Jump to content
Forums forums
PRIMETIMER
Kromm

Hotel Impossible

Recommended Posts

The grand tale of a little bald guy, who will come to your crappy run down hotel (or better yet MOTEL) and tell you everything you're doing wrong.  Oh.  And give you a free makeover of a room or two and tons of free publicity.  You know... the REAL reasons you let some jerk come in and publicly embarrass you!

Share this post


Link to post

A place to discuss particular episodes, arcs and moments from the show's run. Please remember this isn't a complete catch-all topic -- check out the forum for character topics and other places for show-related talk.

Share this post


Link to post

I like the Catskill episode, because I've worked with reporters like that, where the last word, or a good line, was their goal.

It was hard to believe that they stocked all that food, with no customers.  Even if it was kept frozen, you'd lose a lot to freezer burn.

This show should have been either in 2 episodes, or truncated in the middle, then picked up as they opened in summer, if they did.

Edited by auntjess
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

He's the Robert Irvine/Gordon Ramsay figure of the show.

 

His Travel channel bio:

 

 

 

In the 20 years Anthony Melchiorri has been in the hospitality business, he has a proven track record of understanding a company’s vision, its individual parts, and how to make those parts work together to complete the whole picture. Knowing that attention to detail and making each part of the operation functional and strong are key to profitability, Melchiorri has developed and repositioned some of the finest and most high profile properties in the United States including the first Nickelodeon Hotel and Resort and the landmark Algonquin Hotel. He takes on clients in need of development or immediate re-positioning, applies his experience and ability to assemble teams specialized in hotel management, and adds value for the owners and developers to ultimately increase their bottom line.

This April, Melchiorri brings his expertise as the “hotel fixer” to Travel Channel’s new original series “Hotel Impossible.” In this weekly one-hour program, he helps turn around the business of a struggling hotel fighting to survive.

Melchiorri was put on the fast track to success early on at the landmark Plaza Hotel as director of front office operations. This led to several operation positions at such hotels as the Embassy Suites and Millennium Hotels. By the age of 29, Melchiorri became a seasoned professional and was selected to be general manager of the Lucerne Hotel in 1997. Under Melchiorri’s management, the Lucerne was developed into one of the top ranking hotels in New York City, and selected as the New York Times Travel Guide’s Best Service Hotel.

After seven years at the Lucerne, Melchiorri was appointed general manager of the world famous Algonquin Hotel. At the time, the Algonquin had seen better days. Melchiorri and his team closed the hotel for a month and oversaw a basement-to-roof renovation, including all the restaurants and back-of-house areas. Not only did Melchiorri complete the project on schedule and on budget, but he and his team re-positioned The Algonquin to become a highly-rated Michelin Guide Hotel. Further, the hotel's public relations campaign won a Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International “Best of Show Award” for marketing.

After the Algonquin was re-positioned by Melchiorri and his team, the hotel owner sold it for a significant return and asked Melchiorri to be senior vice president of the first Nickelodeon Hotel and Resort. There, he oversaw the 25 acre, 800 room resort helping it to become one of the most sought-after travel destinations in Orlando, Florida. Melchiorri successfully made the transition into the asset management side of the business, becoming the first vice president of Tishman Hotels and the asset manager of the Westin Hotel in Times Square.

As senior vice president of New York Hotel Management Company, Melchiorri helped develop a 310 all-suite hotel in Times Square overseeing construction, design, pre-opening, opening and post-opening operations. When Melchiorri’s work was complete, the TripAdvisor guest satisfaction score for the hotel had reached 96%, putting the hotel in the top-two percentile of all hotels in New York City.
Melchiorri has an unmatched ability to break down problems and find solutions that generate profits. In addition to being the host and lead in Travel Channel’s “Hotel Impossible,” he also runs his own company, Argeo Hospitality, consulting on hotel projects for private owners and investors. Argeo Hospitality has the ability to create a plan, market and promote a company, and turn its staff into a well-oiled machine.

