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Hershey Addiction: Hershey, PA Recap

Anthony is off to Hershey, Pennsylvania, the Chocolate Capital of the U.S. He goes to the Simmons Motel & Suites, that has been in town for 55 years. Mary Simmons owns it and her son Whitney runs the property. Business has been getting worse even though the hotel industry in Hershey is growing. Anthony arrives at the property and is impressed by the exterior. He enters the lobby and discovers no one there. There's a phone on the wall and Anthony calls it. The owner, Mary, finally picks up the phone and Anthony asks for someone to come help him. Mary explains that she picks up the phone when the front desk clerk doesn't answer.

The FD clerk, Marnie, comes in and explains that she starts work at 10 am. Before then, one of the family members answers the phone. The lobby is open 24 hours a day, and there's a sign that tells guests to call for help. Whitney is supposed to answer the phone, and lives in the house two doors down. Anthony explains what happened when he arrived, and Marnie says that Mary is 91 years old. Mary has had to come out late at night to help the guests. Marnie rates Whitney as a 2 out of 10 and figures that he's there because of the family connection. She says that Whitney has a substance abuse problem and he's come in when he's under the influence. Marnie says that she's avoided arguing with Whitney but doesn't respect him. She's willing to say the truth on national TV even if Whitney fires her.

Anthony goes to check a room and discovers that the room has an old-fashioned design. The bathroom is sparkling, but Whitney has converted a hallway to the emergency exit into a closet. The door leads to a back hallway with a cot blocking the way.

The production crew get word that a guest smelled gas in their room. Anthony goes to investigate and discovers that it's a dead rat. Whitney finally arrives and Anthony lets him handle the situation. The GM thinks that it's a wax seal on the toilet and the gas is from the sewage. He insists that it's never been a problem before and says that he's never had any problems. Whitney says that he takes care of all the maintenance, and works 24/7. He writes out a housekeeping list and admits that he doesn't know how to use the computer or wants to learn. Anthony asks what the number one thing Whitney would like him to fix, and Whitney has nothing to say. They go back to the room and Anthony shows him the closet and the emergency exit. There is emergency lighting that doesn't work in the building, and Anthony says that someone fell down the stairs before he got there... six years ago.

Anthony calls in designer Britany Simon to overhaul the room. He explains that it's the lowest-rated hotel in the area because of the room, and wants to change out the furniture. Anthony then asks Britany to redesign the lobby because it's confusing and leaves.

While Britany and her team from Sponaugle Construction go to work, Anthony meets with Mary. He asks if she's happy with Whitney, and Mary admits that there are some things that he doesn't understand. Last year was a good year for the hotel business, but not for the Simmons. Mary can't take problems anymore and can't sleep, and was going to sell but couldn't bring herself to do it. She loves people, but says that Whitney gets upset with guests. The online reviews show that he has verbal disputes with guests and they smelled alcohol on his breath. Mary doesn't think that Whitney has a drinking problem.

Anthony goes to see Whitney's son Ian, who does the gardening. Ian says that he doesn't prefer working for family, and Anthony asks if Whitney is hiding something from him. When Whitney doesn't give him a clear answer, Anthony figures that there's a problem.

The next morning, Ian contacts Anthony through the producers and talks to him off-camera. Anthony doesn't broadcast the details, but Ian does confirm that Whitney has an alcohol problem. Once they're done, Anthony meets with Whitney and asks if he has a problem with alcohol. Whitney says that he has been in three rehabs, and Anthony has learned that he's already had one drink. The GM says that he doesn't get out of control and could drive a control, and Anthony offers a breathalyzer test. It shows that Whitney is showing signs of impairment and won't sober up for six hours. Anthony tells him that he's in charge of people's lives and asks if they need to get him help, and Whitney insists that he's fine.

Anthony goes back to Ian and says that they're going to get Whitney help. He tells Ian that he needs to save himself and Ian says that he doesn't want to be like his father. Anthony brings in social worker Joe Shrank, who deals with addictive behavior. They meet with the entire family, and Mary says that Whitney's problem is impacting the business. Whitney explains that one bad review was at 12:30 at night, and he was dealing with noisy kids. Joe says that people who don't drink don't have reviews about it, and asks what the alcoholism doing to the business. Whitney admits that he's had problems in the past but can control it. He says that he doesn't want to stop drinking, and Joe points out that it's the description of alcoholism. The social worker says that Whitney doesn't want to stop drinking, and Whitney agrees.

Joe asks Ian what Whitney's drinking is doing to him, and he says that it's ruining the family relationships and his self-worth. Whitney says that he has to go, but Anthony tells him to sit down and face it. He then tells Ian to go outside so he doesn't have to hear what they have to say to Whitney. Whitney says that he was drinking because of the stress of the show coming there, and insists that he works 24/7 seven days a week. Anthony tells Whitney that he's a coward and Mary deserves to have peace. Whitney curses him out, and Anthony says that people in his family are suffering. He can't help the hotel if people are suffering, and asks Joe for his recommendation. Joe says that Whitney needs to go into treatment and stop torturing his family. Mary agrees, and Anthony says the two people who love Whitney the most are suffering.

Whitney says that they're coming into the busiest time of the year, and Joe warns him that he's in no shape to run the place. Mary wants her son to get help immediately, and Whitney finally tells Ian that he needs some counselling. Joe makes a call to a facility in Florida, and Anthony will keep the hotel running. However, Whitney says that he isn't going to go immediately. Joe and Mary both figure that he won't go ever, and Mary says that her husband was the same way and she's had enough. Whitney agrees to go but says that he's going to get hammered first. Joe agrees to pour the drinks, and Anthony figures that it's a safety margin so Whitney doesn't die while going cold-turkey.

Anthony checks on Britany and discovers that she's about finished. Meanwhile, Whitney gets drunk and Joe tries to get him into the car. He gets the car keys from Whitney and Anthony helps get him into the car. Joe goes to get Ian and Whitney gets out to get Ian as well. Anthony gets him back in the car and Ian gets in to make sure that Whitney gets to the airport. Once they're gone, Anthony thanks Joe.

Next, Anthony turns to Marnie as the person most likely to take over as GM. She agrees to give it a shot and commits to more hours, and they go to Mary to get her blessing. Anthony explains the situation and Mary immediately agrees. He tells Marnie that she's a businesswoman and has a business to run. He then has the VP of his company, Dan Johnson, come in and run the hotel after he leaves. Patton Hospitality brings in a person for two weeks, free of charge, to help out the hotel.

Anthony takes Mary and Marnie to see the redesign on the last day. They check the new room and Mary is surprised at the change. Marnie is equally impressed, and Britany explains that she took the flower décor and put it on the walls. The designer has put a checkboard tile design in the bathroom. They then go to the new lobby, which has the same tiling and a chandelier. There are photographs from Mary's life on the walls. Anthony then talks to Mary privately and she assures him that he did his job. He promises to make sure that Whitney gets into treatment.

Written by Gadfly on Oct 1, 2015

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