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Kromm

Hotel Impossible

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While I agree that Jess makes a rather lackluster impression, I suspect that there is more to the story (as is often the case).  Nearly all of the older generation struck me as rather ornery types, set in their ways, and unlikely to be open to change of any type.  The reveal of the new room had one of the most lackluster reactions ever. I could hear the old geezer brains thinking "what was wrong with the old room, it worked just fine".  And the horrid hoarding of the workaholic mother was a sign that perhaps she had major issues aside from her son.  I have had both family members and employees who work for hours and hours doing things that a more capable, organized person could accomplish in a third of the time.  

 

I do believe that Jess and his wife are really just not that into the motel management.  The episode never really addressed what financial issues the place was facing. 

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The Curve in Palm Springs, which was featured in an earlier season of HI has bit the dust.  It's being bought by celebrity lawyer Mark Geragos, who plans to shut it down, renovate, re-brand, and re-launch in ONE YEAR. 

 

http://www.desertsun.com/story/money/business/tourism/2014/12/19/curve-sold-brian-kabateck-mark-geragos/20668523/

 

http://www.travelchannel.com/video/recap-the-curve

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For the Ocean Crest: I don't understand why the only two options were sell or have the underwhelmingly incompetent/uninterested grandson take over as manager.  Couldn't they simply hire an already experienced GM? 

 

The grandson should have just said, "I'm not interested in the hotel business."  I mean, it isn't a capital crime to not want to work in your family's business.

Edited by Betelnut
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They would certainly have the option of bringing in a management team.  Yet, the point of ownership was to carry on the family tradition.  If they weren't going to maintain operational control, why would have kept all the risk?  To what end?  Better to cash out.

 

As for rotten grandson - for what else would he be suitable?  From his perspective, running that place, however bad he might be at doing it, and the hope that he might end up with inheriting a bigger share of the place when the matriarch, and perhaps others, die?  His best shot at good money was to play along, at least for awhile longer.  Lord knows he was not going to get fired.    

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"Minor changes and aesthetic upgrades will bring this property to its full potential."

$1.85 mil for 6.5 acres, 12 cabins and 28 cabin/lodge rentals, restaurant, bar and pool. Those were not minor changes and aesthetic upgrades that Anthony was talking about. He didn't even really get to the aesthetic upgrades.I don't know how they can sell it at that price without making a lot of the repairs Anthony discussed. But I do like that the pic in the Craigslist ad shows that the lobby still is painted turquoise blue. The cool side chairs are gone though. 

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Williston, North Dakota - The American Dream.  Who knew?   :-)

 

My DVR cut off the end of The Missouri Flats Inn episode - did anyone see an update about improvements?  I had my doubts that the owner was serious about investing the $ needed to bring this place up to par.  I was also very surprised that Anthony would offer to lease the hotel.  I wish he'd been successful in doing so, because I think he'd be the one to ensure this hotel's long term success.

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I always look forward to the updates at the end.  My memory is that the owner had done zero -- had not locked the doors at night, had not invested any further money &c.

 

Williston is hugely interesting; Lisa Ling had done an hour on life there in her specials .. a genuine boom town, for good and ill. 

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The owner had not invested any money to improve anything.

The doors remain unlocked at night.

Prostitutes still frequent the place.

 

This one was weird. I have no idea why the owner called Anthony. He seemed completely disinterested in the whole process and didn't want to hear anything Anthony had to say. The free make-over of a lobby or room means nothing really. He already had online reservations. I'm surprised Anthony stayed and tried to fix anything. I'm REALLY surprised the owner didn't just outright sell the place to Anthony.

 

I was bothered by that nice GM's hair the entire eppie.

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I always look forward to the updates at the end.  My memory is that the owner had done zero -- had not locked the doors at night, had not invested any further money &c.

 

Williston is hugely interesting; Lisa Ling had done an hour on life there in her specials .. a genuine boom town, for good and ill. 

 

Thanks, Chippings.  I am not surprised; I think Anthony had it right when he said the owner was only interested in the money. 

 

ETA - and thanks, Galloway Cave (we posted simultaneously).  That hair was truly horrible!

Edited by walnutqueen

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The newspaper article I found said the manager actually called/wrote about a different property in Oregon to help and the producers wanted to go to this ND town,

That owner was awful it probably will take a murder for him to even consider changing.

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The update at the end stated that the owner has not re-invested any money into the hotel.  Nor has he installed locks on the side doors, and that prostitutes still frequent the place.  Although I had suspected that is what I would see, I was still disappointed when the update displayed.  The owner is an asshat.

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You guessed correctly - that greedy owner didn't change a thing. He's going to milk that cash cow till the meth cookers in room 312 burn it to the ground.

The fact that Anthony wanted to lease it tells you how much money there was to be made there.

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This one went way too far away from the premise of the show.  I laughed each time AM threatened to just leave if he couldn't find a "problem."  What a farce.  He later protests he is not running a "fake reality show" and that he is all about helping owners facing deep peril. 

