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Not ANice Hotel: Orlando, FL Recap

Anthony travels to the Anice Inn & Suites in Orlando, FL, theme park capital of the world. The hotel is a short distance away from Funspot, a major amusement park. After riding on a roller coaster, Anthony arrives at the 356-room hotel on 10 acres of prime real estate. Room rates are under $60 a night, but the occupancy runs below 20%. Owner and GM Helen James has operated the property for a decade, and hopes that Anthony will give them direction. The online reviews are atrocious and Anthony hopes that Helen is ready to work.

Anthony comes down the highway and tries to work out the name from the sign. He talks to the guests and they don't know how to pronounce "Anice", either. Anthony figures that it has to have a catchy name. The fountain out front is filled with slime and dirt. Anthony enters the huge lobby and notes that nothing matches. The FD agent, Michael, introduces himself and admits that nobody knows the name. He admits that he doesn't like the name. A guest, Michelle, comes to check out. She tells Anthony that the rooms are outdated and dirty, and the air conditioning didn't work. When she called to the front desk, they didn't help her. The "free breakfast" is bread and butter. Michelle paid $50 for one night's stay. There's an $8.99 "resort fee," and Michael doesn't give her a refund because only the manager can do so.

The manager, Lori, comes out and Anthony describes Michelle's experience. Michelle says that she broke down into tears, and Lori says that she's sorry. Anthony figures that she has to say "sorry" a lot, and Lori admits that she does. He then gets room keys, and Lori admits that sometimes they sell off-market rooms when they're oversold. Anthony points out that off-market rooms should never be sold because they're dangerous. Lori and Michael says that the owner instructs them to sell the room at a discount. They're rated 300 out of 300 rooms in Orlando, because they're selling off-market rooms. Lori breaks into tears and says that they could be better, and they have been in the past. Anthony sympathizes with Lori and gets a key for an on-market room, and hugs her.

As Anthony goes to the room, he finds dust on the molding and stained carpets. The lights don't have protective custody, and there's snot on the walls. The vents have mouse droppings in them, and there's a leak in the ceiling tiles from water.

Anthony enters the room and finds more ceiling leaks. The AC unit is open and the filter is covered in dirt. He checks out the bathroom and finds urine in the toilet bowl. The flush handle is broken off, and there's mold all over the place. Anthony then checks an off-market room and it smells like mold. The ceiling is caving in and the tiles are peeling off the ceiling. The bed wobbles and there's a huge yellow stain on a pillow. The carpet molding is off the wall of the wall, and Anthony figures that there are bedbugs in the room.

Anthony calls in Bill the bedbug inspector and designer Danielle Colding. He shows her the off-market room and Danielle says that there's nothing right about the room. She warns Anthony that everything has to go, and he tells her that she has to keep it cheap because there are 350 rooms.

Next, Anthony talks to Helen and warns her that the hotel is falling apart. He shows her the problems in the hallways, and Helen says that she didn't know about them. A fire extinguisher panel has no glass panel, meaning it's a risk to children. No one has inspected the extinguisher in two years, and it's empty. Helen doesn't know about any of the problems, and insists that they fixed some of the problems like the leaky roof. Anthony doesn't believe it when she says that the hotel was worst before she bought it. Helen admits that she sells off-market rooms, and that her and the investors want to turn it around. Anthony warns that it will take two million, and Helen says that they have that money.

The inspector discovers that 25% of the rooms are active with bedbugs. Anthony gets an exterminator while Danielle and her team from Legacy Construction go to work. They rip out the bathroom and find more mold. Danielle finds Anthony and shows him the mold. The contractor, John, figures that there are leaks in the roof, even though Helen claimed she repaired the roof. The baseboards in the hallway are soaked, and Anthony hammers through the wall and finds more mold. He tells Danielle to stop the renovation.

Anthony has Bill bring in Mindy, a mold-sniffing dog. He shows Anthony some white spores, and Anthony realizes that the white spots he's been seeing on the carpet is mold. Bill says it's the worst mold situation that he's ever seen, and Anthony asks him to present his findings to Helen.

Inspectors come in to check the roof, while fire inspectors bring the buildings up to code. A pest control specialist, Patrick, comes in and discovers a huge nest of killer bees. He calls Anthony over to see it, and explains that there are 20 to 50 thousand bees. After Anthony goes inside, some of the bees attack Patrick and he runs.

Anthony assembles the inspectors to inform Helen of the projects. She doesn't know about the bedbugs or the bees, and says that the guests haven't complained. The roof inspectors, Jack and Coleman, says that there are cracks and voids, and the roof appears to be at least five years old. They tell her that there's a huge problem with mold, and Helen admits that she wouldn't bring her family there. Anthony says that she needs to commit to fix the problems, and they need to six down and work out a budget. Much to his surprise, Helen immediately agrees.

After restarting the renovations in a new room, Anthony meets with the staff. The chief engineer just took over, and Lori and the head housekeeper are there. They don't know about the bedbug and mold problems, or the killer bees. The housekeeper says that they have lights on three of the buildings, and won't go into the rooms even during the day. The engineer explains that the hotel doesn't have a maintenance plan, and Helen has refused to pay for lighting. There are no security cameras, and all of the doors are easy to break through. Lori tells Anthony that it takes a while for Helen to get what they need.

Anthony takes Lori with him to check out the security issues There's a lizard in one of the outdoor vents, and they're covered in dirt. Inside, Anthony is overwhelmed by the smell of cat urine and warns that he's allergic to cat-vision. Lori explains that cats spray to attract other cats, and they get in because the doors aren't secure. Numbers are written on the door sills, and Lori says that she has to get out because she can't breathe. Anthony figures that Helen is delusional, and he considers shutting down the entire hotel.

That night, Anthony brings Helen into the offending building. She says that she shampooed the area a few weeks ago, but Anthony says the problem is much older than that. Anthony asks why she doesn't shut down the building to resolve the problem, and Helen says that she doesn't know. He tells her to get all of the guests to other buildings, and then they're going to sit down and work out a solution. Helen keeps making excuses, and Anthony tells her that the excuses end now or he's leaving.

The next day, security and electrical firms come in to install cameras and lighting. Anthony presents the plan to help the guests and the employees, and says that it's an emergency situation. He figures that she's cheaping out, and Helen says that she's put in six million dollars. Anthony doesn't believe her, and Helen refuses to argue with him or say too much. He steps out and comes back in with Richard Casara and Alex Carius with Patton Hospitality. They'll take over the distressed property and run it, and they say that there are three major problems: the bees, bedbugs, and mold. To fix the problems, they'll immediately need $250,000. Anthony tells Helen to speak with her bankers and get the money. If she doesn't then they'll all leave. Helen says that she has other investors and has to call them, and Anthony wants the answer by 8 a.m. the next morning. If she doesn't have one or they won't hand over the money, he's gone.

The next morning, Anthony and Rich meet with Helen. She says that she hasn't transferred the funds yet because she doesn't have the consent from the investors. Helen says that she couldn't get hold of two of them, and Anthony says that he can't help her. Rich leaves and Anthony tells Helen that they're done. He goes to Danielle and tells her that he doesn't have an owner with him. Danielle admits that she had a dream team with her, and Legacy went above and beyond the call of duty. They were going to rename the hotel, give her a new sign, and present Helen with a website. Now Anthony tells the team to take down the sign.

Finally, Anthony goes to Lori and makes her promise that she'll leave because the hotel is a health hazard. Lori coughs and Anthony advises her to see a doctor. The manager breaks into tears and Anthony hugs her and tells her to get out.

Written by Gadfly on Sep 17, 2015

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