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Kromm

Hotel Impossible

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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?  

I've been a consultant and have had consultants work at my employers.  There's never an end.  Even if this company shows the hotel how to do it right, they may reach out again in a couple of years for retraining or another issue.  And there's lots of companies that need help. 

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The condition was unacceptable.
Don't the officials realize that if they allow a place with those hazards to remain open, that the city/county whatever will also be liable if someone is killed or injured.

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Don't the officials realize that if they allow a place with those hazards to remain open, that the city/county whatever will also be liable if someone is killed or injured.

 

 

Under normal conditions you'd be right.  But I've had family that lived in nearby Sullivan County and they tell me paying off inspectors is very common .  They look the other way since they're getting extra income and everything else be damned!  If someone else gets hurt from the badly maintained properties, the bureaucrats circle the wagons.  Everyone knows (or is related to) everyone there.

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The condition was unacceptable.

Don't the officials realize that if they allow a place with those hazards to remain open, that the city/county whatever will also be liable if someone is killed or injured.

 

Under normal conditions you'd be right.  But I've had family that lived in nearby Sullivan County and they tell me paying off inspectors is very common .  They look the other way since they're getting extra income and everything else be damned!  If someone else gets hurt from the badly maintained properties, the bureaucrats circle the wagons.  Everyone knows (or is related to) everyone there.

It depends on where the lawsuit is filed, I guess, because I imagine the local judges are paid off too.

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Hmm, so is Mike Tonyas sugar daddy? I'm not sure why else she works there.

The owner is a wanker.

Yeah, this was another of those banner "I'm not sure this person deserves all this free stuff" episodes.

 

Think about it.  For all we heard about how badly that location was doing, the mere fact that this owner could afford to run 3 other similar properties means he's got a warchest. He didn't need free vacuums, free signs, free lobby renovation (and one guest room) and free upgraded computer systems (and that's before we even get into the expensive branding consulting he got for free, or the consulting fees someone would have paid for a template for that room reno being presented as a report to them).  All that stuff is great for truly struggling owners.  For people with holdings as deep as this guy?  It's bullshit.  Anthony should have taken his bald loud self elsewhere, pronto. I imagine if they stayed it was only because he hasn't really done an episode about branding before, and they wanted it for the variety.

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This owner was a particularly nasty piece of work.  He is cheap and puts on regal airs.  Just horrid.

 

The show wasted far too much time with the personal dynamics.  There was no helping the entitled Sales Director.  Giving someone with an outsized sense of importance, with such ignorance, power?  Beyond stupid.  However, the show did show us a super common tension at many properties:  GM vs. Sales Director.  GMs tend to be bottom line folks and SDs are image/presentation conscious.  In the properties I worked, there was genuine antipathy between these folks.  If the SD does not report directly to the GM, it is almost impossible for any kind of functionality to occur - exactly as we saw in the show.

 

Branding issues are fascinating to me.  I believe this is where this ep should have concentrated - or even made it a two-parter.  Sooooo many small details and ALL of them matter, as AM stressed to deaf ears.  

 

I about snorted when AM identified the reason behind the burger menu - being cheap.  I instantly flashed on Restaurant Impossible's Robert using this as his go-to fix - especially the past two seasons.  Perfect!  I'm pretty sure I wasn't supposed to connect that dot.  :)

 

The concept of this ep held great promise.  It was incredibly obvious that more pre-production work /though was put into it than in most all other eps.  It's a frickin' shame they let it devolve into another personality play.

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Hmm, so is Mike Tonyas sugar daddy? I'm not sure why else she works there.

I thought there was some sleeping around going on myself. They seemed too protective of one another for it to be anything else.

 

The owner reminded me of Mr Burns, haha. And that poor housekeeper! He threw her right under the bus, didn't he? Sure, she's the reason why your four properties (or was it just that one in particular) are failing. Barf.

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Some real ass covering is going on there. Notice the inspector only goes and fails it AFTER the TV show has put the situation into a national spotlight. No way it hasn't been reported before now--it just had less eyes on it.

Those four inspectors (two with the county health department and two with the town fire inspectors) named on the inspection report, if they're the same ones previously working for the county and town, certainly need to be investigated themselves.