 

I have no idea why AM's partner would be willing to put up so much cash without a path to the deed of the property.   If AM is correct that there is little room for rate enhancement, and the joint already ran at near 100% 5 days/week, where is the opportunity to make $?  They must have wanted a lease at waaaaaaay less than the $50k/month the owner is already making. 

 

With such shoddy security, how does that place have any insurance?  Does the State of North Dakota even require it?

 

One thing I really did appreciate was the realistic $6K/room cost AM cited.  So many times he has made an expensive fix to the "show" room and tried to gloss over the huge expense.  The bathroom fix seemed over the top, though.   No way would the "flag" properties coming online choose that level of luxury for a shower for oil field workers.  

 

The AAA rating was entirely irrelevant.  In that environment, it is all about word of mouth.  The workers would be very quick to take advantage of a lower-priced, but clean and secure room.

 

The owner was correct about one thing, though.  He is already making money as he has a much lower mortgage and much lower operating costs to handle than the new properties will.  So, it will be awhile before they see their first real profit.  AM messed up by affirming to him that he'll be able to cash out at a nice price if the biz ever really deteriorates.  Where's his incentive?  This is especially true now that the oil prices have collapsed.  Williston is likely facing a sudden, and huge, recession.  Those new properties could end up in a world of hurt servicing debt based on boomtime occupancies.

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I do not want anything bad to happen to anyone, but if it does, I hope that sleazeball, lazy owner gets sued and loses all of his easy money. And his little dog, too (loses as in "goes to better home" not "dies"). I think AM is OTT, like any host, but he did make a point that these oilfield workers deserve a safe, clean place to live and that parasite owner does not give a rat's red arse about the people who are making him rich. And I hope that bites him hard someday.

 

Also, if the boom keeps going, I hope that woman leaves and gets work in one of the reputable hotels.  

 

 

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Not putting money into it, and not even locking the damn doors.
Makes one wonder about where the owner's interests lie.

I'd like Anthony to get Bubba a room in a nicer place.

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I think Anthony didn't understand the economics of these areas, and definitely didn't understand the clientele. I moved back to my hometown when a fracking related job brought me back, and I know and work with the kinds of guys that stay in these places. My own town had one chain hotel and a half dozen or so small, locally owned motels until about five years ago. We now have 4 chain hotels with another half dozen or so currently under construction. My sister couldn't sell her house recently, but had no problem getting three times the mortgage from renters.

The thing Anthony glossed over is that when you're talking about a glut of young, single guys making shit tons of money, there will always be a demand for lowest common denominator options like this shithole. The Lisa Ling show someone mentioned upthread showed a lot of these guys (and the occasional brave woman) live in dormitory style places with shared bathrooms and rooms that aren't much more than a closet. If you're a 24 year old guy working long shifts on a rig and use your room for sleep and an occasional quickie, is it worth paying $200 a night ($6k/month) for fancier when you can have bare bones for $90? ($2700/month). Think of college guys with a lot more mud who are exhausted because they actually work physical labor for 10-12 hours a day. They don't give a flying fuck what the bedspreads look like. And the prostitutes wouldn't be coming to the hotel if there weren't clients waiting for them. And the whole AAA rating bit was a joke. These aren't families on vacation or businessmen traveling a few days a month. The guys I know wouldn't have even noticed that the chairs in the rooms were old and dirty, much less cared. that's not an insult, it's just the reality of that particular market. My job was as an attorney for one of the five largest US companies, but in our office we all wore jeans, people walked around the office with spit cups for chewing tobacco (even some women) and we got a new shipment of office furniture regularly because the muddy boots ruined everything. It was nothing like any other office setting.

Basically, I think it would be a huge mistake to try and compete with the chains. And Anthony doesn't seem to realize the whole town will be a wasteland in 10 years when the inevitable bust happens and no one will have occupancy. Stay low end, tweak a few things to appeal to rig guys and go from there. Put vinyl flooring in the entries of the room. Fix the Internet (if you can) and put a gaming system and Keurig in every room. Include or charge for grab and go meals. (Lots of well sites are catered, but guys still want something quick and cheap when they're not on site.) Offer a laundry service. There are lots of services you could upsell without investing $6k/room and still keep that place occupied even with chains opening next door.

Edited by Shibori
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Shibori - totally agree with everything you said, as well as other posters.

 

I couldn't believe that five chain hotels are under construction in the town. Not only because the town is inevitably going to go bust, but because North Dakota has the lowest tourist revenue rate of all the 50 states in the country. Who the hell do the chains think is going to stay in their hotels once the town goes under? They're never going to get much, if any, of a return on their investment.

