Anthony arrives at Wildwood on the Jersey Shore to help out the White Caps Motel. First he checks out the boardwalk and then he goes to the motel. Owner Kate Pencheva bought it in 2014 and has some of the lowest rates in Wildwood, under $100 a night. The sign isn't retro like much of the city, and there's indoor furniture on the outdoor patio.
When Anthony goes up to the lobby door, he sees a "no vacancy" sign taped to the door. The GM, Theresa, greets him and Anthony shows her the sign. Theresa uses a colored tape system to track reservations, and confirms that they don't require credit cards to back up cash payments. Without a credit card on file. The motel is on the hook for any damages. Theresa confirms that the manual system adds 10 hours a week to her work. There's a bathroom off of the lobby filled with yard tools and personal toiletries, and Anthony says that he expects more from a gas station bathroom.
Theresa breaks into tears and explains that she doesn't want her or Kate to look bad on camera. Anthony assures her that he's there to help her and checks out the rest of the property. There's an outdoor shower with a faucet too high for kids to reach. The deck by the pool is disgusting and the pool water looks green. The chemicals are out on a shelf, and the wood around the air conditioning is rotting.
Anthony checks out a room and the bed is poorly made-up. There's foam beneath the sheet and the closet door bumps into the TV. There's a paper floor mat in the bathroom, and a round toilet with an oval toilet seat. Anthony figures that the owner is taking advantage of the guest and most of the problems are laziness.
Designer Carrie Lochlyn arrives and takes Anthony to a Sling Shot ride. She admits that she's never done it before, and they get launched up into the sky and then brought back down. Once they're done, they go to the motel and Anthony shows her the room. He says that it doesn't stink but the room is stinky, and wants her to fix up the lobby and come up with a template for the room, and leaves her to it.
Next, Anthony meets with the maintenance man, Bob. Theresa was doing the maintenance before Bob started there in July, and admits that Kate is bull-headed. She swears that she doesn't need a maintenance man, and figures that her Theresa can run the motel. Bob shows Anthony around and takes him to a shed filled with sofa beds and frames. Anthony suggests that they make it a maintenance shed so Bob doesn't have to use the bathroom. There is an alleyway filled with garbage cans right outside of the guest room windows. Bob can't clean it up without Kate's approval. Anthony tells him to throw out everything that is useless and he'll take the hit.
Kate arrives and meets with Anthony, who asks how she got started and why he's there. She says that she came to Wildwood in 2004 and worked four years. Then she got an internship in hotel management and has been working at the motel ever since. Kate likes running the motel and doing what she wants, and goes to the water park every day. She wants Anthony's advice so that she can become an absentee owner. Anthony says that he helps people who are struggling, and figures that she needs to learn how to run her first hotel before moving on.
Anthony looks at the STAR report and points out that she's losing money due to her low rates. He tells her that out of 43 hotels, she's ranked 37. Anthony reads some of the negative reviews and then says that she's taking advantage of Theresa. Kate says that she ran 200 units for ATS the same way, and Anthony tells her that she seems to be a bit of a tyrant. He doesn't think that Kate is listening to him, and tells he to change her attitude and not cash out on the backs of the guests.
Later, Anthony talks to Theresa off-property. She talks about how she got sick a year ago and was on a tube, and figures that she was exhausted from working so many jobs. Anthony wonders if there's something mentally wrong with her, and Theresa admits that sometimes her heart is bigger than her brain. He asks why Kate doesn't hire front desk clerks and maintenance people, and let Theresa manage the property. When Theresa says that she wants to be a manager, Anthony tells her to get her team and run a staff meeting while he watches.
