Tree Inn is not a typical hotel. It has private rooms, key cards, and fresh towels, but most of its guests work for BNSF, one of the nation’s largest railroads. Until recently, the entire hotel was under contract to the railroad.