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Spinning Out of Control: Galena, IL Recap

Anthony travels to Galena, IL to help out the Grant Hills Motel. It's owned by Ramona Vincent, and her sister Renee Farrey is the general manager. First he goes to the DeSoto House, the oldest operating hotel in Illinois. He says that it's picture-perfect, like most of the 40 hotels in galena. However, the Grant Hills Motel lost a ton of money despite its proximity to the local tourist sites. Ramona and Renee are at odds with each other constantly, and it's hurting the motel.

At the motel, Anthony says that it doesn't look like Galena. He enters the lobby and Renee greets him. She explains that she's the resident manager and her office is next door. Renee has never been called the general manager, and answers to Ramona and her husband. Her dogs Ralphie and Oscar bang on the door, and Anthony has Renee bring them in. He realizes that Renee is unhappy, and she explains that Ramona keeps taking privileges away from her. Ramona used to work at another business, and when she resigned from there she works more at the motel. The owners do pay Renee, and they had a good relationship until Ramona focused her attention on the motels. Anthony figures that mixing family and business doesn't work.

Anthony confirms that they don't have a property management system. If he works out with the ledger then the hotel is crippled. He goes to check a room and comes across the guest laundry room. there is a steep set of stairs going down, and carefully proceeds to the basement. The room has laundry machines and workout equipment, and paint stored in unlocked cabinets. The boiler and the circuit breakers are also in there. Next door is the breakfast room with very large tables in the small room.

When he gets to the room, Anthony finds three beds. They have old bedspreads and there's a large bug on one mattress. Anthony collects it in a cup and confirms that it's a spider. It's the only one, but there are stains on the other sheets. Anthony takes out a Hygeine-O-Meter to measure biopollutants. A reading of 50 is fine, and the meter shows 215. Anthony checks other parts of the room and gets similar readings. When he checks the shower curtain, he gets a reading of 4,000. The AC filter is sticking out and is the wrong side, and the meter breaks down.

Designer Anitra Mecadron arrives and Anthony has her check the guest room. She agrees with his assessment, and notices that the bathroom floor is vinyl. It peels up when they tug on it. Anthony takes Anitra to the laundry room and asks her to find a way to hide the hotel equipment so that it serves its real purpose. They then go to the kitchen and Anitra agrees that the tables are too big.

Anthony leaves Anitra to think and meets with Ramona and her husband Bill. They meet him off-site at the LaFevre Inn, a B&B that they also own. The inn feels like a weekend retreat and Anthony admits that it's beautiful. He wonders why there is such a big difference, and Ramona explains that she runs the inn and Bill doesn't have much involvement otherwise. She was originally the director of rooms at a resort, and has been in the business for 35 years. Anthony wonders why the motel isn't maintained as well and shows her the results of the Hygeine-O-Meter. Ramona admits that she doesn't spend much time at Grant Hills, and Bill says that his wife has problems with Renee. The woman says that they had an argument the day before when she went looking for a form on Renee's desk. Renee complained and said how awful Ramona was, and Ramona would have terminated her a year and a half ago if she wasn't her sister. Anthony isn't sure what to believe. Ramona says that she's tried to help Renee but can hardly look at her. Anthony sympathizes and says that there will have to be a resolution between the sisters.

Next, Anthony goes to the Blaum Brothers Distillery, Galena's #1 tourist attraction. He meets with the owner, Matt, who explains that they brew with local grains. Matt shows Anthony around and introduces his brother Mike. The brothers have never worked with the Grant Hills, 50' away, and they're willing to work with Anthony. They say that they work out their problems with a bit of compromise. Anthony samples some of their products straight from the still.

Anitra and her team from Galena Repair & Maintenance have to stop work when they discover mold in the ceiling. The designer has the foreman pry open the wall and then calls in a team to call up the only room with mold. Meanwhile, Anthony brings Renee and Ramona together in Renee's office, and says that they can turn the business around. He tells each sister to tell the other how they feel, but they won't say anything while the camera crew is there. Anthony takes his people out and watches on a remote camera. They argue about whether Renee needs Ramona's help, and Anthony figures that Renee is the unreasonable one. Renee thinks that Ramona is trying to phase her out.

Anthony goes back in and tells the sisters that he's bringing in a therapist so they can move forward. They both agree and Anthony leaves to focus on the motel's occupancy. He discovers that Anitra is falling behind on the renovations with 24 hours. Anitra says that she isn't worried and everything is going well... except she can't get the gym equipment out of the laundry room. Antony takes her out to the spacious back yard and wants a tie-in to the distillery. He asks the designer to create a gathering area but warns that they have no time and no money.

Dr. John Duffy, a clinical psychologist, arrives after reviewing the sisters' background. They agree to have a session on camera, and Renee admits that she feels threatened by Ramona going through her desk. She wants respect from Ramona, and Duffy has her tell Ramona that. When Ramona says that she doesn't have respect for her sister, Renee tears up and admits that she's made a lot of mistakes. She promises to work hard and Duffy tells them that they're playing dual roles in each other's lives. He says that they need to resolve the personal relationship between them to solve the working problems. Afterward, Duffy warns Anthony that the sisters have a lot of work to do. On a scale of 1 to 10, he says that they're at a 3. The sisters will continue meeting with Duffy, and Anthony will have them write down their issues and bring it to their next session.

Anthony meets with the sisters and explains his plan. They agree, and Anthony suggests that he wants Renee to handle guest business better and not worry about the hotel. Ramona will handle the financial business, and Anthony says that they have to have a business relationship and not bring their family issues into it.

Next, Anthony takes Ramona out to show her the issues with the room. They go to the laundry room and Anthony points out that they're using residential washers. He says that she either needs to get the right equipment or send the laundry out to a local company. The outside of the buildings are peeling, and Ramona says that they'll get it taken care of within 30 days.

Later, Anthony shows Renee the new PMS that World Web Technology is providing. The company will rain Renee and she'll get daily housekeeping reports. Anthony asks Renee what she thinks about her new role, and Renee worries that she's getting demoted. He assures her that she isn't getting demoted or taking a cut in pay, and says that she will be the front desk manager.

Anitra and Earl Thompson Masonry build a fire pit, and Anthony sets up a meeting between the sisters and the Blaum brothers. They agree to come over and do some tastings in the evening. Anthony then introduces the sisters to Anitra and the foremen, Dan and Patty. They go to the breakfast area and discover that Anitra has removed the tables and put in corrugated metal, chairs, and rugs. Anitra assures them that the corrugated metal makes a statement, and they repainted the cabinets rather than replace them.

Next the group checks out the laundry room. The hotel equipment has been sectioned off, and Anitra has put in a counter. There's no sound of the gym equipment. The curtains are painter's tarps, the cheapest possible solution. Anitra leads the sisters to the redesigned room and says that the bathroom has been completely redone. They've put in carpet tiles so that they can replace any given section. American Hotel register has provided new linens for all of the rooms, and Milestone Internet Marketing has given them a new website.

Anthony explains Renee's concerns and Ramona assures her that her salary will stay the same. He tells them how they will divide up their duties, and the sisters agree.

Written by Gadfly on Nov 4, 2015

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