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S03.E03: Town's Inn Part 1

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Why is there a general store in the hotel?  (I know there isn't, but that's what it looks like.)  Between the prepared-in-advance food, the various items up for sale, the haven't-been-cleaned-in-years look and using the great outdoors as storage/kitchen space…they are boned.  Plus, Karan and Sarah are legit crazy.

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If there were a drinking game for this show, it would be based off the number of times Gordon says "Wow" or "Bloody hell."

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From what I saw online this isn't a very big town. Which then explains a little on why those employees don't just up and leave. They may not have a lot of options out there. It seemed like the teen boys were the the smartest of the bunch and the cook guy after. It seems he rather do things right but is not able to like most on these shows because of owners. We were wondering about the health codes and such in that state. How the heck does one get away with having all that food outside the building like that near the trash and who knows what. I would think its not only violations on that but the fact that it would be a danger to kids that might come across and try to get in. It didn't look like things were locked at all. My friend was wondering if some of the workers were ex drug addicts (or still ones) and/or ex convicts with how some were coming off. Obviously the owner has some major mental issues that should be addressed. It seemed her son and his wife bought it to get his mom out of their hair when they should have been making sure she was mentally stable instead of just dumping her into this mess. 

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I spent the entire episode waiting for Gordon to turn to Sarah and Say "why the fuck are you even here?  You don't work here!!  Fuck off!"  That's what I kept yelling every time she appeared.

I found it interesting that the son had one scene at the beginning and then we never saw him again.  I feel like that's how he probably treats his mom all the time and a small part of me felt sorry for Karan. 

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14 minutes ago, Canada said:

I spent the entire episode waiting for Gordon to turn to Sarah and Say "why the fuck are you even here?  You don't work here!!  Fuck off!"  That's what I kept yelling every time she appeared.

I found it interesting that the son had one scene at the beginning and then we never saw him again.  I feel like that's how he probably treats his mom all the time and a small part of me felt sorry for Karan. 

There is time in Part II for Gordon to lose it and he may.   Her son bought her that Inn, I don't feel sorry for her at all in regard to her son's caring.  That is huge.  He has nothing to do with the operation so there would be no reason for him to be there.  None at all.  There is no reason for Sara and the other women either.  But they add an entertainment factor.   I do love me some crazies, I do.  

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I guess I just got a sense that the son didn't buy it out of love, but out of a desire to keep her busy so he didn't need to actually have anything to do with her.

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7 minutes ago, Canada said:

I guess I just got a sense that the son didn't buy it out of love, but out of a desire to keep her busy so he didn't need to actually have anything to do with her.

I got the same feeling too, which is kind of sad, but we don't know their whole dynamic.

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7 minutes ago, Canada said:

I guess I just got a sense that the son didn't buy it out of love, but out of a desire to keep her busy so he didn't need to actually have anything to do with her.

That might be in the mix but certainly a deep caring  and love is there to do that for her.  He could have spent the money on an institution!  Perhaps the better option.  j/k

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I just got around to finally watching this. I read the comments beforehand and didn't think it was going to be as bad as it actually was. Hands down the most fucked up episode he's ever done. Yes I think even more than Amy's Baking Company. At least, if I remember correctly, they were clean. I think Gordon even commented on how spotless their kitchen was.

He shouldn't even bother attempting to fix the place. It is at a point of no return IMO. They'd be better off burning the whole building to the ground with everything inside. This place is so dismal even Gordon Ramsay can't save it. 

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Why do they have freezers and refrigerators outside? It snows there. 

Why doesn't someone cart Sarah back off to wherever she came from?

I feel sorry for the employees. And I feel sorry for Karen who I think has some mental health issues and has no idea that anything around her is wrong.

Who asked Gordon to come help this place? Surely not Karen or Sarah, they think things are fine. Maybe the local health department?

I've never seen such a disgusting mess on any of Gordon's various shows. I bet his skin was crawling with all kinds of bugs and dust mites.

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On ‎6‎/‎8‎/‎2016 at 10:58 PM, Court said:

Did anyone catch that Sarah sits at the table and keeps a journal? Gordon read from it and it was something like Betty used the bathroom at 10. I think it was near the beginning. 