 

Don't get me wrong. I've actually been to North Dakota in the summer. It's a breathtakingly beautiful state, but the beauty is a ferocious type of natural beauty. Teddy Roosevelt traveled through the North Dakota Badlands and it was one of his inspirations for creating what we now know as the National Park System. But North Dakota lacks the major tourist attractions that it's neighbors possess. There are no ski slopes or luxury fishing lodges like in Idaho; no cites like Minneapolis with top class theaters, symphony orchestras and museums; no Ivy League or top rated university to bring in out of staters and their visiting families and faculty; no mountain that climbers want take on like Mt. Whitney, Mt. Shasta or Mt. St. Helen's.

 

Tourists who do go to North Dakota might spend one night at a chain hotel (if they couldn't get a room in a small, family owned motel or rental lodge) before setting out into the wilderness with an experienced local guide for an extended trip into the wilderness. (Always bring a satellite phone!) 

I have no idea why AM chose to go to this motel. I wonder how bad the hotel in Oregon is that the owner called him to try and take on that property. The owner is a complete shit who doesn't care about his clients or his employees. His poor little dog deserves a better owner. His employees certainly deserve a better boss.

I'm incredibly disappointed in the direction this show has taken. I actually bought the first three seasons on iTunes and this season and a great part of last season just don't compare to the first two seasons of this show when we actually cared about the owners and AM truly made a difference in their lives. I've actually called most of the motels that were covered in the first two season and spoken to the owners and it's so wonderful to hear them tell me that the show and Anthony really did change their businesses and that they're going really well. They actually love it when fans of the show call them and want to find out how they are doing now. Shibori, you mentioned that you work for one of the largest corporations in the U.S. I truly don't' mean to offend you, but I have a soft spot for family owned and small operator companies and it does my heart good knowing that AM came in and helped save a lot of family owned businesses that were on the verge of going under and taking the families with them.

I miss that aspect of this show most of all. That and Blance. God, I love Blanche!

Edited by mediawhore
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Williston, North Dakota - The American Dream.  Who knew?   :-)

 

My DVR cut off the end of The Missouri Flats Inn episode - did anyone see an update about improvements?  I had my doubts that the owner was serious about investing the $ needed to bring this place up to par.  I was also very surprised that Anthony would offer to lease the hotel.  I wish he'd been successful in doing so, because I think he'd be the one to ensure this hotel's long term success.

 

The guy did nothing, except keep the doors unlocked at night.  Hos R Us it returned to, and still drug problems too.

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Danielle Colding, who was a Design STar winner, has said on FB that she will be doing some HI shows.
I do like her, but I love Blanche.

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Yeah, I got the sense Anthony totally didn't get this situation either (not that it wasn't really weird him being brought there in the first place--I'm wondering if the hotel was scouted and recruited by his production company rather than the other way around).

 

I will say though that it's not clear when the town will go bust.  I mean really it depends on exactly how MUCH oil is there.  There were Texas boom towns that lasted 20+ years, weren't there?  But what WILL happen (may already be happening) is that the boom may soften, even if it doesn't go away.  Apparently oil prices are at a 5 year low now, for example, and I bet North Dakota isn't nearly as booming now as it was when this episode was filmed, for example.


BTW: Why did they bring back this Tanisha designer lady?  I remember her from her last appearance--she's a real dimwit.

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Ahhh. So it's dropping Oil prices, leading to pink slips, leading to dropping salaries, leading to (necessary) lower rents and hotel costs...

 

http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/health/287422241.html

 

Hard times could be ahead for North Dakota's oil boom towns

Article by: JENNIFER BROOKS , Star Tribune Updated: January 4, 2015 - 6:39 AM

As prices at the pump drop, so do prospects for a happy new year in the Bakken oil fields.

A million barrels of oil a day pump out of North Dakota’s Bakken shale. Oil that used to sell for $100 a barrel and now fetches barely half of that. Oil that pumped billions into the North Dakota economy, drove the state’s unemployment rate down to almost nothing, and turned sleepy farm communities into Wild West boom towns.

The North Dakota oil boom isn’t going bust. Not yet. But with oil prices at a five-year low and dropping, the state is bracing for bad economic news that could ripple far beyond its borders.

“I think we’re going to see a fairly significant correction,” said Ron Ness, president of the North Dakota Petroleum Council. “You’re going to see a tremendous number of pink slips over the next quarter and into the following quarter. And if we’re having this discussion in June, it will be that much more severe.”

North Dakota oil companies can still turn a profit on oil at $52 a barrel, or less. But already, drilling operations have shuttered in the outlying counties, where the oil is harder to reach and the profit margins are narrower. In late 2014, there were 182 rigs in production. Now there are 163.

Some oil companies have slashed their 2015 budgets in half. The state of North Dakota is in the process of revising a budget forecast that it had pinned on oil selling above $70 a barrel. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has declined to cut its own production in the face of the oil flooding out of the Bakken, making it hard for market watchers to predict how prices will play out.

