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Tiny Horse, Big Problems: Cody, WY Recap

Anthony travels to Cody, Wyoming, to help out the Big Bear Motel. Owners Bill and Jody bought the property and have no experience in the hospitality business. Since they bought it, the motel has slipped from #1 online to #15. Anthony rides a horse to the motel and admires the exterior and the view. There are statues of big bears outside the motel office. The pool is cleaned and Anthony wonders why he's there.

When Anthony goes to the lobby, he finds a horse inside. He has no idea why it's there. The FD agent, Alexis, comes out. She's Bill and Jody's office, and says that the horse hangs out in the lobby. Alexis explains that she mostly does housekeeping and laundry. She and her husband want to take over the hotel so her mother and step-dad can move off the property. Anthony confirms that she's 21 and wonders if she's ready to take over, and Alex admits that Bill isn't ready to let her take the reins. The hotelier asks what her cost is for an occupied room, and Alexis admits that she doesn't know. He warns that running a motel is different than cleaning a room, and points out that their coffee area. They don’t put anything out for breakfast, and Alexis doesn't know why they don't have a breakfast area. Anthony points out that there is no computer, and Alexis doesn't know what systems she's tried to convince her parents to get.

Anthony takes the horse, Cookie, with him and meets with Jody. She takes Anthony to the on-site horseback stable where they offer free horseback rides. Jody says that it's expensive but well worth it, and Anthony wonders why the business isn't doing well. He points out that the horses aren't mentioned much on the website, and their rates are lower than most other hotels in Cody.

Jody takes Anthony to a room and says that it's a newer room. It's painted plain white, and Jody says that Bill designed it. There are no amenities on the table, and it looks like it came out of a 70s hotel starter kit. There are no coffee pots in the room, and Anthony says that it feels cheap. Jody admits that their rates are low because they're embarrassed by the rooms. Anthony checks the sheets and finds dried blood stains, and figures that there may be bed bugs there. Jody confirms that they've had bed bugs in the past. They treated the rooms themselves and Anthony tells her that she's not free of bed bugs. Owners typically spread bed bugs when they try to treat them.

Anthony and Jody meet with Bill, who says that he fell in love with the town and decided to buy the motel twelve years ago. The hotelier warns that the rooms are below par and there's no feeling of Cody inside of the motel. He wonders how they went from #1 to #15, and warns that soon they'll start losing money. Anthony reads Expedia comments about their lack of refrigerators, microwaves, and hot water. The owners have said that the guests complaining are one-star, and Anthony warns that they're shooting themselves in the foot. Bill says that they haven't felt comfortable enough to leave the motel to their children. He warns that Alexis gets rattled easily and objected when she had to do extra laundry. Bill and Jody worry that Alexis and her husband Jake don't see the obvious. He describes how a guest had a seizure in her car and Alexis didn't do anything. Bill doesn't want them to leave if they fail to turn the motel over them. Anthony warns that he's not a family therapist and he'll do what he can.

Anne Rue comes in to fix the décor in the lobby and one room. Anne likes Cookie but nothing else in the lobby, and agrees that it has to look like the Old West. There's no seating and the keys are out in the open. Anthony then shows her the room and she brings in a team from DBW Construction.

Anthony meets with Alexis and Jake, and asks them how their relationship is with Bill and Jody. Jake says that they're close but sometimes they're too close. They want to run the hotel on their own, but Jake admits that he doesn't feel they can do it currently. Anthony asks why Alexis is giving her parents an ultimatum, and Alexis says that she just wants to know what is happening next. When Anthony describes the situation with the woman, Alexis admits that she doesn't know why she failed to call the authorities. Anthony points out that Alexis seems a little self-entitled, and Alexis breaks into tears and says that she isn't. When Anthony asks Jake how he feels about what he said, Jake says that sometimes people need to say the truth. The hotelier says that he'll need to figure out if they can handle the motel on their own and leaves.

Eric from Resource Bed Bugs finds bed bugs and Anthony brings the two couples in so Eric can tell them that they have a problem. He tells them that they found 11 rooms out of 60 with bed bugs, and says that they need to hire a professional. Anthony lets a bed bug bite him and they watch as it gets engorged and then leaves a trail of blood when Anthony smashes it.

Anne and her team keep working, and Anthony focuses on the family. To break the tension, he plays a game of Who Wants to Be a Hotelier? The two couples compete and neither one of them don't get any questions right at first. They finally get some right and Anthony asks them about the room rates on the 4th of July. Neither couple knows and their rates are among the lowest in Cody.

Later, Anthony tells the couples that Room Master has donated a property management system. He then has them write responses to reviews, and has Jake and Jody do it together. Anthony gives them six months of free training with HM Bookstore. He then teaches Jake how to inspect for bed bugs, and figures Jake has the best instincts to be a hotelier.

Anthony gathers everyone at the stables and says that they have to separate duties. Jody will run the horses, and the others agree. Anthony says that they can make $200,000 more a year if Bill and Jake adjust their rates accordingly. Finally, he tells Alexis that she needs to take a step back from running the motel. She agrees and Anthony has them promise to listen to him.

Next, Anthony takes the family to meet with the rodeo director, Mike. Mike didn't know that the motel gave free pony rides, and he says that they can buy advertising. Anthony then asks to do some rodeo things. Mike sets him up as a rodeo clown and tells him that he has to deal into a protective barrel if a bull comes at him. They let the bull out and Mike tips Anthony out. It turns out that the "bull" is Cookie, and Anthony rides it around the ring.

On the last day, Anthony introduces the family to Anne and Duncan with DBW. They check out the lobby first and discover that it's been cleaned up and repainted. Anne made it comfortable and durable, and put down a tile floor. There is new artwork on the floor, and they put in central air. There's a Keurig coffee machine, and there are custom key rings for the motel.

Anne and Anthony take the family to the redesigned room and discover that Anne has repainted it and put in wood accent. American Hotel Register has donated sheets and new towels, and they can do another room for $3,000. Anthony assures them that if they can elevate the other rooms to that level then they'll be the only five-star hotel in Cody. Bill admits that Anthony has impressed him and they hug. They then go to a food truck that has set up a tailgate next to the pool and Anthony wishes them well.

Written by Gadfly on Jun 28, 2016

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