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Ha ha so we weren't alone with the Mr. Burns resemblance on the Nova Scotia ep. Mr. Drew and I kept wiggling our fingers and saying "exxxcelent" every time he was on screen. And yes he and Tonya definitely have a sugar daddy situation or something of that type, it seemed too obvious. 

 

It kills me though to see AM giving free stuff to someone like this, who is just cheap but clearly has money. It seems like the fact that the guy owns 3 other properties could have been found with some basic background investigation/recon. I wonder how much of that the show actually does..?

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I really wish I knew who she hired as GM last night. That hotel could be such a cash cow and really so worried about a brochure and not a website in 2014?

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I'd like to know who she hired as GM so I can add him to my prayer list. Peggy's crazy-quilt wardrobe seemed to reflect her mental state! I hope she hired the big guy and is letting him do his job with minimal interference, since her gifts and attention obviously lie elsewhere.

 

Her nutso fashion and styling choices made it really easy to notice how the show was screwing with the timeline. 

 

I wanted to pick up the little English front desk lady and put her in my pocket!  

Edited by Portia
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I really wish I knew who she hired as GM last night.

 

At the end credits, it said she still hasn't hired a GM.  (nor sold any real estate)

 

Another undeserving owner gets a free makeover.

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I can safely guarantee you that the reason they went to this property was to have AM riding a polo pony.  Well, that and it was a super cheap upgrade.

 

Honestly, what was better about the multi-purpose public area?  

 

Didja notice how old and worn the door handle was for the refurbished room?  How many times have we seen AM go off on other handles that were in better shape?  Worse...where were the new electronic outlets????  Zero mention at the reveal.  

 

While the overall room upgrade was relatively inexpensive, the electrical and telecomm upgrades would cost a pretty penny.  No way was that happening, eh?

 

Only 34 rooms?  No chance for banquet/meeting business due to the country club right next door?  They need a huge margin for each room sold as it is.  What would the odds be that she would pay for a top-flight GM?  Uh huh.

 

I liked Ahhhhn-twaannn.  He looked appropriately shamed and he was honest with AM.

 

Another rotten owner of means.  I'm surprised we got such back-to-back.  It's one thing to help those one step from personal insolvency, quite another to aid those who were handed silver spoons.

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I hated the big reveal at the end.  The all purpose room was done with royal blue walls when the existing carpet was red?  Yuck!  And the hotel room wasn't an upgrade, it was simply a change of style.  The complaint was that originally it looked like it had remained untouched since 1987.  Well, the "new" room also looked stuck in the 80's.  If the designer was going to go for a Polo theme, she shouldn't have chosen Ralph Lauren circa 1985.  There would have been many new, interesting and modern takes on a polo and/or golf theme, in my opinion.  But because I wasn't rooting for the property or the owner, I didn't really care that it all stunk!

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I'm not a fan of this designer. The only one I really like is Blanche and she's pretty talented, IMO, so it's hard to compare her to others.

 

The hotel owner reminded me of Professor Trelawney from Harry Potter. I think it was the glasses/eyes and the hair, haha.

 

I was completely surprised AM did stay on and help them, but I feel like it was half-assed because nobody wanted to. I would've just left, but maybe AM can't turn down a challenge?

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I'm not a fan of this designer. The only one I really like is Blanche and she's pretty talented, IMO, so it's hard to compare her to others.

Basically my guide is that if it's a Blanche episode I know it's worth paying attention to the reno part of the episode, but if it's not then it'll come off like an afterthought after Anthony finishes yelling at some owner.

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I hated the big reveal at the end. The all purpose room was done with royal blue walls when the existing carpet was red? Yuck! And the hotel room wasn't an upgrade, it was simply a change of style. The complaint was that originally it looked like it had remained untouched since 1987. Well, the "new" room also looked stuck in the 80's. If the designer was going to go for a Polo theme, she shouldn't have chosen Ralph Lauren circa 1985. There would have been many new, interesting and modern takes on a polo and/or golf theme, in my opinion. But because I wasn't rooting for the property or the owner, I didn't really care that it all stunk!

I'm sure they'll change the wall colors and a few things here and there. I imagine a warm gold would complement red carpet - blue absorbs light and tends to make rooms look smaller than they are. The navy would drive me insane.

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I agree that the outlet/wifi upgrade was missing.
Also, why the polo theme, when they were on a golf course?
I know the polo club is nearby, but still.