Melchiorri served for five years as a protocol officer in the U.S Air Force. He currently resides in New York with his wife and three children.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post

My favorite in the first few seasons was Blanche Garcia (who had the earlier distinction of being first eliminated on a season of Design Star, but was great despite that).  Haven't seen the show as much in the past few seasons, but I think Blanche is out and other people are in.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

With a background like that, no wonder he gets that pained, WTF look on his face when some jackass owner starts heehawing around about how their way of running their hotel is sooo much better than what he is proposing. They should just shut their traps and let the man take over.

 

Protocol in the Air Force. That makes sense.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Blanche Is still on some, but along with the other woman from earlier, he's now using Leslie Segretti some.
She was a carpenter on Trading Spaces or one of those TLC makeover shows of that era.

Share this post


Link to post

Casey Noble is the lucky designer who got the plum trip to Sicily, I see.

Share this post


Link to post

I felt so sorry for the guy who was leasing the hotel, but I couldn't imagine how his lawyer let him get into such a deal. 
I like this one to be in a follow-up show.

Share this post


Link to post

There was a fire at the Gadsden Hotel from season 3 last night. 

http://www.kvoa.com/news/update-fire-at-historic-hotel-in-douglas/

If the place is still under renovation more than a year after the visit, one might normally wonder about the fire, I suppose.  Wouldn't be the first time someone used a fire as a get out of ownership card.  However a bit of searching says the hotel changed ownership in July 2013 (which was about a month before the episode aired but long after it was filmed), so that makes that pretty unlikely.

Share this post


Link to post

The owners of the University Inn at Emory were about the best and most cooperative owners I recall seeing.

They were certainly well situated, and would have to try hard to fail.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

The owners of the University Inn at Emory were about the best and most cooperative owners I recall seeing.

They were certainly well situated, and would have to try hard to fail.

Hee.  Also Anthony had the funny hat on this episode.  "I don't want Rusty Pole in my butt" and "I don't want to show anyone my insides".

Edited by Kromm

Share this post


Link to post

I really liked the owner of the hotel on last nights episode.  He seemed overwhelmed with grief and stress. but he was a good guy who accepted all of the ideas Anthony had. Not to mention the place was clean.

Edited by dcmjdc2

Share this post


Link to post

It was the Vagabond lodge in Oregon. So beautiful! I looked at the website and you can still get a room for $80.

Share this post


Link to post

Too, the staff was behind him, and they were good workers.
While the view was gorgeous, I would be wary of a motel that showed me their view, before their rooms.  (I'm talking about the website here.)

Share this post


Link to post

It was the Vagabond lodge in Oregon. So beautiful! I looked at the website and you can still get a room for $80.

That's nuts.  He didn't change his rates? At ALL?  Why did the episode endcap claim he raised rates 15% then?

 

Even more nuts?  While the website was clearly redone AGAIN (it's not the site Anthony shows him in the episode) and can now take reservations, they don't seem properly plugged into the rest of the Internet.  Here's TripAdvisor.com, for example, on the place:

 

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g51909-d123563-Reviews-Vagabond_Lodge-Hood_River_Oregon.html

 

Note the all important line:  "We can't find prices for this hotel

Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this hotel, but we can search other options in Hood River"

 

Bang.  Lost business--a major travel website is pointing people to your COMPETITORS.

 

Also of note, the horrible dated bedspreads appear in the photos on the current site.  So... did they just ignore Anthony's advice about them totally?

 

BTW:  My big thrill with this episode was seeing Blanche again.  Her byplay with Anthony is the best from the designers by far.  A few of the others are okay designers, but Blanche is the most interesting personality.

Edited by Kromm

Share this post


Link to post

Know what other site they aren't referenced on?  The largest Travel site in the WORLD, Travelocity.

 

Go here and search "Hood River, Oregon" in the blank to show hotels in an area:  http://www.travelocity.com/Hotels

 

Guess what doesn't come up.  At all.  You guessed it!  The Vagabond Lodge.  Not having prices on Tripadvisor and them pointing you to other hotels in the area?  Serious.  Not being referenced on Travelocity at ALL?  You are a fucking idiot.  And don't deserve to own a hotel, as nice as you may seem on TV.