I had a boss that did that kind of crap.  She kept track of everything we did, how long it took us to do it, and her personal thoughts on all of us.  None of it was kind.  She was - hands-down - the worst boss I had ever, and that's saying a lot.  We couldn't talk to her about work things, like needing time off.  She had 3-part forms we had to fill out for EVERYTHING and leave them in a box on her desk.  She issued memos every day on the stupidest crap.  She decided we were wasting too much time deciding where to order lunch, so she appointed one person to gather orders, and gave us two "approved" places to order from each day.  When she told the owner that he should just fire the lot of us and start over, he strongly suggested she find a new place to work, and she did, thankfully.  We wanted to read her journal - she left it behind - but one of my co-workers turned it over to HR per their request.  I have a feeling that she was trying to file for unemployment or something similar.

A good friend of mine went through something similar.  She took a job in an office, and the manager hated her from the get-go.  She would lock herself in the bathroom at lunch and cry.  Then one day, she was suddenly gone, and they asked my friend if she would be interested in being manager.  She took over, but when cleaning out the other person's desk, she found a notebook full of things like "OMG She breathes too loudly!  Bathroom smelled after she was in there.  I HATE the way she chews gum!  I want to smack her upside her stupid head!".  And so on.  She was pretty floored by all of this, and was visibly shaken.  She showed her bosses, who asked what was wrong. They pulled her to the side and told her that this woman was a closet alcoholic, and to disregard everything in there.  She had been let go because they couldn't have her drinking on the job, and they had tried to get her help, and she blew it off.  Then a few months later, that woman died, and my friend felt bad all over again.  People who keep track of petty crap like that have issues.  Serious issues.

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I'm thinking it was probably the owner's son that was seen in the beginning and who bought the inn for her was the one who called Gordon. 

At first I thought to myself that those 2 17 year old servers could just quit if the place was really that bad, they most likely live at home with their parents and don't necessarily need the job. But then I realized it's possible they do need the money to put towards college or a car or something and as long as they are getting a paycheck, they might not care about sticking around there, if they really need the job that badly. At the end of the day they clock out and go home, with their paycheck. If the owner wants to ruin her own business, that's her problem.

Speaking of going home, how creepy is it that the owner legit sleeps in the building? And one of the employees said she wears basically the same 2 outfits all the time. The woman's got some serious issues. Issues with hoarding and never wanting to change things apparently. 

I had a professor in college who didn't practice basic hygiene at all. He literally wore the same clothes every day, didn't cut or wash his hair, didn't shower, and wore this really gross dirty old baseball hat every day. Smart as a whip in the subject he taught (though that being said he couldn't teach for shit) but how he ever got a job with his lack of basic hygiene is beyond me. People like that have some serious problems.

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I was reading something along the lines of how Karen or whoever was approached by people for the show to see if they would let them do it there. She doesn't have a tv I guess and hasn't watched one in a VERY long time so they (her and I want to say her son) had watched the show to see what it was about. She also tried to say that every time Gordon said things he knew that she knew 10 times or 100 times more. Sorry can't remember what it was exactly she said. But she seems to think she knows more than him as it is so not sure why she wanted them to come in at all if she watched it before agreeing to it..or if she had agreed to it then watched it....which if that was the case was stupid as well. Anyway, I took from this that the show has people that go out and look for certain places to try to get to agree to do the show and let Gordon "fix" it. 

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Go to TripAdviser and look at the Poor and Terrible reviews. Karan writes these detailed rebuttals to a lot of them. In one she says that their restaurant serves fresh, homemade food!

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She wouldn't touch the old lettuce, she recoiled in horror!! Those boiled hamburgers were the worst, no one wanted to taste those either. That poor frozen store-bought chicken was pitiful.

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I got the feeling her son called as well. He said it was losing money and they needed to cut their losses. But he didn't want to upset his mom. It seemed like he doesn't know what to do about his delusional mom.

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From the trip advisor description:

 Also on the first floor is a Sundry / Snack / Supply Shoppe which has been described as a "high-end convenience store, a mini-health food store, and an old-fashioned country store with local products." The second floor consists of two bedrooms with beautiful slate-tile private bathrooms. A parlor containing a treasure of books, toys, and games is situated on the third floor, along with another bedroom.

 

After reading some of those reviews, I'm pretty sure Karan and Sarah are writing the 5 star ones. 

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7 hours ago, Court said:

I got the feeling her son called as well. He said it was losing money and they needed to cut their losses. But he didn't want to upset his mom. It seemed like he doesn't know what to do about his delusional mom.

