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The Pain in Maine: Rockland, ME Recap

Anthony goes to Rockland, Maine, the lobster capital of the world. The Trade Winds Inn is right on the ocean and has a giant lobster statue out front. Bob Liberty built the hotel from the ground up and retired, legally passing on the business to his three children. Aimee is working as the general manager and everything seems good, but the hotel is losing money.

In the lobby, Anthony meets with Wendy, the front desk agent. He wonders what he's there to help with, and Wendy says that they have some long-term rentals that won't leave or pay. Bob is the one who let them in, but Aimee doesn't like to rent to long-term guests. Wendy explains that one guest has a dog and lets it go to the bathroom anywhere. He hasn't paid anything, and Wendy doesn’t know why he's still there. She has a video of some guests that were there and shows it to Anthony. The video shows guests at night throwing bagels in the pool because they didn't like the bagels, and they were drunk and bored. Wendy says that's typical behavior for guests, even the short-term ones, and Anthony points out that the pool and breakfast area should be closed at night. He notes that Wendy seems depressed, and she says that they tend to rent more to locals currently. Anthony wonders why Bob is making the decisions if he's retired.

Anthony goes to the breakfast room and discover a TV on a cart blocking the doorway. Once he goes round, Anthony discovers that the breakfast area is old and outdated. The bagels are frozen and there's a mishmash of plates. There is quiche in Styrofoam containers in the refrigerator. Wendy says that Sean, one of the night auditors, cooks the quiche at night. There is a kitchen off the breakfast area, but the state health department closed it a few days ago. Anthony checks the kitchen and discovers that there is food stuff on the floor and dirty disgusting racks. There are tools on the floor, and glasses and filters mixed in with them. The room has a non-commercial dishwasher, and there's a Tupperware container with flour in it. Looking around, Anthony discovers that there's no door on the phone room. The fire-command station is nearby but hard to find, and the key is in the door so anyone can come in and shut it off. Some of the trouble lights are on, indicating possible danger.

Continuing his inspection, Anthony discovers that the hotel layout is confusing. There's a bathroom built off the hallway with no markings, and the ceiling is too low. Anthony finds a missing exit sign and a dead end. There's an AC unit protruding into the hallway. He finally finds room 337 to inspect, and discovers that the windows are old and have plastic wrap for insulation. The AC unit has poor insulation around it, and there's a vent that leads directly outside and a nails ticking out of the access door. The ceiling wall is crooked and a sprinkler pipe sticks out. The bathroom is clearly not up to code, with a leak over the toilet. There's a refrigerator in the credenza.

Anthony sits down with Bob and his children: Aimee, accountant Stephen, and silent partner Laurie. The children understand why Anthony is confused, and explain that they kept building on to accommodate guests. Anthony wonders how they got the permits, and Bob says that he didn't want to give the government anything so he built it for his kids. Aimee says that she's in charge of the hotel, but Bob says that he's in charge but doesn't want to admit it. His daughter says that everything frustrates her about the hotel. Bob undermines her and never agrees with her, and figures that it's because she's a girl. Bob says that he doesn't have a problem with Aimee, but admits that he believes Stephen is the better manager because he's had the experience. Aimee isn't surprised, and Stephen says that in 2007 he ran the hotel for a while. However, he got a job in New York and left. Bob admits that he doesn't have a job or gets a salary, and says that he walks around and makes trouble. His wife says that Bob is there seven days a week, and Anthony says that he'd be frustrated as a GM in the same situation. Aimee says that she would probably walk away if she could.

Designer Carrie Locklyn and her team from Breakwater Design & Build Inc. come into renovate a room and update the breakfast area. Anthony discovers that Bob keeps an office there, and Aimee has a desk nearby. The hotelier points out that Bob is always looking over Aimee's shoulder, and Bob says that he's never thought about it. Anthony takes Bob around and points out the construction issues. Bob admits that much of his work is illegal, and the bathroom Anthony found is the bathroom to the room that was there, that Bob turned into a sitting room. No one has ever commented on the unlocked bathroom. The hallway the AC leads into wasn't always there.