 

re: their pricing -- okay look at this:

 

http://www.vagabondlodge.com/html/rates.html

 

That page is left over from his OLD website (the formatting and graphic design make that clear), even though it talks about Spring and Summer 2014.  It's also not linked from the actual main page of the site (although the Home button on this page jumps to that newer site).  So it's a mystery if these (very low) prices are valid now or not.

Edited by Kromm

Share this post


Link to post

I never understand why people don't listen to his advice and this excerpt makes it clear that he really knows what he's talking about. Besides that fact, why would people ask  to be on the show and then not follow his advice? Are they looking for free stuff or publicity or what? smh

Share this post


Link to post

I take his advice a lot more seriously than Gordon Ramsay's, I'll say that.  Anthony seems to actually delve into practical things about the market the hotel is in, and what's realistic, versus just cosmetic.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

Boy, that interview with the marketing company for the (Emory/Atlanta) University Inn...I had to rewind a few times to understand what the reps were talking about.  Now, I understand that the meeting could have run for an hour and we are only seeing a fraction of it, so I get that they could have been edited to come off worse than they are.   But still, it was cringe-inducing.  I also felt bad for Shirley, the marketing manager, who was clearly in over her head.   She was probably a friend of the owners who "trained" her for the job.  

Anyway, the marketing company reps who couldn't clearly chart occupancy before and after their services was pretty shocking.  One of them (the blonde) came in there swinging it seems.  I really have to give Anthony so much credit for not shutting down the meeting immediately after she said that occupancy didn't matter....in a hotel business (!)  I think I would have just calmly thanked them for their time and ended it, because you will never, ever be on the same page (and have achievable goals and positive results) if you are that far apart to begin with.    

Share this post


Link to post

I really liked the owner of the hotel on last nights episode.  He seemed overwhelmed with grief and stress. but he was a good guy who accepted all of the ideas Anthony had. Not to mention the place was clean.

Yeah, I hope they can get a GM or the nurse can go part-time.  I liked them and their place.  It's not a large hotel, but there needs to be someone aside from the marketing lady and the front desk people running it day in and day out.  If they ramp up staff, like they said they would, then they are on their way.  

 

ETA: oops, I thought I was replying to the post above it about the Atlanta ep!!!!

Edited by WhatWhating

Share this post


Link to post

It's official: ‪#‎HotelImpossible‬ checks into Season 5 on Tuesday, October 7 at 9/8c! from Anthony Melchiorri Facebook page.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Just saw the first episode of the season, about the Streamline Hotel in Daytona Beach, and really enjoyed it. This show is SO SUPERIOR to Hotel Hell, which to me never seemed to have a purpose other than feeding Gordon Ramsey's huge ego by making him out to be a hotel as well as restaurant expert. But as the series made clear, just because you've stayed in a lot of hotels doesn't mean you understand anything about the business.

 

Anthony clearly knows his stuff, and can generally cut right to heart of the issues that are hurting a hotel's business. Whereas GR always seemed to think that redecorating was a magical cure-all. (With the redesigned décor often being laughably off target). And if the hotel had a restaurant, GR spent way too much of the episode focused on that, so we could hear him say that the food looked like dog vomit, as if we don't get enough of that on his other shows.

 

I also like that Anthony is able to express his exasperation with a hotel's owner or employees without the in-your-face, expletive laced screaming that's a staple of all GR shows. For instance, in the Daytona episode he was able to make clear the shortcomings of the macho man hotel manager without getting into a big confrontation. Loved the line, "this is about your employees putting milk on the table, not about you being able to buy a new shirt or fancier car." GR would not have been able to resist getting into a screaming match and playing a game of "who is more macho?"
 

With the season off to a strong start, really looking forward to upcoming episodes.

 

Edited by bluepiano
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

I'm looking forward to it after the hell that was Hotel Hell.

While even Anthony occasionally gives quick TV fixes and hypes drama, between the three main people in this genre, he's the one who most honestly gives good real world advice (I'm lumping Restaurant fix-up shows along with Hotel ones, with Ramsay as the bridge between them--so it's Ramsay, Robert Irvine and Anthony as a group with similar intent).