Anthony said nothing about any reviews the place had, just what the one with the similar name had.
One of several strange things in this one.

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I'm sure they'll change the wall colors and a few things here and there. I imagine a warm gold would complement red carpet - blue absorbs light and tends to make rooms look smaller than they are. The navy would drive me insane.

 

 

When they showed the before and after of the multipurpose room, it literally looked like the walls had moved in with the darker wall color.

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Also not a big fan of the after look.  Only real improvement was changing out the linens.  The Inn at Houndslake?  What was that again?  And the logo & decor being polo?  Thought both were a real miss.  What a breezy job Fabio had  - managing the Facebook page.  How many comments a week do they get?  1?  Blah all around.

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I've been in hotels where the base of the lamps had outlets to plug in phone/electronics. I actually prefer that to having to poke around for a wall outlet, and it doesn't require any wiring changes. Seems like that would be an easy solution here. But we all know that owner's not going to do squat in terms of changes now that she has her freebies!

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When they showed the before and after of the multipurpose room, it literally looked like the walls had moved in with the darker wall color.

Believe me, I know the horrors of painting walls blue. I remember when I was younger my grandmother and I thought it would be fun to make the walls of a small office room sky blue. We got a beautiful, bright shade of azure and were totally excited. But the moment we laid it down the room went from tiny to minuscule. It was horrific. Blue is only good as an accent color - it is a nightmare on a large scale and can be frigid in the wrong area. If you want to go calming, pick a delicate shade of green or a clear grayish violet.

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The highlight of tonight's episode was Anthony's smack down of the designer.

 

On top of that, looking at the before and after photos, it seemed like the lobby was just painted a darker color and not renovated.

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I didn't catch what the PR woman said, when she asked what people associated with Manson.
It didn't sound like Charles or murders, but it must be most people's knee jerk reaction.
 

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What a ridiculous and pointless marketing plan.  The whole issue was getting ONLINE folks to associate Manson with the lake and/or the name "Chelan."  If I have never heard of Manson, why would I even look to see if Manson is more?  AM made it a yooge point to mention the lack of traffic using the name "Manson."  This plan does el zippo rectifying this crucial issue.  They needed to get the various search engines to accept Manson as "Chelan Area" for inquiries.  Of course, that would cost real dollars.   

 

We never did hear how big the draw was for the vineyards.  Seems to me, with at least one vineyard in town, it isn't much.  If the grapes were a draw, Manson would already be receiving a ton of hits by interested travelers.  So, what was most featured in the new marketing?  Syrah.  There was very little by way of visuals or mentions of the lake.  Unreal.

 

The first thing I thought when seeing the new outside paint was Washington State University.  Those are that school's colors.  Not exactly what I would want cash-rich U Dub (Washington) tourists from the coast/Seattle to see.  Why antagonize?  Stoopid.

 

The rehab costs of the rooms was one giant misdirection, too.  $1K for the furniture only?  Not even the bed?   Wall-mounted HDTV?  Note well that the cost of the new vanity and sink, and the new bathroom fixtures and sink would be more by themselves.  The labor cost would be quite large with all the new wallpaper and paint schemes.  That whole effort was putting lipstick on a pig, anyway.  Resort rooms?  Get serious.  

 

The owner is a witch.  Anything that did not further her agendae was completely ignored.  She is impossible to work for.  Odds that she gave up actual control per the new mission statements?  Didja notice how amorphous and loose the new assignments were to begin with?  No way would she approve even the smallest change or request for capital.  Can you imagine her reaction if Shelly decided to comp a toothbrush?

 

It was nice to see AM helped create a nexus with the local vineyard, but why no mentions of any connections with Chelan-area merchants, eg the jet ski rental place?  

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What a ridiculous and pointless marketing plan.  The whole issue was getting ONLINE folks to associate Manson with the lake and/or the name "Chelan."  If I have never heard of Manson, why would I even look to see if Manson is more?  AM made it a yooge point to mention the lack of traffic using the name "Manson."  This plan does el zippo rectifying this crucial issue.  They needed to get the various search engines to accept Manson as "Chelan Area" for inquiries.  Of course, that would cost real dollars.   