“It’s a great time for consumers, essentially thanks to the Bakken and what that has meant to American energy production,” said Ness, putting the most gracious spin possible on the cratering oil market. “Happy New Year from the Bakken.”

Building a dream

And for now, the new year is still looking bright in places like Watford City.

There’s a new $50 million high school under construction, with plans for another grade school to accommodate all the students who overflowed the classrooms and spilled out into half a dozen portable units on school grounds. The city, which ballooned from a farm town of 1,500 to a population of 12,000 and counting in the space of five years, is finalizing plans for a $101 million event center, complete with conference and performance spaces, two hockey rinks, a 135-foot water slide and an indoor lazy river.

New businesses have opened all over town to cater to the crowds. The new South Park shopping plaza boasts two new hotels, a western wear outfitter, a tractor supply company, a tattoo parlor and a Japanese steakhouse. There are new housing developments springing up all over town. The local newspaper, the McKenzie County Farmer, predicted even more developments in 2015, including massive new highway projects, a new water treatment plant south of town and plans for more housing, more commercial development, maybe a new industrial park to go with the new highway bypass.

“Nothing has changed quite yet,” said Steve Holen, superintendent of McKenzie County Public School District No. 1.

Watford City sits in the epicenter of the oil patch in western North Dakota, and as of the new year, new workers are still coming, businesses are still hiring and the school district is still enrolling new students. The district, home to 500 students before the boom, has three times that many now and Holen went from barely having enough students enrolled to stave off teacher layoffs to having barely enough space to teach them all.

Everyone is watching the price at the pump and wondering, he said.

“There’s some nervousness, obviously,” said Holen, a North Dakota native who came to Watford City five years before the boom. “We’re just sort of waiting this out to see the long-term effect, if there is one. We’re not too worried yet, because we believe in the long term it’s going to resolve itself and we’ll be back to the way it was before.”

If anything, some say, a brief cool-down in the economy might give North Dakota a chance to catch its breath, and catch up. Maybe then there will be fewer news stories about oil workers with six-figure salaries who had to sleep in their cars because there wasn’t enough housing to go around.

“If there is a little bit of a lull, it’ll probably provide an opportunity for some of the infrastructure to get built out, and give some time for a little bit of catch-up,” Holen said. “I don’t think anybody’s assuming that it’s just all going to go away.”

In the ‘sweet spot’

Right now, North Dakota has the strongest economy in the nation and an unemployment rate so low it almost requires an act of will to be out of work — 2.8 percent statewide, 1.1 percent in McKenzie County.

In downtown Watford City, the Nordby Vision Center is hiring. Susan Sampsel, the office receptionist, moved up from Texas with her husband, who works in the oil industry. All the new stores and restaurants in town were a welcome development for newcomers who spent their first few years in town facing high prices and few choices.

There are still plenty of patients, new and old, coming into the shop, and, so far, oil prices haven’t been low enough long enough to become a topic of general conversation or concern, Sampsel said.

“The town is growing. They’re adding more shopping possibilities, gas stations; things that weren’t easy to get before, like go get your oil changed or go grab a sandwich,” she said.

At the McKenzie County Job Development Authority and Tourism Board, executive director Gene Veeder is fielding a lot of worried questions these days from workers wondering about their pay checks and businesses wondering whether it’s a good idea to go ahead with a new venture in the oil patch.

“We’re in the sweet spot, here in McKenzie County,” said Veeder, who lives on a ranch his grandparents built a century ago. “We haven’t really reached a target where we’ll see a great slowing down. I think we’ll see a reduction in some rigs.”

North Dakota has ridden out oil booms and busts before. In the ’50s. In the ’80s. Veeder sees no sign of this boom going bust yet.

“We have a little bit of room to go before it really affects us,” he said. The city’s budget for the upcoming year tops $100 million and the state has squirreled away billions in oil revenue into funds it can tap for years to come to pay for future infrastructure, education and legacy projects. “Mainly what they’re telling us is to sit back and take a look at this thing. We were really fast-paced. We had a hard time keeping up. So we think it’s just normalizing.”

Edited by Kromm
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I missed the CitiGarden ep when it first ran.  THIS, is what the program should be all about!  Something rundown, but with very real possibilities.

 

My favorite moment was when Blanche was first seeing the courtyard.  She said the plants should be "indicative" of the area.  Nobody caught it and it aired.  Too funny.  It's "indigenous," Blanche.  Indigenous.  Fun aside, this is indicative of Blanche's ignorance.  A designer, of all people, ought to be well versed in the various aspects of design.  If she wants to pretend to be well-qualified (and she generally seems to do well with inside space) she must be more careful on camera.

 

I didn't like the management company dude.  He shows up in jeans?  Really?  A potential client and on TV for the word to see?  He is the Andre of hotel management!  having said this, there was never a doubt in my mind that the owner would not agree to pay the management fees and agree to the rules of operation they would bring.  It's absolutely what needs to be done, but as is typical, the owner just can't bring herself to give up that much control.  Maybe she is just cheap, as well. 

