Anthony heads to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to help the 59-room Lancer Motel. He drives there in a three-wheel moped past the beaches, and notes that there is a lot of competition among hotels. Chad Patel owns the Lancer, and has run it for over 30 years. Since 2006, Chad had struggled to make a profit. His son Sachin is the GM, and he figures that the need help from Anthony to give them a competitive edge.
When Anthony pulls up to the Lancer, he notes that the big brands coming in so the smaller hotels have to be clean. The outside is not real clean, and the plant next to the lobby door has a joint and a gum wrapper in the pot. Inside, Anthony notices a bad smell and the FD agent doesn't notice it. she explains that they don't serve breakfast anymore but they have coffee. Anthony has a cup of coffee and points out that there is a lot of storage stuff in the lobby. There are cutters, switches, three microwaves, and a can of paint. The third microwave has spoiled food inside and a horrid stench. Anthony takes it out to the trash can and throws it away.
Back inside, the FD agent says that there haven't been many complaints. Anthony checks the online reviews and discovers that the Lancer is 198 out of 215 hotels in Myrtle Beach. None of the reviews are gone and many mention the smell and the trash. The agent says that she loves the boss and makes $150 a week for five days a work. That work out to $3.50 an hour plus free room and board, and Anthony figures that management is taking advantage of her. There is a computer but she doesn't use it to check in guests.
Anthony gets a key to a room and the agent hesitantly assures him that it should be okay. As he heads there, he comes to the pool and notices that it's the wrong color and the paint is dirty. The furniture is rotted out and dangerous, and the chairs have holes in them. The staircase to the room is wood with staples and nails sticking out of it. Anthony pulls out one nail and points out that kids run around barefoot in summer. The second-floor carpet hasn't been vacuumed in ten years, there's dirt on the walls and the carpet, and a screw is sticking out of the door jam. Inside, the room smells horrible and the bathroom paneling is coming off the wall. The tissue box is empty and the ceiling is falling apart from water leakage and mold. Anthony brings in an air-quality monitor and confirms that the rating is over 10,000 when the poor threshold is 1,000. He figures that management doesn't care about their guests.
Furious, Anthony tracks down Chad in his office and discovers that it's filled with stacks of boxes and files. There's a bed there, and Chad explains that it was supposed to be a man cave and became an office. Chad admits that his bedroom looks the same, and explains that no one comes in except his staff and his son. Anthony clears a seat and points out the problems. Chad says that they were going to install a carpet but the rains came and they had to wait for the carpet to dry. Anthony doesn't believe it and says that the room almost choked him to death. He tells Chad that there's no effort, and Chad says that he knows about the online reviews. Anthony tells him that the key to occupancy is good service and good scores on line, and Chad sucks at it.
Chad doesn’t respond, and Anthony asks for hope. The owner says that he's put all the money he has in the motel and has to make it work. Chad blames the economy and Anthony tells him that it's been the best year ever for the hotel economy. He asks Chad what his wife thinks of the motel, and the owner says that she passed away of breast cancer in 2006. Chad says that his wife would be ashamed to see the motel like it is now, and insists that it's important to him. He tells Anthony that Sachin feels the same as Anthony and complains about a lack of money, and Anthony tells him that vacuuming and taking garbage out doesn't take money.
Anthony brings in designer Anne Rue and shows her the room. She gags on the smell and notices the leaking roof. Anthony tells her to find a room that's decent and come up with a plan, and says that it has to be inexpensive. He warns Anne that the lobby is a hoarder's paradise and needs her to do what she can, and check out the pool.
Anne and her team from Prestige Custom Homes go to work. Anthony meets with the housekeeper, Selena, who has worked there since August. Selena didn't receive training, she has no checklist, and she gets paid $100 a week plus room and board. She takes Anthony to the linen room and he discovers that they're using a car wash washer. Selena says that there are only two housekeepers and they work seven days a week. Anthony figures that the room should be condemned and notices a can of bedbug spray. Selena explains that the maintenance men treat the rooms, and says that there are bedbugs in the motel.
Anthony goes to talk to Sachin and confirms that they have bedbugs. He moves the guests to another room, and Anthony points out that they're just taking the bedbugs with him. Anthony asks why he's there, and points out the problems. He wonders how Sachin lets everything happens, and Sachin says that he's overwhelmed with all the other problems that he deals with personally because they're understaffed. The GM says that he bumps with Chad a lot, and Chad refuses to pay for anything. Sachin explains that he promised his mother to take care of Chad, and that his father is a hoarder at home as well. he refuses to walk away from his father. Anthony asks him for proof that he should stay there, and Sachin says that he'll put in the hours but he needs guidance.