I thought the daytona remodel was too fancy for the racing theme.

I think the idea is that the Daytona 500 is filling the role of the crown jewel of American auto racing (except, to be honest, it has to split that with the Indianapolis 500--which uses totally different cars), so a hotel building it's image around it would need to go more upscale than most.

 

The idea does have some merit.  Every sport has high profile rich people at the top of the pyramid (owners, athletes, super-fans) who are going to want Posh.  That's the market.  The casual race fan is going to go to the Motel 6 down the block--so you've got to go in the other direction entirely.

Share this post


Link to post

Anyone know the latest with last night's Autoport debacle?  That place was a friggin mess and there is no way the owners didn't know how shitty it had become.  Seriously?  That banker scene HAD to have been set up (don't care what disclaimer was on the screen) as I cannot imagine a scenario in which a legit banker saw any hope here. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I thought the daytona remodel was too fancy for the racing theme.

It was definitely a little too glam for the place.  Wonder if they will be able to attract the high money customers there with zero amenities.  I'd think they'd be better off as a mid price hotel but hopefully the owner knows the area and clientele.

 

How much did the furniture guy say the rooms would cost?  Sounded like he said $38,000 per room for the Miami hotel but for this run down hotel, he was only charge just over $600?  Was that a monthly rental fee?  I wasn't following that at all.

 

And no, the owner didn't fire his friend.  The fist bump at the end of the scene said otherwise.  He'd have been smart to put his friend in charge of entertainment or some other area and hire a real GM for the friend to train under. 

 

Here's the press report about this back in April

 

http://www.news-journalonline.com/article/20140416/BUSINESS/140419559

Share this post


Link to post

 

How much did the furniture guy say the rooms would cost?  Sounded like he said $38,000 per room for the Miami hotel but for this run down hotel, he was only charge just over $600?

I thought this was used furniture from the Miami hotel, and the $600 was what he was charging for it as such, still probably a good deal.

I'll be interested if anyone up there comes across latest news on the Autoport too.

Edited by auntjess
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Anyone know the latest with last night's Autoport debacle?  That place was a friggin mess and there is no way the owners didn't know how shitty it had become.  Seriously?  That banker scene HAD to have been set up (don't care what disclaimer was on the screen) as I cannot imagine a scenario in which a legit banker saw any hope here. 

I used to work for Lynnie at a different business. She always had grand ideas with little follow-through.

 

The Autoport is still open. I drive past it often, and get ribs from Clem's sometimes.

Here's an article about the episode: http://www.statecollege.com/news/local-news/hotel-impossible-is-an-emotional-journey-for-autoport-owner,1461256/

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

The core issue I had with the whole ep was that AM created a new business plan but we never got to see the capital infusion he factored into it.  From where were they to get the funds to spruce the joint up?   It's fine and dandy they got free sheets and some limited furniture.  But, where was the cash to build out a proper maintenance room?  I'm quite certain we did not see other infrastructure disasters that required lots of cash to fix.  

 

Also, operating income/costs were never once addressed.  Were they eking out a small profit?  Breaking even?  Or, were they more likely digging an ever-larger hole with each passing month?  

 

That the bank decided to delay the foreclosure makes sense.  They wouldn't gain anything from a quick action.  They'd lose little for carrying the $1.3 in debt on their books into the 4th qtr..

 

I could not stand the lady owner who ended up being saddled with the GM gig.  leadership begins and ends with your actions.  You want others to notice little things and handle them?  You first demonstrate that very thing.   All she showed them with her actions was avoidance.  She showed up as little as possible and refused to get her hands dirty.  That's for the little people, doncha know.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

The core issue I had with the whole ep was that AM created a new business plan but we never got to see the capital infusion he factored into it.  From where were they to get the funds to spruce the joint up?   It's fine and dandy they got free sheets and some limited furniture.  But, where was the cash to build out a proper maintenance room?  I'm quite certain we did not see other infrastructure disasters that required lots of cash to fix.