 

Didja notice AM never talked about just how much capital he expected the owner to cough up?  For 320 rooms?   It had to be 7 figures.  Had to be.  

 

While I liked the proposed courtyard space, AM overlooked a crucial point:  This is an airport property.  For most folks, it's a place to crash overnight.  It's not about guests who have a lot of time to just chill.  Why should the owner spend tens of thousands on this, ahead of better housekeeping and breakfast?  

 

I'd love to know what is behind the agreement with the lousy shuttle service.  We obviously did not get the real story.  Wanna bet it belongs to an extended family member?

 

Sleeping guy in the lobby, if not made up for the show, has to be a nadir of the series.  Incredible.  Stupefying.

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The boom town hotel owner was all kinds of creepy.  My husband and I both agreed that he was in his element with the drug addicts and prostitutes.  Anthony totally didn't get it.  Hos and druggies need somewhere to crash, and this guy is only too happy to provide that service, especially since they wouldn't be welcome at the name brand hotels.  Anthony wanted to put lipstick on a pig.

Edited by tobeannounced
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The Empress in New Orleans.  Once again, I want to slap the ever-living shit out of an owner, and this time it's a stupid stubborn old bitch.  Thanks, Anthony - you can't get much lower than this.   To add insult to injury, the whole "sons taking over in 24 hours" was a sham, too - the update says they "plan to take over soon".  Don't hold your breath.

 

I am SO over this show.

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The boom town hotel owner was all kinds of creepy.  My husband and I both agreed that he was in his element with the drug addicts and prostitutes.  Anthony totally didn't get it.  Hos and druggies need somewhere to crash, and this guy is only too happy to provide that service, especially since they wouldn't be welcome at the name brand hotels.  Anthony wanted to put lipstick on a pig.

 

Ha ha ha! We thought he was drunk the whole time. His affect was so weird.

 

CIty Garden was crazy too. The owner with her purse dog and the in over his head GM? Maybe they were drunk too. I love Anthony but this is not appointment TV for me. I do enjoy it when I catch it, but mostly because Anthony entertains me so much.

 

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The Empress in New Orleans.  Once again, I want to slap the ever-living shit out of an owner, and this time it's a stupid stubborn old bitch.  Thanks, Anthony - you can't get much lower than this.   To add insult to injury, the whole "sons taking over in 24 hours" was a sham, too - the update says they "plan to take over soon".  Don't hold your breath.

 

I am SO over this show.

This appears to be the season of batshit crazy owners. That woman was something. "Ooohhhhh, Annnnthony [massive eyeroll] Do you know how much sheets cost?" I CANNOT believe she had her staff cleaning the toilet, bathtub, soap dish and vanity tops with the same brush! How did that place ever pass inspection with that electrical panel? Since Mom is still running the place, did Anthony give them the mattresses and headboards? So many questions.

 

I lived in NO as a kid. Miss the food and the accents.

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My favorite moment was when Blanche was first seeing the courtyard.  She said the plants should be "indicative" of the area.  Nobody caught it and it aired.  Too funny.  It's "indigenous," Blanche.  Indigenous.

I caught it and cracked up.  Nothing funnier than someone trying to sound intelligent and misusing words.  I do like her best of the designers, though.

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The Empress in New Orleans.  Once again, I want to slap the ever-living shit out of an owner, and this time it's a stupid stubborn old bitch.  Thanks, Anthony - you can't get much lower than this.   To add insult to injury, the whole "sons taking over in 24 hours" was a sham, too - the update says they "plan to take over soon".  Don't hold your breath.

 

I am SO over this show.

This one is actually a compare/contrast to the North Dakota boom town episode.

 

In the boom town Anthony walked into a crack den and just didn't get it.  While that town probably won't go totally bust, it's already since that episode aired in a huge decline due to the price of oil plummeting this year.  Workers are being laid off en masse, remaining salaries lowered en masse, and the chains are actually going to have to cut their rates too.

 

Not that I'd ever recommend ever leaving a place a crack den, but the whole "drive up the rates" philosophy has to be given a reality check in a town where the rates are going to plummet really soon (if they haven't already by now).  Frankly, closing the place totally might have even been the best plan, because if it needed renovation, and there are brand new chain buildings going up around it and THEY are going to be slashing their rates as the boom softens there... then... it's going to be untenable to run the place.  I know the whole episode started with the guy talking about how much profit he was making, but this was likely filmed about a year ago and that profit is probably already narrowing... or gone..

 

But New Orleans' Treme district is going to remain a viable location no matter what.  Rates CAN be driven higher there, because people will actually flock there and pay those rates.  So THAT crack house being given the radical Anthony redo is as right there as it was wrong in North Dakota.

