SPRINGFIELD, Missouri (CBS/KOLR) - A Springfield hotel provides an unusual service. The University Plaza Hotel checks out pets to its overnight guests.
Chip is a goldfish. For a small creature with gills and fins, he comes from quite the background. Chip is from Chicago and is a White Sox fan, according to the biography written on the back of his fish bowl in the hotel lobby.
His colleagues, Blondie and Flounder, have their own back stories. Flounder is more of a Cardinal fan.
Amanda Bauman takes works at the front desk of the plaza hotel and part of her job is to check out goldfish to the guests. That's right, you can get a goldfish with your room. She says, "When they find out that they can actually take a fish up to their room they jump on it. If I were staying in this hotel room I could order a fish like Chip. He's a pretty good companion."
The hotel staff looks after the goldfish and even carts them to the room for you and feeds them at night. That way they can reduce casualties. And so far there are none.
Hotel general manager Robert Henley says the fish make staying in a hotel more fun for kids, or for the occasional loner guest. He says, "It brings back fun. When you think of going back to when you were a kid, hotels were fun. When I got started in the business, hotels were fun. We just want to make sure at University Plaza we continue making it fun."
And the hotel staff gets attached to them, too. Bauman says, "We definitely have fun with the fish back here."
Goldfish aren't the heartiest of pets, but the hotel says they haven't had any die on them yet.