Why have an outsider come in and take care of your mom for you? The son bought that place to keep her occuppied, it seems. As if he doesn't want to deal with her mental healh issues (hoarding, oh, she's there already). I guess instead of Mom moving in with him, he bought her a playhouse. 

And I agree, those 5-star reviews cannot be actual customers.

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Well, to be cynical, why not? She has staff to maintain her and her home, I suspect if they could afford to buy the place they can use the loss on their taxes, it's cheaper than decent assisted living, and it keeps her out of trouble. 

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I have to say that I’m a bit disappointed that GR decided to keep Hotel Hell and not Kitchen Nightmares (not to say that he necessarily had to choose, but I wish he kept both or kept KN over Hotel Hell). Hotel Hell seems (especially this season) to be going more in a “Dr. Phil” type direction and he seems to spend more time trying to resolve any psychological issues these people may have over focusing on re-inventing the menus/kitchens and the rooms and service of these hotels.

On KN, he flat out walked out on Amy’s Baking Company for a variety of reasons, but didn’t try to fix the clear psychological issues that they had. They were delusional, he told them so, they argued about it, but at the end of the day he ended up walking out when they were unwilling to accept any of his ideas about how to improve service, staff treatment/turnover, the food, etc. Granted, the fact that they were unwilling to listen to any of his advice or take any of the reviews from Customers who dined there, especially the comments on Social Media (from the “haters” according to Amy and her hubby) seriously which largely contributed to the other food/kitchen/restaurant issues, he didn’t sit down and try to solve their psychological issues – or at least that wasn’t the main focus. He walked out when they wouldn’t change the restaurant issues.

Every episode of Hotel Hell so far this year has seemed to contain some sort of psychological issue with the owner(s), and he has spent more of the show’s focus on that rather than just focusing on fixing the food, the service and the rooms/decor. I don’t know why they’ve decided to push the "Dr. Phil" type focus more this year than they have in others, other than the fact that they think it may help up the ratings.

I personally would rather see more of the focus on the kitchen, the service, etc. and not turn this into a self-help show that is more interested in how “crazy” the owners/staff are, especially as Gordon is in no way qualified to help with the psych issues/loss/trauma the people this season are experiencing.

Yes, the woman in this episode clearly has issues (as does her friend Sara) and I’m curious to see if he makes the place over next week or walks out. In my opinion, if the show were truly more focused on improving the hotel/restaurant, he would walk out a lot more often (this season in particular) rather than try to “fix the owners,” especially when they are so resistant to change and they even admit the changes won’t stick. To me, the show is supposed to be more about improving the places, not psychoanalyzing the people involved in the ownership/management of the place and fixing the people (though I realize that often they are closely linked). If they want to make that the focus of the show, he needs to bring in a psychologist/psychiatrist/mental health professional to consult and advise these people as well. As I mentioned above, last time I checked, Gordon was a Chef and not board certified in any sort of mental health profession so I don’t understand why mental health issues seem to be the main focus of the episodes we’ve seen so far this season.

Also, is it just me or does Gordon seem to have put on some weight while they were filming this? One of the sweaters he wore (maybe it was partially due to the sweater) to the place in Idaho made him look a bit thicker around the middle. I wonder if that’s why there hasn’t been any “semi-naked Gordon” in any of the episodes so far this season…

In addition, we haven’t actually seen him spend the night in any of the hotels this season that I can recall. In previous seasons, he would get out his black light, show us how disgusting it was, then get out his own sleeping bag and sleep on top of the bedding. He would also show more detail the rooms rather than just locked closets/armoires that the owners were keeping clothes in – remember when he used to show the bathrooms as well and the one that had the shower that was apparently designed for really, really short people? There has been very little attention paid to that this year as well.  I think this time is now being spent on him trying to play Dr. Phil and address/diagnose people issues rather than focus on the true problems with the business/property itself and how to turn it around and make it profitable again.

He also used to bring in a group of guest who had stayed before the renovation and then again after the renovation (not just eaten the food) – that hasn’t been done this season yet either.

I’m curious to see Part II of this episode, as clearly this hotel is in a lovely spot and it would be great if it could be turned around. I don’t think that’s possible with the current owner and her sidekick Sara and all of the violations we’ve seen so far, however. If Gordon doesn’t just walk away from this and decides to play more Dr. Phil and spend more focus on the psychological issues rather than those of running a business, I will be a bit disappointed as that is what has really been going on all season. I will likely hang in for the rest of the season, but it definitely seems to have deviated from its initial premise quite a bit.