I feel we totally had an edited out segment where someone at the marketing firm said something like "have you considered renaming the town so it's not wrongly associated with a serial killer?"

What they left us with was the idea that the problem was that the town wasn't simply named the same as the lake (which it couldn't be because another town has that name).  But come on.  Manson.  The problem is obvious.  There's no way it wasn't discussed, and we're simply left assuming that there are either some stubborn town fathers blocking a change, or it takes some kind of referendum they wouldn't have had time to do within the scope of this show anyway.  They didn't want to make the association with the serial killer WORSE for the ten people viewing who weren't already making it. so they IMPLIED the problem and then dodged it in what we heard.

The owner is a witch.  Anything that did not further her agendae was completely ignored.  She is impossible to work for.  Odds that she gave up actual control per the new mission statements?  Didja notice how amorphous and loose the new assignments were to begin with?  No way would she approve even the smallest change or request for capital.  Can you imagine her reaction if Shelly decided to comp a toothbrush? 

Remember, the theme of this season seems to be "giving undeserving owners free stuff!"

The highlight of tonight's episode was Anthony's smack down of the designer.

 

On top of that, looking at the before and after photos, it seemed like the lobby was just painted a darker color and not renovated.

Is this a new designer? I think I may recall her from one other episode, but I'm not sure.

 

Generally I'm on the side of the designers, but this lady seemed like a real ditz (or the editing allowed her to look like such).

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I can see that you wouldn't want to rename your town, though.
In another 25 years, most of the people who remember Charles Manson will be dead at least not in their target audience.

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I'd think they'd be better off as a mid price hotel but hopefully the owner knows the area and clientele.

 

I lived in Daytona Beach for a couple of years and really they would have been better off going with mid-price.

 

The Streamline is really best known as a gay bar at least here in Daytona. I always thought the rooms were basically there for hour rentals or something! Maybe the new ownership can turn it around.

 

These hotel owners kill me. 'I know nothing about hotels but I'm going to renovate this place and I'll hire a buddy to be the general manager who has never been a hotel GM.' Awesome.

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I can see that you wouldn't want to rename your town, though.

In another 25 years, most of the people who remember Charles Manson will be dead at least not in their target audience.

25 years of millions of dollars of potential tax revenue is nothing to sneeze at.  Towns change their names all of the time.  Sleepy Hollow, New York, for example, was named North Tarrytown until just a few years ago.  They changed it for an opposite reason to why Manson would want to change theirs, but ultimately it was also about money.

 

Also, every single person who was alive when Jack The Ripper was around has been dead for probably 100 years. Has society forgotten him as you're suggesting people will Charles Manson?

 

If they intend to be a tourist town the name hurts them.  Bottom line.  Some theoretical about some future date when it might not doesn't change what it's doing right now.

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I can see that you wouldn't want to rename your town, though.

In another 25 years, most of the people who remember Charles Manson will be dead at least not in their target audience.

As another poster mentioned, Jack the Ripper and the Beast of Gévaudan are 100 and I believe over 300 years old respectively and yet they are firmly ingrained in the minds of any one with a book or computer and a curious nature. I'm 21 and sure as a nail know who Manson is; in fact, I live in California, so he's habitually in the news, leering at us all with his beady eyes, and there are still weirdos that hang out in Venice who believe in his ethos. And I doubt we'll forget about him even in 40 years. Just like nobody will let the JonBenett Ramsay Case go.

I'm getting OT. My passion sometimes gets the better of me.

Edited by BathKol
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Jack the RIpper, though, was an unsolved case until a year or so ago, and there was a big industry writing books and producing shows on various solutions.
 

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Jack the RIpper, though, was an unsolved case until a year or so ago, and there was a big industry writing books and producing shows on various solutions.

 

It's certainly true that Jack the Ripper's anonymity drove his legend.  But that doesn't mean the exact opposite hasn't been true with Manson.  In other words rather than being a faceless symbol, he's the face OF what's being symbolized.  He's a celebrity of the culture of murder.  And while time passing does change how we address celebrity faces, their deaths don't necessarily erase them. Marilyn Monroe was the face of Hollywood sex appeal, and her death hasn't changed that despite several generations passing since her death.  Elvis Presley continues to symbolize to many the entire genre of Rock and Roll.  Michael Jackson was the launching face of modern music video culture, and I'll bet he'll still be that in another 20 years (and maybe even 40). And Manson? He literally became the face of Murder. The compelling images of this fucking bugs nuts guy who carved symbols (first an X, then later a swastika) into his forehead are going to outlast the man himself by quite a lot, and those images will have a name associated with them.  Manson. 

