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Going Poconowhere: Towanda, PA Recap

Anthony arrives in Towanda, Pennsylvania, which until recently had an economic boom due to the gas industry arriving in town. He's there to help the Bradford B&B Inn, the owner, Brad, contacted Anthony directly. Anthony reads the letter, which says that Brad took ownership of the inn in March 2014 and they've been losing money ever since. The hotelier wants to help someone who needs his help.

When Anthony pulls up to the inn, Bill greets him and says that he has no guests. He admits that he has no experience and can't even get a phone call. They go inside and Brad says that he feels like he's failing, and his family is highly successful in the area. He never talked to any of the managers at the hotels his father owns, and has never talked to anybody in the business. Anthony is shocked that Bard has never been curious enough to learn how to run a hotel before taking one over. He figures that Brad has already given up, and Brad says that put $400,000 of his own money down. Brad , his father, and his brother sold land to finance the deal, and they went in on thirds. He didn't pay anything in, and Anthony warns that he's making some bad decisions. Anthony points out that the inn isn't on Expedia, and wonders if he's made a mistake. Brad confirms that he's paid the mortgage up to the current money, but had to borrow the money from his parents. Anthony wonders why he's wasting time on an owner who doesn't know what he's doing, and Brad says that he wants to learn from Anthony and succeed. He tells Anthony that he's been engaged for eight years, and Anthony says that he's going to start looking around and do his best.

Anthony goes to the front desk and has the agent, Fawn, look him around. There's a hair salon in the lobby, and the previous owners had it put it in. Brad has talked about redoing the space but hasn't done anything yet. Fawn's sister and Brad's fiancée Bambi is cleaning in the breakfast area, and Anthony is impressed with the area. The adjoining banquet space is also nice, and Fawn runs it. They had 40 banquets in the last year, and the sisters admit that they're keeping the inn floating.

When she sits down with Anthony, Bambi says that she and Fawn are running the business by themselves. Brad usually watches TV. Bambi says that financially the inn is doing pretty bad, and they get money from Brad's parents to keep the place going. She tells Anthony that she wants to marry Brad someday, and she wants him to step up to the plate before she does. Bambi breaks into tears and explains that she doesn't want to lose the business. When she started working at the inn, she thought that she had finally arrived. Anthony tells her to fight for the inn, and Bambi says that if Brad doesn't fight for the inn then she'll leave him.

Anthony checks out a guest room and admits that it's beautiful. However, there's a duvet insert on the bed. The pillow isn't folded, and Anthony figures that Brad has never gone to one of his father's hotels to learn the proper procedure. The bathroom vent is dirty, but Anthony figures that the rooms just need a little TLC. He uses the building map to find the fire exits, and discovers that the door is locked. When Anthony knocks on it, Brad answers the door and says that it leads to his apartment upstairs. He doesn't know if the setup is legal, and Anthony takes Brad upstairs. The exit sign isn't lit and the door is barely visible from the stairs. Brad hasn't called the fire department, and Anthony tells him that he has to deal with problems that finds. He then tells Brad to help Fawn and Bambi, and clean the rooms when he sees dirt, and brad agrees.

Later, Anthony meets with Brad's parents. They says that they give Brad $150,000-$200,000 a year to run the hotel, and they can't afford to do it anymore. Anthony warns that they're enabling their son, and points out that the market in Towanda is down 34%. The business has lost $130,000 in the last two years, and had 0.61% occupancy in the last month. Companies stopped drilling for gas in Towanda when the market was flooded. The parents are worried about their hotels, and the GM is aggressive. Anthony suggests that the GM talk to Brad, and the parents agree. They figure that they've babied Brad too much, and the father says that he'll talk with Brad. Anthony tells him that he has to meet with Bambi and all cut Brad off, and they agree.

