I completely understand your frustration, and thanks again for reaching out. Again, I can’t speak to the decision regarding that specific place page, but I completely understand why that response was confusing. I’m happy to ask after it, and see if we can provide more clarification via DM.
In terms of any kind of sweeping, behind-the-scenes policy change about what we publish, nothing like that has occurred. The best general guide to what we look for in a place or food submission is still posted at the top of this thread. However, we have had different editors assume responsibility over the database over the years, and each one has brought their own style and skills to the curation process, which can lead to changes in what is considered a great addition to the database. In addition, we are always trying to tweak and improve the database experience as a whole in any number of ways, which can effect our decision making about submissions.
You make a good point in that we aren’t the same Atlas Obscura we were 3-4 years ago. As we make changes that will hopefully make us more fascinating, useful, and fun for our readers, at our core we have tried to maintain that same commitment to wonder and curiosity that makes us special, even as the particulars of our processes shift. I’m familiar with your terrific submissions from my time as the database editor. I really appreciate all of your hard work, and for sticking with us down the years, even when it’s frustrating. I hope this helps, and as always, keep the feedback coming!