 

Lets put it this way.  Two other famous folk I know of have the last name Manson.  Marilyn Manson and Shirley Manson. In the later case, it's actually the person's real name, but in the case of the first person... guess why he's named that? Because he literally mashed together the first name of Marilyn Monroe and the last name of Charles Manson to form his public image. His real name is Brian Warner. Doesn't have the same rebel kick to it, does it? Now admittedly he made this choice in the 1990s, but Charles Manson was hardly topical at the time--what he WAS though was an established cultural touchstone/symbol that already transcended generations (because Marilyn Manson was hardly trying to appeal to contemporaries of Charles Manson, but to their kids and maybe even to their grand-kids by that point).  

Edited by Kromm

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It was nice to see nice hotels this week. The one in Chicago while pricy, isn't totally out of range for s special occasion.

The tank in the restaurant at the Fountainbleu was interesting.

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Yes, those episodes were a refreshing change of pace from the B. S. we've been seeing. I'd probably watch six or eight more episodes like those! The food service man at the Chicago hotel was precious! And I was highly entertained by Anthony crashing around behind the bar at the Fountainebleau.

Edited by Portia
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The 5-Star looks are a wonderful and natural outgrowth of the concept of this show.

 

While I had never been inside the Langham, I had been past it many times.  I have visited Chicago many times.  That view of the locks of the Chicago River at Lake Michigan is the best possible view, in my opinion.  Other buildings have it, of course.  Yet, there is no overselling how awesome that view is.

 

I loved seeing the professional staff.  There are thousands of folks like these in the various Magnificent Mile/Downtown hotels.  It is such a kick to see them in action and to have them at your service.  I must say the Langham's training and attention to detail is the best I've ever heard of.  

 

I hope you add an architectural and lakefront cruise in the Chicago River and Lake Michigan to your bucket list.  Beyond amazing.

 

I've only visited the Fontainebleu once.  Unfortunately, I've never stayed there.  The two standout things to me were the lobby, which is as spectacular as you can imagine, and the acres and acres of pools and beach access.  I've never been more blown away by such.  Just marvelous.  The labor required to properly maintain these areas is immense.  If you have an afternoon to kill, you could do a heck of a lot worse than to spend it there.

 

While so much of TV is phony baloney and hyperbole, I 100% felt AM's proclamations that properties like these are why he chose hospitality as a career.  For much the same reasons, I came very close to doing the very same thing.  His words struck me as entirely congruent and heartfelt to me.  Being a part of such a professional staff, from top to bottom, is a fantastic environment in which to toil.  It all becomes a labor of love.  

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I loathed those "5-star" episodes.  I am just not impressed by places where rates start in the 500s a night.  Unwrapped homemade chocolate on the white sheet? Sounds messy. And I thought the worst part was the measly "tip" given to the pre-screened TV-friendly workstaff.  How about giving them a free weekend in one of those presidential suites, complete with some spending cash?  It's the least the hotels could do for the infomercial.

 

Always glad when the beloved Blanche returns, even though this week she and the "conference center" makeover were barely featured.  I did like that they deleted the repetitive "Anthony drops by and fears Blanche won't get it done/right" snippet and the Sherwin Williams paint plug.  There must be ways to feature her without it being so predictable.

 

Also liked the focus on security for the Maine motel.  That's something I don't recall getting much attention before.  After 50 episodes it can be hard to find a new angle.

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Did they say how the couple came to manage the hotel?  I wondered if they were friends of the owners.
I'd love to hear that the deal eventually goes through, because they were being screwed, and I think Anthony felt strongly about this, and the way employees were treated, because he got something done quickly.

 

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Folks were going to get fired through no real fault of their own and AM was loving the outcome.  That is an absolute first for me in watching reality TV.  It most certainly adds unnecessary cost.  If I am an owner, there is no way I am paying any benefit I don't have to pay.  It would be nice to increase compensation levels.  However, if I am looking at hundreds of thousands in truly necessary property upgrades/rehab, I am not about to give raises in a labor market favorable to employers.  

