The hospitality industry’s redesigning motels to improve your security. Motel assistant manager Steve Cridlebaugh says one feature designed for safety is the indoor hallway for room access. He says entrance doors are locked in the evening and guests must use their room card to get in and out of the building — and while motel-style rooms are still around where you drive up to an outside door, many people feel more secure having access limited to an interior corridor. Cridlebaugh says innkeepers are also being more careful to safeguard a guest’s identity when they check in. When you check in the clerk won’t say the room number out loud, just point and tell you that’s it, a measure of protection from anyone who might be in the lobby listening. All the newer properties have locked entrances and video monitor cameras, and they’re more secure than they used to be. Cridlebaugh says the new electronic key-cards also help prevent theft, as they expire when you check out, and a lost one cannot be used by a thief to enter a room. Cridlebaugh’s employer, Stoney Creek Inn, is based in Mason City and has opened hotels in Johnston and Waukon, as well as some in Missouri, Illinois and Wisconsin.