 

Of course if this was all BS by the old lady to get a renovation/press/freebies (if that's what the firing of the HONEST front desk people and the sons STILL not being in control means)...  the way she runs it is sickening not just on their own lack of merit, but also because it just makes no damn senses for the environment.  For a few years after Katrina maybe it made sense.  But currently?  It doesn't. Not even a little.

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I took a look back at every episode for this season and there was only one hotel that wasn't owned by sleaze balls or whack jobs - The Crookston Inn. I have a really hard time believing that there are no hotel and motel owners that are good people who contacted the show. I think HI has decided to take the most obnoxious owners and sleaziest hotels simply for "drama". Bad decision for a show that used to be so good. The New Orleans episode was a real low point for a season finale.

As for the Empress Hotel episode we get yet another whack job owner who refuses to invest money into the place and serves the lowest end clientele. I went to the hotel's website and the rates are $49 per night which means it's still being run as a flop house. And the picture on the website shows the room that Blanche remade and the nice bedding has been stripped from the bed and the old, nasty bedding is back. The owner probably took the bedding out because she figured it was too nice for the place and took it home with her. The two sons probably won't get the property until the mother either dies or is physically and/or mentally incapable of running it.

As for the hotel itself I have a very hard time considering it to even be a hotel. It's one half step above a hostel, IMHO. If the sons do ever take over the hotel, they should completely gut the interior, restore some architectural elements and expand the size of the rooms. The bedrooms and bathrooms are so tiny that it would make more sense to have less rooms. Make money up charging for larger, nicer rooms in a prime area of New Orleans and add amenities that make sense. Upgrade the TVs; install Wifi and iPod of Smartphone docking stations. Gut the entire lobby and make it comfortable and inviting. Get top quality bedding and bath products. You don't need to even necessarily add a continental breakfast because you can walk out of the hotel and go straight to some great breakfast spots. You could possibly serve french press coffee, properly steeped tea (as in no tea bags), some nice pastries or very simple breakfast items and the guests would be happy. Set up a nice spot for guests who want to have a little something to start their day.

And for the love of God and New Orleans, redo the hotel exterior. It has absolutely no architectural interest at all and it makes me wonder if the hotel isn't a much newer building compared to the older, architecturally authentic homes that surround it. When Katrina hit, the French Quarter wasn't flooded at all and the Treme got a foot of water in some places. So those surrounding homes weren't rebuilt. Which makes me pretty sure that the Empress Hotel is a much newer building that doesn't really have much, or any, original architectural heritage at all.

Edited by mediawhore
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This has been such a frustrating season as I wanted most (if not all) of the owners to sell or lose their businesses.  I really liked the employees of the Empress Inn in New Orleans, so I hope the front desk workers found higher paying jobs at nicer hotels.  Anthony may have had the owner's number though as he would only make the mattress and headboard donations if she turned the hotel over to her sons.  She didn't, so I'm sure Anthony didn't give her those items.  She was just the latest owner this season who was so stubborn and actually hurting her potential income.

 

I want to root for the owners.  Maybe next season...


This has been such a frustrating season as I wanted most (if not all) of the owners to sell or lose their businesses.  I really liked the employees of the Empress Inn in New Orleans, so I hope the front desk workers found higher paying jobs at nicer hotels.  Anthony may have had the owner's number though as he would only make the mattress and headboard donations if she turned the hotel over to her sons.  She didn't, so I'm sure Anthony didn't give her those items.  She was just the latest owner this season who was so stubborn and actually hurting her potential income.

 

I want to root for the owners.  Maybe next season...

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I couldn't believe that woman had people on their knees to scrub floors.
I pegged her as an old-time racist, because who doesn't use mops.

All of her policies were aimed at degrading either her staff or her guests.

Bitch.

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AM's conceit that Nawlins "deserved" nicer places was so much hooey to me.  The Nawlins that I know is overwhelmingly seedy and downscale.  Yes, the high end is darn good.  But, the surrounding areas, like Treme, are closer to a dump.  It literally stinks.  This is my experience.  YMMV.

 

So, we have a hardscrabble owner who was doing her best to treat AM as a welcomed guest.  She nicely explained the realities of downscale Nawlins and the need for a basic place to flop.  Given that she makes money and abhors debt, how are her business fundamentals wrong?  So, AM got to be all offended and act like he just found a child molester.  A man of the people, he is!  Spare me.  He was completely aware of the game he was about to play before he set foot on that property.  

 

Why didn't he buy the place if he was so certain of the gold mine he said it was?   Then, he could lecture everyone about how enlightened an owner he is.  He claims a minimum of $500K profit per year based on his plan?  That is a no-brainer.  Right?  Amazing how it really isn't when his own cash might be at risk, eh?  Does anyone know of any properties he actually does own and/or run?  It would be great fun to go in as a secret guest and scope it all out!