 

This owner went too far in his cheapness, though.  Penny wise and pound foolish with the working conditions and laughable security, he was.

 

What did Blanche do?   She took out apparatus.  Guests can't play pool or ping pong anymore.  Paint and paneling?  Whoop-de-doo!  I could not get past the red nautical chairs.  Of course, replacing those would have cost big dollars, eh?  

 

I didn't see how the couple were particularly good managers.   No picture and you are paying to be on Expedia?  Huh?  You are entirely aware of the vulnerabilities of the property and nothing changes?   I get that the owner has to pay for such, but that wasn't worth a knock down/drag out fight?  Then, they have not the sense to get the heck out of there with no contract/memorandum of understanding in place?

 

I also have to wonder as to the actual cleanliness of the rooms.  Not a word was spoken.  Was this the best housekeeping staff in the history of this show?  All minimum wagers and part timers?  Really?

 

I may have missed it, but there was zero mention of attracting conference and tour bus traffic after the introduction, right?  

 

Were the owners locked into a multi-year contract with DirecTV well past the first 24 months?  How much?   

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The Crest View ep just seemed off.  There really never was an explanation as to how the place was failing, except that it was a dated property.  I totally got that Jess the grandson was a tool.  Yet, there seemed to be many hard working folks and things were in pretty good shape, generally.  Just an odd presentation in this ep.

 

The fix was super expensive, and it didn't even include a new flat screen.  I just don't see Jess changing his spots, either.  Wanna bet he chose to be a waiter so he could double dip in compensation (Asst. GM and tips for waiting tables)?   My guess is they end up selling the place whenever the matriarch passes.  Had she already signed the deed over to her children?  Who truly owned the place, anyway?  If there is no appreciable debt, they'd get a nice price for the place.

 

The wood artist was a great side story to include.  I am always amazed when I see such talent at work.  I really liked AM's choice to create an American Eagle piece.

 

And sorry, Anthony, if it comes down to you or Mr. Kitty, YOU are the one leaving!  :)

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Actually Lonesome Rhodes, it's called Ocean Crest. Although the views are the most spectacular thing about the property & the name should capitalize on that.

I was curious so I checked out their website. The good news : you can now book a room online. The bad news: all the pictures on the website showed the same dated furniture from before the makeover. I mean, even down to those hideous plaid bedspreads.

I'm torn. I understand the show can't afford to renovate entire properties, but these hotels are already in a financial bind & can't afford it either. Soooo......?? What's the point of the room makover then?

The heir made me crazy! He was clearly a bright guy but just not living up to his potential. I think part of the problem is he's smart enough to know he's in over his head. Maybe a business class or two; just so he can learn some basics---how to read the charts & figure the costs the host was asking him about.

Or maybe he was being passive aggressive because he doesn't actually want to take over the family business? And just doesn't know how to say it out loud?

Or maybe he's just lazy, heartless & ineffectual? Showing up at noon when his mom is working 100 hours a week?! Waiting tables & working on a website that couldn't actually book rooms?!

Ugh!

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Sorry Anthony, I'm just not buying that Jess had some massive breakthrough overnight and decided to pull his head out of his ass at 41 years of age.  Clearly, he had no issue with his mother working 100 hours a week for all of his life, and now he magically gets it?  Bullshit.  Family should have voted to sell.  Let Jess (and his oddball wife) get real jobs.  I was really hoping we would have seen exactly how much money Jess had been spending to "learn Facebook"... Dumbass

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Jess is--how do I put this delicately?--a sack of sh**. How did he live with himself, letting his retirement age mother do all the work while he slept in and played around at waiting tables? If he hasn't developed a work ethic by now, I don't think there's any hope of him becoming any sort of worthwhile leader.

 

Hope I don't offend any pet owners, but as a general rule I think it's pretty unprofessional to keep an animal in the public area of a business, particularly in an industry that aims to make the general public feel comfortable. I was really surprised Anthony didn't make a bigger deal about it--especially since he understands firsthand that some visitors will be anything but happy to see a cat on the desk. What horrified me the most, however, was that the desk clerk seemed complete unfazed by his allergic reaction and didn't offer even a perfunctory "sorry" when he told her he was going to have to take medicine.

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