The show often doesn't go into that (in a few cases I've seen it, but it usually ducks the issue). In THIS case it's more important than usual though, because while every Hotel the show goes to is cash poor and in trouble, in this case there's no way they could ever borrow more money.

At least it was a Blanche episode (she's the original designer on the show, and frankly still the best one by a mile--she stands up to Anthony the best too).

Share this post


Link to post

Oh my goodness last nights owner was delusional. Those buildings needed to be bull dozed. Did his wife call? Because he sure didn't seem interested in getting help.

Also do hotels not get inspected? Because that place was dangerous not just gross.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

 

Also do hotels not get inspected? Because that place was dangerous not just gross.

I was curious about the same thing. 

 

 

Did his wife call?

I thought it was interesting at the end when she said something to the effect of, "apparently it doesn't matter what I think", when Anthony asked her opinion of the whole mess. 

 

I cannot imagine anyone who would walk into one of those cabins and actually choose to stay there - unless they were previously living in a cardboard box on the street or were a serial killer looking for a hideout.  Seriously. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

I checked out TripAdvisor. Out of the 52 reports (not counting the one today reporting the show), 34 gave ONE star, 7 gave TWO stars, 9 were three/four stars and only 2 reports were given five stars. All of the one-three star reports cited the nasty rooms, stained sheets and towels, bugs and animal shit, loud noise from the bar that stays open until 3:30am and general horror-movieness of the site. The most interesting comments were about the wife, Annie. Apparently SHE is the difficult person to deal with at the lodge, not Carlos. Lots of comments about arguing for refunds, non-refunds, over-charging, etc. The comments go back to 2006, so Carlos was full of shit when he kept saying he didn't know about the problems.

 

 

I cannot imagine anyone who would walk into one of those cabins and actually choose to stay there - unless they were previously living in a cardboard box on the street or were a serial killer looking for a hideout.  Seriously.

Some of the commenters ended up leaving in the middle of the night and driving over an hour to the next town. Some slept in their cars. Several went to Walmart and bought full sleeping sets for the beds. A couple decided it was fun to camp out indoors or to be in a real live horror movie.

 

Hopefully Anthony will report the place to local inspectors or governing authorities and it will get shut down. 

Edited by Galloway Cave
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

I thought it was comedy gold when the owner put a folding table over the septic tank hole and said to himself, "Fixed".

 

The designer should have just walked out when they said to stop.  (And they ended up changing it back)

 

I thought the designer left a hidden message on the restaurant's specials board because it said:  Scrumptious  Awesome  Delicious  or SAD.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

My favorite moment was when moron demanded they return the bar/restaurant to its original condition.  How many clauses are in the contract that give HI full rights to tear down and build as they see fit?  I'm guessing a minimum of 10.

 

What I truly hated was AM's plaintive narration that he came back because he just can't leave folks who really need his help.  Yeah, right, Anthony. You and the production staff returned for the very reason Carlos cited:  It made for a better show.  Also, I would not be at all shocked to learn that production's attorneys ordered it as a last piece of evidence of goodwill in the event they get sued.

 

I really can't stand it when a given tough-guy personality gets a TV show and then dumbs it down because it might make for a harsh image and turn some viewers off.  In TV-land, there are never consequences for outrageous behaviors.  Nobody on-camera is to ever judge and back up said judgments with action.  This time, the moron forced their hand and they walked.   Sorta.  In the end, moron got his nice bar and restaurant, didn't he?!!!  

Edited by Lonesome Rhodes

Share this post


Link to post

On Anthony's Facebook page, and lady who lives in Woodstock tells about the efforts to get it shut down for code violations.
Apparently it's an ongoing fight, so you might check it out, and if I see anything new, I'll post it.

I don't understand why it can't be shut as an eminent danger, but apparently that hasn't happened yet.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Some people don't deserve help. We rarely get to see that expressed on these shows because of stupid "redemption arcs".