 

Now, her treatment of the staff and her cleaning standards are atrocious.  She is dead wrong.  Charging for stains and such?  Smart business.  But, think of it.  If her employees simply can not stand her admittedly harsh policies, why are they still there?  It's a harsh world, y'all.  She offers scraps for tough, tough, work.   If I am an individual who can't find better and needs a job, I take it.  At whatever point she goes too far?  She'd have to improve the working conditions and/or compensation levels.  Now, not giving the proper break time to each full time employee is breaking the law.  Plain and clear.  Why hasn't anyone called her on this????  

 

To that end, yes or no, does that place meet the electrical code for public occupation?  Given how rotten so much of Nawlins is, I wouldn't doubt it!  Can you imagine how Mike Holmes would react?  He'd have an aneurysm!

 

I loved living in the South.  Hearing the desk clerks calling AM, "Mister Anthony" is a convention I dearly miss.  "Mister X, and Miss X" is such a polite and respectful more (mor-ay) and it was pretty ubiquitous across all segments of the community where I lived.  I really enjoyed greeting all folks in this way.  Brown, white, yellow, whatever.  It's a piece of a gentility which I hope never fades completely away.  I use it up here quite often and boy, do I get some looks!  

 

I did the math.  For that place to generate $1 million, on a 70% occupancy (which seems pretty high to me) they would have to average $110/room night.  Even with the redo, would that tiny space merit that much?  Would they start charging for parking, too?  How would they bring in enough visitors to offset the loss of the transients?  I also loved the mother's caution as to the hundreds of thousands her sons would have to put into the joint based on an ethereal business plan.  She never once objected to the money she was promised - she just didn't buy into the fundamental assumptions made by AM and the sons.   Yet and still, all in all, she may as well have turned it over to them.  Unless...they really weren't making it as contractors.  We never did hear about their level of success.  Were they any good at it?  She would know.  AM, and we, would not.

 

I felt sorry for the contractor brought in.  You think her contractor sons would ever choose to use him?  Then again, how often do any of the owners on this show ever actually make improvements when the TV lights dim?

Edited by Lonesome Rhodes

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AM's conceit that Nawlins "deserved" nicer places was so much hooey to me.  The Nawlins that I know is overwhelmingly seedy and downscale.  Yes, the high end is darn good.  But, the surrounding areas, like Treme, are closer to a dump.  It literally stinks.  This is my experience.  YMMV.

 

So, we have a hardscrabble owner who was doing her best to treat AM as a welcomed guest.  She nicely explained the realities of downscale Nawlins and the need for a basic place to flop.  Given that she makes money and abhors debt, how are her business fundamentals wrong?  So, AM got to be all offended and act like he just found a child molester.  A man of the people, he is!  Spare me.  He was completely aware of the game he was about to play before he set foot on that property.  

Anthony has gotten situations terribly wrong before--for example North Dakota, as we discuss upthread--but in Treme I think he did have some actual support for his point of view, because he has solid data available on the rates, occupancy percentages, and probably even the P/L information on competing hotels in the same neighborhood. Unlike North Dakota, the economy of New Orleans isn't in a temporary state where that kind of data isn't reliable--it probably IS.

 

He does get way up on his high horse about treatment of employees. As decent human beings we'd like to see them treated better, but if this WAS just about dollars and cents, the harsh Dickensian wisdom is probably that this lady treated them like shit, because in that neighborhood they're instantly replaceable. On TV Anthony probably can't even admit that's part of what's behind that, although some of that lady's practices, like the "use one rag because they are too stupid to figure out how to use three color coordinated ones" seems pretty dumb on her part, even with that filter applied (although I bet the color coordinated rags are more expensive).  How it all impacts guest satisfaction is another issue entirely.  It could be argued that like the place in North Dakota, the worst elements came to this place because they don't CARE about online reviews and the bottom line is the price.  But this gets back to the rates and the occupancy data on the competitors.  If the data proves that a place in that area can have as great, or even greater, occupancy with higher rates, and the higher rates require greater expenditures (and that in turn means better employee treatment, individual rags for each cleaning task, better security,  and the other typical Anthony upgrades... then he's right IN THEORY. The fact that the crack dealers lose their haven is irrelevant.  

 

But you may indeed be right that the numbers we heard in that episode are totally fucked up.  The reality may be that the place was far too decrepit to upgrade and still make the profit his plan seemed to claim.  Of course we also have the reality that the place appeared to be a death-trap electrical-wise.  Ultimately that means the place, if not upgraded, would wind up being closed by the authorities.

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I'm wondering if this situation of owners who don't give a rat's ass would be solved if Anthony only considered helping hotels whose owners reached out to him instead of concerned family members or hotel workers.

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Please forgive my being horribly out of sequence and dated for this post.

 

I just saw the Ritz Inn ep from last year (the Asian family in Niagara Falls, ON).  My goodness how wonderful this was.  What a contrast to the last few eps of the 2014 season!   To me, this is what the show needs to be about - wicked hard workers willing to fight for their property.

