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Desert Disaster Recap

Anthony goes to Palm Springs, in the California desert near LA. He takes a tram car up into the mountains, and then goes to mentor a new hotel owner, Ruth Delos Reyes. She purchased the 65-room Cambridge Inn 30 days ago, and is already in problems. Anthony pulls into the parking lot and thinks that the view is great. However, it's the most nondescript hotel that he's ever seen. There are peeling pool signs up, and the patio furniture is worn out. The pool doesn't feel hip, and Anthony figures that it needs to be elevator.

At the front desk, Anthony notices a weird smell. It's painted all in white and has a very antiseptic feel. The front desk agent, Hoda, is also the GM. She explains that when the new owners moved in, they got another GM, Isaiah. Hoda says that the number one problem is the lack of trust between the old and new administration. The night before, Anthony had two hotel inspectors check in. He introduces them to Hoda and they present their complaints. The lock doesn't work, the room it outdated, and the mattress is gross. Hoda tells them to come to the officer earlier and apologizes. The inspectors say that she put the blame on them, and Hoda says that she'll decide what amount to give them back. They feel like they're negotiating, and say that they wouldn't stay another night for free.

Anthony and Hoda go to check out the room, and Hoda gets the door open. Anthony can't get the door open, either, and Hoda lectures them about how to open it. She says that it's not an issue because the guests would come back to the office and she'd tell them what to do. Anthony dismisses the inspectors and asks Hoda how she feels. She says that she feels miserable because she knows what she has and doesn't want to expose it on TV. Hoda explains that the owners are supposed to be there, not her, and Anthony figures that she has trouble taking responsibility.

Ruth meets with Anthony, who asks how she got in the mess. She says that her former partner bought the hotel; on a whim for $2 million. They own the building and the business, but not the land, and the seller prices out the building value. Ruth put down 10% for the mortgage, and according to the P&L she's only making $18,000. The lease is for 19 years, when usually they should have it for at least 30 years. Anthony points out that she can't leave because no one will give her the money back. Ruth currently Has $93,000 in the bank and she has $30,000 in b ills to be paid. Anthony wants to help her and says that he'll see her later.

Anthony brings in designer Brittany Simon to give the hotel a hip new design. She agrees that the lobby isn't hip, and tells Brittany that she needs to do the rooms and the hotel. her team from SRS Builders immediately go to work, and Anthony meets with Isaiah, the new GM. Isaiah is unloading laundry from his car because the laundry at the hotel isn't working. He says that he didn't have enough time to pick up the company, even though it would take less time than doing it himself. Isaiah explains that he's been getting answers too late from contractors, and taking the laundry to a laundromat. He admits that he's never managed a hotel before or even worked in one. Ruth knew Isaiah from San Francisco and trusts him, but Anthony points out that's a silly reason. Isaiah figures that Hoda takes on too much responsibility and doesn't teach them what they need to learn. Anthony figures that Ruth is keeping Hoda around to gain her access.

Isaiah shows Anthony around and explains that they can't get in contact with the support system for the room locks. Hoda gives master keys to guests, and Anthony says that only vetted employees have master keys. He tells them to come out and open up the doors, and never give a master key to a guest.

Anthony talks to Ruth about what Hoda has been doing. Ruth knows, and Anthony tells her to figure it out or he's going home. Hoda sits out by the pool and drinks, and she doesn't see the problem with giving master keys out.

The next day, Anthony returns the next morning and Isaiah tells them that the guy backed up the system. The hotelier says that Isaiah is responsible, but notes that Hoda wasn't helping. When Anthony calls a meeting, Hoda refuses to attend. She tells the producer that it's degrading, and when Anthony confronts her, Hoda says that she doesn't meet with staff. The GM says that she's not an administrator, and Anthony calls Ruth in to let her deal with it. Ruth points out that she's been doing the same things that housekeepers have, and Hoda says that she has as well. Hoda looks away from Ruth when Ruth is talking to her. Outside, Ruth tells Anthony that's what Hoda always does, but she needs her. There's a music festival in town, so Anthony concedes that they need Hoda to check people in.

Anthony gets ready to pitch in, but tells Ruth that she needs to deal with Hoda. They go in and Anthony says that Isaiah should be on the front desk, Hoda should check the rooms, and he and Ruth will oversee anything. Hoda tells Ruth that she's panicking, and Ruth tells her that it's her house now. Everyone goes to work but Hoda is still upset and thins that they're all in chaos. Guests starts to show up, and Anthony sits down one-on-one with Hoda. Hoda says that the property is going out of control, and Anthony warns that she and Ruth clash personality-wise. Anthony doesn't care about her history, and tells her that he would either ask her to change her personality or fire her.

Since he's more impressed with Isaiah, Anthony sends him to inspect a room and left few things there for him to find. Isaiah finds most of the things that Anthony let for him, and Anthony congratulates him. He points out the things that Isaiah left, including the battery that he removed from the safe detector. Anthony gives him a housekeeping checklist and figures that there's hope for him.

Anthony meets with Ruth to give his assessment of both GMs. She agrees with Anthony's opinions, and he asks her whether she wants to fire Hoda or not. Ruth agrees to fire her, and Anthony tells her that it's the right decision. The owner says that she'll do it after the production team leaves.

Calling in a favor from Larry Broughton at Broughton Hospitality, Anthony convinces the hotelier to listen to another proposal to buy the property. Larry doesn't like the 19-year lease but will come over at a conference he's speaking at. Anthon explains to Ruth what he has set up, and outlines the options, and tells her to finalize her business plan and present it on her own.

The two of them work on the business plan, and on the last day Ruth meets with Larry and his CFO, Robert Rycroft. Anthony is standing by watching in case she needs help. Larry lists the downsides ad Robert tells her that she's going to lose a lot of money. Ruth tells them that she's doing better than the seller, and Larry figures that the time is right to incredible raising revenue and then equity.

Anthony shows Ruth that the hotel is now renamed by Delos Reyes Palm Springs. Brittany says that she wanted the lobby to feel feminine but Southwestern, and they have a new breakfast spread. Anthony explains that Ruth will give each guest a flower with a card, and a saying on the card. She'll also hand out a fan that attaches to smart phones. Anthony gives her a marketing plan for free, and Brittany has renderings of what the rooms can look like once Ruth gets more money.. There's also a prospective of the pool area, and Appalachian Technology is providing a lock for every room. eCornell is providing two course for revenue management and hotel operations, and six free months of training for new employees.

Written by Gadfly on Oct 17, 2017

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