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Fire Island Meltdown: Fire Island, NY Recap

Anthony heads to Fire Island, New York, a short ferry ride away from NYC. Only 400 people live there year-round, but over 800,000 people go there every summer. No cars are permitted on the island, and 80% of the land is public parks. Anthony is going to Clegg's Hotel, which has been on the island since 1946. The 18-room hotel is owned by Tyler Sterck, who inherited the property from his grandfather who built it. Clegg's is rated last in online reviews.

When Anthony arrives, he talks to the tourists. They've all held of Clegg's and say that the hotel ripped them off. One tourist says that the hotel clerks claimed that their computer clashed and lost their reservations. The hotel is 20' from the ferry, and while the camera crews set up Anthony approaches two people to go in undercover. Afterward, they show Anthony the video that they took. The room is $150 a night, and there's foot fungus on the carpet. There are cigarette burns on the blanket and blood spots on the walls. The couple tell Anthony that it was a hostel condition and there are four bathrooms for twelve rooms. The video shows standing water on the bathroom floor, and the couple say that the place is dingy.

The day before, the camera crew was setting up cameras in the lobby and captured footage of Tyler talking to his staff. Tyler tells the front desk clerk that he wants a pretty girl at the front desk so he makes a good first impression when Anthony comes in. He then tells the clerk to go through him if Anthony asks her any questions. Anthony decides that if Tyler doesn't want him there, he'll leave.

Anthony checks in and meets the clerks, Dan and Alice. He asks them to give him some privacy with Tyler, and Tyler says that he wants someone to evaluate what he's doing and tell him if there's things that he can improve on. The owner says that he wants Anthony to be straight with him, and he'll be straight with Anthony. The associate producer, Lauren, calls Anthony aside and says that Tyler told her that she can't speak to the staff members except through him.

Back in the lobby, Anthony asks Tyler for his side of the story. Tyler says that he doesn't want Anthony using the power of the show to influence his staff. Dan comes out and says that the show didn't try to switch his schedule, and Anthony asks Tyler if he told his staff that he wants a pretty girl there. Tyler claims that he just wants to focus on looks, and says that he'll fix it on his own. Anthony tells him that he has to release himself to the process, and points out all of the tourists going by. Tyler says that he wants help, and assures Anthony that he's not trying to screw him.

Anthony takes Tyler with him to inspect the guest rooms. There's a hook on the wall where a mirror was, and Tyler admits that he doesn't know why it's still there. Anthony points out that he can hear noises outside and they need to get soundproofing and air conditioning. They check another room and Anthony points out that all of the rooms are outdated. He asks if Tyler is prepared to do renovations, and Tyler says he is. They check a bathroom and Anthony discovers that the hole for the doorknob is padded suing cardboard. There's a sign up saying that there's no hair combing in the bathroom, and Anthony points out that the idea is insane. There's a soap dispenser in the shower and there's nothing in the dispenser except rust and mold.

There are four rooms with a bathroom that aren't being sold, and Tyler explains that he and his family stay in two of them and he use the third room for his office. The room has the best view on the island, and it has its own bathroom. Anthony suggests that it could be rented for$600 a night in the summer, and points out that Tyler is losing thousands of dollars.

Back in the lobby, Anthony finds Tyler's wife Jean. Tyler starts crying and explains that his grandfather Eugene died in debt, and Tyler inherited $5 million in debt. He thought that Anthony would understand, and Anthony tells him that he showed him why Anthony should care. Tyler says that they're not debt-free and the bank would give them a loan on the property. Away from Tyler, Anthony says that they need to spend a million dollars on renovations and need to get an architect tin.

Designer Britany Simon arrives by bicycle and Anthony introduces her to Tyler first. He then shows her Tyler's apartment and says that they need to renovate it into a suite. Tyler agrees and Britany warns him that it will take a lot of the work.

Jean takes Anthony to the two bikes that they provide for guests. She admits that it's not enough for the hotel, and Anthony takes off on one bike. He goes to a local restaurant to meet with some of the staff in private. Anthony tells them what he heard, and they say that they've switched their shifts before. Since Tyler invited the show to come in, he's been increasingly stressed out. Dan explains that Tyler feels that he's been disrespecting, and suggests that Anthony teach Tyler how to treat his guests. He says that Tyler asks them to write fake positive reviews, and they've refused.

Anthony goes back to the hotel and reads the unfavorable reviews to Tyler. He points out that the people who have written favorable reviews don’t have a history of reviews, and sometimes in the same words. Tyler says that he doesn’t write fake reviews, and takes offense at Anthony's implication. Anthony doesn't buy it and repeats his warning that fake reviews can destroy the industry. He then reads a text that Tyler sent to employees asking for positive reviews for the hotel, and then walks out, furious that Tyler lied to him.

Tyler goes after Anthony to the lobby and claims that the employees have stayed at the hotel and he asked them as guests. They go back to the suite and Anthony says that he has evidence and Tyler is getting into semantics. Tyler continues to insist that he did nothing wrong, and Anthony tells him not to have his employees write the reviews because he pays their paychecks. The owner complains that the sites are rigged, and Anthony says that he has to give good service if he wants reviews. Tyler agrees to follow Anthony's advice.

Britany and her crew work on the room, but Anthony brings in Jack Rosebery of Rosebery Architectural Studio to work with Britany to come up with a plan to update the entire hotel. He wants bathrooms in every room because even if he has less rooms, he can raise the rates.

Next, Anthony takes Tyler to the Palms Hotel. Tyler says that they post fake reviews, but Anthony says that he's staying there and he knows they can back up their reviews. The owner says that they have shared bathrooms even though they don't, and Anthony says that they do. When Anthony says that they can talk to the owners, Laura and Chris, Tyler refuses to talk to them on-camera, and a disgusted Anthony takes off his mike and walks off.

As Anthony waits for the ferry, Tyler approaches him and asks him to stay. Anthony says that he truly feels that Tyler isn't going to listen to him, and Tyler refuses to go to an opposing hotel. He insists that his reputation is more important than the show, and Anthony says that all he wants to do is influence some of his decision-making. They come across a guest who stayed at Clegg's, and she says that she looked at it and didn't want to stay there. She describes the dirty carpets and shared bathrooms, and refused to stay there. The woman says that she would stay there if Anthony upgraded the place. Tyler accepts what she had to stay.

Back at the hotel, Tyler says that they need to work on upgrading the rooms and he has to lower his guard a bit. Anthony tells the owner that he has to be open to restructuring the entire hotel, and Tyler agrees. They meet with Jack, who explains his plan to lose five rooms to add private bathrooms and raise the profit margin. Anthony warns Tyler that it will be an extraordinary undertaking, and that he'll need strength and positive energy to see it through.

On the last day, Anthony starts with showing Tyler the seven new bikes that were provided. Britany introduces their contractor, Joe. They go to the remodeled room and Britany explains that she made it look different. Tyler figures that they can get $1,500 for the room. Britany shows him the snap-on soundproof windows, and then a 3D virtual layout of what the lobby could look like. Tyler agrees to her plan and they hug. Finally, Anthony and Tyler ride the bikes to a couple who run a branding agency. They've designed a new monogram for the hotel and suggests that he renamed it Clegg's Harbor Inn. The couple have already reserved a web site, and Tyler breaks into tears. He hugs the couple and Anthony warns him that the world is watching him to see what he does next.

Written by Gadfly on Nov 3, 2016

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