Edited by Rapunzel
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The trip advisor link sent me down a black hole reading reviews. Many reference a Sarah employee. I bet it's the same one.

 

Please read the one by Rodrigo G. There are parts of that review that match exactly up to Karen's responses to negative reviews. Her responses always say the customers are wrong.

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I agree with Rapunzel. I wish they had kept KN and axed HH instead. Way better show IMO. 

I was just saying earlier in the GR thread about how the tone of the show seems to have changed this season with the removal of the cheesy theme song which has been replaced by this Criminal Minds looking opening with shots of Gordon in slo mo looking all dramatic and serious. No funny shots of him getting naked in the shower. I agree they seem to be taking the show in a slightly different direction this season. 

I hope in Part 2 he just walks out and doesn't even bother giving the place a makeover. It's too far gone and beyond repair at this point IMO. 

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On ‎6‎/‎8‎/‎2016 at 8:28 AM, PugLoaf said:
On ‎6‎/‎8‎/‎2016 at 7:58 AM, The Crazed Spruce said:

They boiled a hamburger.

They boiled a hamburger.

BOILED. HAMBURGER.

I can't... I mean.... BOILED. HAMBURGER.

*shudder*

And the "chef" is still working there.

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Quote

Hotel Hell seems (especially this season) to be going more in a “Dr. Phil” type direction and he seems to spend more time trying to resolve any psychological issues these people may have

That was true of Restaurant Impossible...which has now been cancelled (mercifully). If I wanted a 30 minute diagnosis and cure of mental issues, I'd watch Original Recipe Dr. Phil

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I kept thinking that Karan and Sarah were girlfriends but didn't want to come out and reveal this. It just doesn't make sense why she would be so involved and has Karan's ear on everything. 

The dynamic is pretty weird whatever is going on though. 

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On ‎6‎/‎8‎/‎2016 at 4:58 AM, The Crazed Spruce said:

They boiled a hamburger.

They boiled a hamburger.

BOILED. HAMBURGER.

I can't... I mean.... BOILED. HAMBURGER.

*shudder*

I was on a business trip to Japan not too long ago and stayed at a Hilton in Tokyo. Hiltons all over the world have the "Hilton Burger" on their menu, and I've never been disappointed when I've ordered it, regardless of what country I was in. It's the one thing I tend to know is going to be pretty consistent. When I've been traveling to a particular region long enough, even if I love the local cuisine like I do in Japan, sometimes you just still just get a hankering for a burger.

I was absolutely shocked when my colleague met me for dinner at the restaurant in the Hilton and we both ordered the burger, that they were boiled. Not only that, they put barbeque sauce on it though that wasn't mentioned on the menu at all and I've never had a Hilton Burger served that way before. Japan is famous for having some great beef, so I wasn't expecting this at all, especially not a Hilton where they try to keep certain things consistent. Thankfully, there was a Burger King across the street from the Tokyo Hilton and I went there and got a Whopper value meal - a much better burger than what I had eaten at the Hilton (something I never thought I would say - nothing against BK, just you would expect a  higher quality burger from a Hilton and that is part of what you pay for). However, with everything so expensive in Tokyo, that "value meal" cost me about $15.00 (and it came with a small soda and a small order of onion rings - not medium, not large, no supersizing - that didn't really bother me though as the burger was what I was really after anyway, along with some Coke Zero to wash it down with - no Diet Coke or Coke Lite in Japan). It was worth it though as at least I got my burger fix. I can't imagine any restaurant in the US boiling a burger - it was so disgusting - I took one bite of it and that was it. It should almost be illegal to make a burger that way.

If this so called "chef" at the Towns Inn can't even manage to cook a burger properly (or maybe he didn't have a choice and the owner would only him make them that way - I think she said she ate them that way very frequently and thought they were delicious), then I would be very hesitant to order anything else off of the menu. They also seemed to do a fair amount of microwaving, which, if I wanted my dinner cooked in the micro, I would stay home and do it. Burgers are not hard to grill/cook correctly and don't take a ton of time. There is no excuse for boiling them as the meat just gets destroyed, however I suspect they weren't really using quality ingredients to begin with, especially given that they were primarily preparing frozen food that was kept outside. I have to believe that that is some kind of health/OSHA violation - those weren't freezers that were built to be kept outdoors or true walk-ins like most restaurants have that have tons of lining and insulation.

Anyone know how the place is doing since GR's visit?

Edited by Rapunzel
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