 

I have severe doubts that the father truly evolved.  What I loved, though, was that he instantly saw the moral blessing AM gave him.  That is the type of fundamental change that is required for any individual to overcome a lifetime of behavior.  I will note that the place is now getting excellent reviews for cleanliness.  Could this be one of the rare reality TV fix it eps that really did save a place?  I truly hope so.

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How many of these stupid clip episodes are they going to do?

 

I suspect they will milk them for a few more.  I really haven't minded them too much.   Anything would be better than the dreadful 30-minute "visits" paid to alleged chi-chi resort hotels in Chicago and Miami.  Smelled like product placement run amuk.  

 

A better way to milk their past archives would be to re-visit some properties to see how they are doing 2/3 years later.I know the Curve in Palm Springs failed miserably and was recently sold to investors who are re-renovating.  I suspect the success rates are pretty low, so maybe that's why they haven't gone that route.  I don't think we have seen many "positive" items cited in this season's closing remarks three-bullet-point summaries.

Edited by SanDiegoInExile
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The owner had not invested any money to improve anything.

The doors remain unlocked at night.

Prostitutes still frequent the place.

This one was weird. I have no idea why the owner called Anthony. He seemed completely disinterested in the whole process and didn't want to hear anything Anthony had to say. The free make-over of a lobby or room means nothing really. He already had online reservations. I'm surprised Anthony stayed and tried to fix anything. I'm REALLY surprised the owner didn't just outright sell the place to Anthony.

I was bothered by that nice GM's hair the entire eppie.

Kromm, my thoughts exactly.  I haven't watched the new one yet and don't know if I will.  The last one about meltdowns was pretty boring.

Does anyone know the episode when Anthony confronts the rude housekeeper? She tells he's just another person to get and he doesn't matter who he is. She just wants him out of her face. Anthony has to take a walk in the parking lot and wants her fired.... I lost power

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I wish TPTB didn't have this method of creating "new" episodes by re-purposing footage.  Yet if that is the price for anothers season, so be it.  The thing I did not appreciate was the transformation compilation.  There is no way all of those owners followed through (I know for a fact the owners of the Liberty in Hollywood did not).  So, what good was a change of one given space?

 

Blanche got a nice payoff with the solo on-camera bits.  I'll bet it's a pre-cursor to her helming her own eps, if not an entirely new show, next season.

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Does anyone know the episode when Anthony confronts the rude housekeeper? She tells he's just another person to get and he doesn't matter who he is. She just wants him out of her face. Anthony has to take a walk in the parking lot and wants her fired.... I lost power I only tuned in at that moment and would love to watch it

 

She was the shitty "manager" of the Crookston Inn. 

 

Episode: "Crappy Management".

http://www.tv.com/shows/hotel-impossible/crappy-management-3051996/

Edited by BostonBlonde

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Hotel Impossible is filming an episode for the new season in our area. It is funny every time I rode by this motel I would say how it would be perfect for Hotel Impossible. I decided to volunteer my husband to work on the room and find out how the show really works. I was shocked at how many community volunteers the shows gets(100's of people lined up to work for free). Basically the show pays for almost nothing but Anthony. I signed up my husband online last night and this morning they had him working.

 

It  isa small motel close to national parks and a college in Cedar City , Utah. I wasn't sure if I could post spoilers but since our local online newspaper has a story, I don't think the show is hiding the location.

 

I am very much looking forward to the edit of the timeframe on the show compared to what my husband sees since past owners are complaining about this. From what I understand the owner asked to be consider for the show last year. Hotel Impossible sent out a mystery guest to see if the hotel would be a good match. On 3/25 they surprised the owner with the news that the hotel was chosen. Then volunteers work for 2 days straight while they film. I can't see much owner drama because the hotel owner has been very helpful to those in need and it is a small city.

 

 I also have checked the online reviews as of today. From what I have seen , Anthony likes to pull up trip advisor. Trip advisor has some really bad reviews in the past month, while hotels.com has mostly very good reviews. I'm guessing he will use the reviews about the staff being in a different building and the returning guest of many years talking about the downhill service.

Edited by silverspoons
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At the opener of every episode, Anthony says that he's turned around boutique hotels and big city landamrks. I've been watching the episodes on Netflix, and I think I'm into Season 2 or 3... So far, I have seen none of these Big City Landmarks. I'd really like to see Anthony save a massive hotel, but so far it's just been motels or smaller mom and pop hotels. Can anyone provide an example episode of one of these Big City Landmarks?

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He preposition The Plaza Hotel in the NYC hotel scene while he was the Director of Front Office Operations there, then he was in charge of the $15 million restoration of the Algonquin Hotel in NYC. He then went on to manage the Nickelodeon Hotel operation and started his hotel management company from there. He was given the Hotel Impossible gig based on his 20-years experience in the field; there aren't specific episodes on those restorations and management contracts. 

Edited by Galloway Cave
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