To develop a marketing plan, Anthony walks through Towanda. There's an empty A-location building for rent, and Anthony figures that everyone has to know about the inn to bring business in. He calls in Carrie Lockland to develop the hotel as a wedding venue, and says that the hair salon is a waste of space. Carrie agrees and they check the breakfast room. Anthony wants it to be an event space as well and merge into the adjoining banquet room. He also wants Carrie to turn the suite upstairs into a bridal suite.

Next, Anthony brings Bambi and Brad's parents together to talk to Brad. Bambi says that she is doing all the work and tells him that he needs to step up. If he doesn't then she's walking out. Brad's parents say the same and figure he can do it with help. If Brad doesn't then they're going to shut off the money. Anthony tells Brad to get over himself, and says that he has to get up in the morning and work his ass off. The hotelier works out and figures that he's willing to stay for the sake of Bambi and the parents. However, if Brad doesn't step up then Anthony is out.

The next day, Anthony goes to Brad's apartment and points out that Bambi looks happier. She says that she has hope now, but Brad is less than enthused. Anthony goes outside and has Brad let him in, and demonstrates how low-energy Brad is. He has Brad stand up straight and shows him how to do stretching exercises. Brad doesn't have a suit, and Anthony tells him to meet him outside in a half hour dressed like a professional.

A half hour later, Brad comes out in a new shirt, pleated pants, and bowling shoes. Anthony takes him to his father's hotel and the GM, Bridget has agreed to help. They go inside and Bridget greets them. Anthony asks her to be Brad's mentor, and she says that Brad needs to be in a suit. Anthony confirms that she works 10-12 hours a day, and Bridget says that she has to be positive and likes helping people. The hotelier tells Bridget to teach Brad how to clean rooms and check in guests. He leaves brad with Bridget and wishes her luck.

When Anthony returns later, Bridget says that Brad has a lot of potential. He was eager to learn, and figures that he doesn't have a lot of experience in the industry. Bridget says that she would hire him with a bit more experience. Anthony has Bridget commit to coming over once a month to learn all the facets of the business.

At the inn, Carrie and her team continue working on the space renovation. Meanwhile, Anthony meets with Brad and tells him that he'll be going there to learn every department. The hotelier says that Brad is very low-energy, and brings in a woman, Kate. Kate is from the Triumph Leadership group, and she explains that she's a life coach. Brad says that he's open for improvement, and says that he used to be a jokester but lost it in the last couple of years. He starts crying, and Kate says that there are good things about him and her company will coach him personally for three months. Anthony is happy that Kate got through to Brad and tapped into what is bothering him.

Next, Anthony brings in Mark from Think Creative to teach Bambi and Fawn how to market the inn. Mark says that his team has come up with a brand-new logo for the inn. He then shows them a new website with the wedding page front and center. Finally, Mark tells them that they have to establish partnerships with the local business so people are hosting events there, starting with the farmer's market. Bambi promises that she's going to fight for the inn, and Mark says that what he's done is a $50,000 package for most hotels. He asks that take it and become a huge success, and the sisters agree.

Anthony calls everyone together and gives them a hotel operations manual. He gives it to Bambi and says that she's in charge. Fawn will be the guest coordinator. Brad is going to work with the life coach for the next month and full-time with Bridget. Anthony then takes them out to meet with Carrie and her team, Jason and Bobby from Crescent Builders. They start with the new sign with Mark's logo. Anthony then takes them in to see the new bridal suite. Brad proposes to Bambi to prove his commitment to her and the business. Bambi agrees and beauticians prepare them.

Carrie shows Fawn the newly renovated banquet spaces. The former beauty salon has been set up for a cocktail hour, and everything moves so that for larger parties furniture can be moved out of the way. The breakfast room is an extension of the venue and feels a bit more bright and welcoming. Fawn then sits down with Nancy Harvey of Nancy Harvey Events & Planning. She put the wedding together in a few hours and wants to continue working with the inn.

That night, the wedding goes smoothly. The couple exchanges vows and everyone applauds.

Written by Gadfly on Jun 21, 2016