The staff meets for the first time with Kate, and Theresa says that it's her job. The other staff members agree with Anthony that Theresa is overworked, and Anthony tells Kate that she can't work Theresa 15 hours a day. Kate says that she was there by herself when she started the motel, and Anthony asks everyone else to walk out. The owner says that she'll run the place on her own if she has to, and she won't beg Theresa to stay. Anthony has her say that she should give Theresa off, and calls Theresa in to confirm that she wants days off. He then tells Kate that she needs to give Theresa more staff. When Kate insist that she's training her to do everything, Anthony says that she's abusing Theresa and has to treat her as a manager rather than a tool.
Anthony then checks in with Carrie and shows her the shed, and tells her to clean it out and put shelves in it. He admits that he's not sure if Carrie's work will inspire Kate, and quickly leaves.
When Anthony learns that Kate and Theresa have been talking, he sits down with them. Theresa says that she asked if she would get the same salary with a day off, and figures that Kate will prorate her pay. Anthony says that's mean and he doesn't work for mean people, and Theresa points out that Kate didn't pay when she was in the hospital. She tells Kate that she doesn't get paid when she works extra hours, and Anthony figures that Kate won't change because she doesn't understand what they're talking about. He tells her that she had the chance to be a hero and didn't, and Kate says that she went through the same thing,. Furious, Anthony walks off and suggests that Theresa try to get through to her. Theresa figures that Kate won't pay her for her days off and asks if she wants her to quit. When Kate doesn't respond, Theresa says that she's gone and walks out.
Anthony meets with Bob, who says that he's going to go because Kate won't change. The hotelier confirms that Theresa quit, and he insists that loyalty has to be rewarded. Theresa figures that she can get a job somewhere else, and describes how she was working at the motel when she got hurt. Anthony says that Kate is abusing Theresa and hugs her.
Later, a camera operator catches Kate trying to make peace with Theresa. Theresa says that she' quitting because she's hurt, and Kate said that she'd do it herself. Kate says that she would do it, and asks if they're still stay friends. Theresa insists that she's worth $1,000 a week and tells Kate to pay it, and yells at her to fuck herself when Kate wants the same agreement that they had before. Kate doesn't believe that Theresa would keep her on, but Theresa insists that she would. Kate breaks into tears and then they hug.
Anthony calls a meeting to find out where they stand, and Theresa hopes that Kate will change. He wants Kate to hire a couple of front desk clerks and let Theresa manage the hotel. Theresa agrees but doesn't see it happens, and Anthony has them write down every day when they think a hotel is sold out. They mark off 87 days out of 120, and Anthony tells them that their rates are too low. He points out they get $57 per room and other comparable hotels get $123., and says that Kate can get $50 more.
Bob and the cape May Contracting crew go to work, and Anthony points out a few changes to Kate that she can make. He shows her the alleyway and the shed, and says that she has to feel what her employees and guests are feeling. Anthony then takes her to the Blue Palms, one of the top 10 places to stay in Wildwood. They go in and they notice the spacious lobby and clean furniture. Anthony then introduces Kate to the owner, Jack, and has him tell his story. Jack explains that his father was a self-employed high school graduate who fell in the ideas when he went on a honeymoon to Florida. Since then, his father has built a legacy. Anthony asks them to build a relationship and they agree.
On the last day, Anthony shows Kate, Theresa, and Bob the now-empty shed. He presents a cart of tools on behalf of the show, and then Kate says that Theresa will have a day and a half off without a reduction in salary. Anthony then introduces the trio to Carrie with contractors Bob and Mike Gleeson from Cape May Contracting. They then go into the remodeled room with a mural of a Ferris wheel from the boardwalk. The floors are vinyl-planked and there are new bathroom matts and duvet covers. The room only cost $3,500 to remodel, and then takes them to the remodeled lobby. The tools have been cleaned out of the bathroom, and the desk gives the clerk plenty of room. There's a new computer with a property management system. They've also received a new prototype from Paramour Digital Agency
Finally, Anthony shows them the new sign, complete with a no-vacancy sign. Kate and Theresa thank Anthony for his help and then hug each other, figuring that it's a new beginning.
Written by Gadfly on Nov 30, 2016