Bob doesn't seem to understand the construction issues, so Anthony talks to the staff. They all say that they talk to Bob and Aimee, and admits that it's confusing. Anthony then shows Aimee the situation in the basement. She says that their alarm goes directly to the fire system. She only knows if there's a fire if the fire department comes. Aimee can't answer his questions about the shutdown zones, and Anthony tells her that the GM has to know. He tells her to bring in the person who understands the system, and then shows her the phone room. Aimee says that Stephen did all of the work. They go to the kitchen and Anthony asks why it's a mess. She admits that she hasn't made staff clean it up, and Bob is holding her back. Anthony says that she's accepted what is going on and Aimee agrees. He tells her to choose whether she's going to turn things around or leave, and Aimee admits that she wasn't surprised when the health department shut the kitchen down. She breaks into tears and admits that she knows everything is her fault, but can't forget that Bob built the place. Her siblings aren't there to back her up and she can't deal with her father on her own.

Carrie and her team encounter problems outside the room that they're renovating. The contractor Mike shows them open wiring in the suspended ceiling outside the room, and is surprised that there hasn't been a fire already. There are household extension cords inside the room, and they're completely illegal. Anthony brings Bob and Aimee in, and Mike says that it's the wore he's ever seen. Some of the wires are charred because they overheated. Carrie says that if they wouldn't have it in their house then they can't have it in their business. Anthony tells them that they have to be concerned about the safety of their guests. Bob says that they weren't aware of it and promises that he'll shut down the wing as soon as the HI crew leaves.

Anthony talks to Aimee and asks her what changes she wants to make. She points out the stained ceiling tiles and admits that the staff never fixes them. Aimee has been trying to get rid of the dirty Jacuzzi for many years, and she doesn't rent half of the backrooms because of guest complains. Anthony figures that she has the right instincts but has to get the rest of the family on board.

Later, the family meets Anthony in a space that Aimee wanted to use but Bob shut down. Stephen explains that Aimee had the room 80% done as a guest laundry, but Bob decided they should make it more guest-useable. The two never agreed so the room sat unfinished since a year and a half ago. Anthony asks them what they would do if they were him, and Laurie says that Bob should retire. Stephen figures that Bob should take a back seat, and Anthony says that they're going to tell Bob together. He wants Bob's wife to keep him out of the building and not let him talk to the employees. If he does then Amy will either have a breakdown or quit.

Anthony insists that the safety conditions be taken care of immediately. Mike from Pro-Tech security comes in and says that the fire-command panel is thirty years old. All of the detectors in the deactivated zones don't work. Mike says that they have to replace the panel and Aimee agrees. Next, Anthony brings in Organize ME! to clean up the back rooms.

Finally, Anthony calls the family together and asks them what they're going to do to help Aimee. Stephen is going to work through a new budget with Aimee, and spend more time acting as go-between from Bob to Aimee. Anthony tells them that they have to stop asking Bob for permission or they're all screwed. Next, he says that they need more revenue by responding to customer complaints and manage their rates. Anthony gives Aimee an eCornell certificate for a course in revenue management, and then brings Bob in. Stephen explains their new roles and Anthony asks Bob what he thinks his role should be. He says that he will walk away, and Anthony hugs him. Stephen admits that he thought it would be a bigger fight, and Bob assures Aimee that she's going to do a very good job.

Anthony, Aimee, and Bob meet with the staff and Bob tells them that Aimee is the boss. Wendy is sure that Aimee will do a good job and it will be easier on the staff. He then shows them the Expedia PartnerCentral app which lets them address their guest complaints immediately.

Finally, Anthony shows the family the renovated guest room. He introduces Carrie and Mike, and Carrie points out the new direction signs from The renovated room has been repainted and refurbished, and Carrie says that it costs less than $3,000. They took the original furniture and changed out the hardware, and added some colors. American Hotel Register donated the linens, and Carrie and Power Rendering has prepared a virtual display. She then shows the family the new breakfast room. There is more seating and a handmade breakfast counter. Carrie redid the entire ceiling and replaced the fluorescents, and the chairs are stackable so they can use the area as a banquet room. The milk and juice are now self-contained so the family doesn't need a kitchen, and Popcake has donated a pancake machine. Anthony is confident that Aimee and Stephen will bring the hotel to the next level.

Written by Gadfly on Jun 14, 2016

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