Anthony takes Sachin to the parking lot and points out the hotel next door that is out of business. He warns the GM that the Lancer is six months from that, and warns that there's very little hope from the hotel. Anthon asks Sachin how he's going to separate himself from his father.
Gregory Pest Solutions comes in to check the property with dogs. He owner warns that 24 room out of 59 are positive for bedbugs. They'll start heat treatments and residual treatments to keep the rooms bug-clean. Anthony then takes Chad and Sachin to the inspection room and they admit that the smell is disgusting. Chad says that it's been overlooked, but Anthony tells the owner that he chose to have it that way and warns that the city wants small motels shut down because it's a blight on the community. Anthony warns that Chad is done and has to walk away. Sachin says that his father sometimes gets in the way, and Chad gets emotional for the first time. He tells Anthony that he'd do anything for Sachin, and Sachin admits that his father rarely says anything like that. Anthony figures that Chad has held on too long and is destroying the place out of pride. Chad says that he'll give up day-to-day management, and Sachin believes him. However, Anthony isn't convinced that Sachin can take over. he tells Chad that he needs to find money and the next 12 hours are critical.
While Chad searches for emergency funding, Sachin relocates staff out of the lobby where they remodel. Anthony finds out that the new area tested positive for bedbugs, and confronts Sachin about it. Sachin says that they had no choice and needed a room with telephone wires, and Anthony says that the GM can't move people out because they're infested with bed bugs. He tells Sachin that they're going to treat the room, and Sachin says that there's no excuse. Frustrated, Anthony walks away and Sachin admits to the film crew that it probably wasn't the best decision to make.
Anne and her team start on the guest room, and Anthony brings in a team to remove the trash from Chad's office. Another team goes over the pool area, and Anthony finds out about a fight between the housekeepers over which rooms to clean. He takes Sachin there and watches as the GM runs the meeting. The two housekeepers, Selena and Steph, explain the issues and argue, and Sachin neither defuses the situation nor presents a solution. He finally works out a solution and tells them not to argue, almost kisses one employee on the head, and they get angry with him. Anthony talks to Selena and warns her that she can't yell at the owner. Sachin tells her to stop arguing, and Anthony explains that she's mad because she's overworked. He says that he won't be part of a motel that takes advantage of people who need a place to live, and tells Sachin to stop.
The next day, Anthony meets with Glen, a local real estate agent, to see if he can sell the Lancer. Glen explains that he brokers lot of property types and sends him into the renovated room. The agent is impressed but Anthony asks if the owners don't put money into it, would it be better to sell or hold on to it. Glen advises that owners sell immediately.
Sachin talks to Anthony away from the cameras and complains that Anthony makes him feel like he doesn't know what he's doing. The GM insists that he can do it, but Anthony warns that there's no future for Sachin or the hotel. He advises Sachin to sell the hotel, and says that he needs to get his head in the game and run the place.
Soon, Sachin has the mold removed from the guest room. Anthony heads back to the housekeeping room and with new uniforms for the housekeepers. American Hotel Register has provide new linen. He confirms that they could move off property for $10 an hour, and promises to get them a decent salary. Anthony advises them to leave if the management doesn't follow through.
Now that everything is cleaned up, Anthony takes Chad and Sachin to the new lobby. The clutter is gone and Anne explains that he wanted guests to feel happy when they come in. Anthony worries that they won't keep the lobby up to the current standard, and presents a new web site and a new property management system. Anne leaves and Chad confirms that he can raise $80,000. Sachin plans to use it for training and increasing payroll to $10 an hour.
Anthony then takes father and son to the redecorated room. Anne introduces Lynn and Terry from Prestige Custom Homes. The men assure Anthony that they can reproduce the remodel in the other 58 rooms if the money is there. Once they leave, the group goes into the room. Chad and Sachin are impressed by the flooring, the window treatments, and the artwork. The room smells clean thanks to an air-cleaning unit, and Anne has a template that they can use to remodel 20 rooms for $80,000. Chad says that the colors remind him of his wife and thanks them.
Written by Gadfly on Nov 11, 2015