 

Cutting corners to stay afloat is one thing.  Doing so for 17 years forfeits your right to sympathy.  The real estate and hospitality industries are hardly at a high point now, but at the very least he's got enough potential locationwise to at least get out without a huge loss.  Breaking even after 17 years may suck, but then again so do his methods of running a resort.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Carlo is definitely one of the most prideful, despicable owners they've had.  Yes, they do stuff "for TV" on shows like this.  But they didn't have to do much to make Carlo and his property look bad.  Or his attitude.  

 

Also... divorce seems likely in this clown's future.  His wife was NOT happy with him.  At all.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I know that was crazy, 60 housekeepers.  I did like how they found other duties for them and that they were not just fired.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Because a huge number of people who run a business have no idea what they are doing.  I mean, you see it on this show all the time.  Okay, so I have zero hotel experience, but anyone with a half a brain knows that old bedspreads are a huge turn-off to modern travelers, yet the hotel owners who call this show are completely baffled as to why no one wants to sleep in their beds.  

 

Going through 60 housekeepers?  Again, something like that is baffling to the owners.  They just do not get it, and even when they "got" it, they were still having a hard time with processing the information because they really "loved" that bitch.  No business owner worth their salt would ever get that emotionally invested in an employee.  

 

Remember the hotel on the boardwalk that would only take cash or a personal check?  I mean, a teenager with no work experience in any business could have told them that was a major problem.  

 

This show just proves how incredibly stupid people are. I am frozen in shock every time I see an episode and the owners are stunned to learn that not having a website where you can book a room is bad for business.  I know Anthony emphasizes a lack of experience in the hotel business as a problem, but surely any sentient adult living on this planet is aware of the fact that a business like a hotel needs a website.  Do you really need an expert in the hotel business to tell you that?  Geez, most of these people can just go online and read reviews and see what their problems are.  They have a business where the customers gladly tell you exactly what you are doing wrong and exactly what you need to do to fix it, and these owners are still completely mystified.  

 

Heck a couple months ago I stayed at a hotel where the light bulbs were all extremely bright and extremely fluorescent.  It made relaxing in the room impossible, and gave me a headache.  I stayed there one night because I had to, and immediately switched hotels.  How freaking complicated is it for a hotel to realize that something like that is horrid?  

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Notice how we never saw the fix for the air walls?  Sure, they weren't mission critical, and the boundary walls were amazing, but AM was quite correct that most of the time, they would be selling partitioned space.  

 

I call BS on the wet waste product on the bathroom floor.  The room was generally in very good condition.  No way would that have been missed.  Was it literally true that the rooms were never inspected?  Not buying that, either.

 

The consulting deal was definitely the way to go.  I didn't hear any thing like a discount was offered, though.  One thing I don't quite understand about paying for management, though - how is it in the interest of the outside company to show the ownership how to properly run a joint?  Once the owners learn, they have no more need of the company, right?  

 

Did any of you hear any discussion of occupancy and room rates?  Did we even see the bar?  The whole thing made no sense.  Does the owner handle front desk management?  Nothing was said about raising capital, either.  Perhaps that property wasn't in such dire condition after all?   

Share this post


Link to post

Notice how we never saw the fix for the air walls?  Sure, they weren't mission critical, and the boundary walls were amazing, but AM was quite correct that most of the time, they would be selling partitioned space.  

 

I actually thought it was possible that one of the employees did it, actually. I was on reddit reading about working in a hotel (I want to be a hotelier one day) and people who had previously worked in hotels mentioned that they sometimes used empty rooms for sleeping, sex, pooping in peace, etc. When I saw it, my thought was that someone had poo'ed and then the toilet clogged, but they didn't clean up after themselves or something.

 

Those owners were some of the most sympathetic I've seen on the show, but honestly, I would never be afraid to relocate or even fire an employee. I will say, though, kudos to the employees for taking it in stride. Or maybe they figured once the cameras were gone they'd have their old jobs back? Let's hope not.

 

 

The Woodstock Hotel was absolutely awful. I can see Carlo being very stubborn and not letting anyone fix up the place. My grandfather was a plumber but wouldn't put running water in his/my grandmother's house because "if it was good enough for my mother, it's good enough for you". Such mules exist, believe it or not.

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×