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Funeral Home Impossible: San Juan Bautista, CA Recap

Anthony goes to San Juan Batista, CA, to help out the 34-room Hotel Pasada de San Juan. It's one of the only hotels in the area but is still struggling. Rafael Lopez built it 24 year ago, and he's since passed away. It's now owned by his wife Mary and their four children. The hotel business has gone downhill since Rafael died. There are no cars in the parking lot, and the canopy is rusty. There are cracks on the outside of the building, the sidewalk is old and the paint is fading, and there are cobwebs in the corners.

Anthony enters the lobby and thinks that it looks like a funeral home. There are 19 lights out and Anthony figures that the owners have given up or they don't have enough employees to change light bulbs. There is an old-looking breakfast basket and the bread and pastry in it are fakes. The refrigerator is filled with leftovers and old cream cheese, and the muffins are a week old. There's nobody at the front desk, and Anthony rings the bell. Mary finally comes down and Anthony introduces himself, and she says that there are no guests at the hotel. She says that it's the economy, but Anthony knows better. He tells her that the last year was the best year in the hotel business. He asks about the light bulbs, and she says that there is only one maintenance man and he's busy with other stuff. Mary says that she does most of the work herself, and Anthony figures that the hotel should have at least 12 employees. None of Mary's children are involved in the business, and Anthony thought that her children had ownership stake in the hotel.

Anthony checks out the rest of the property and loves the skylight in the stairwell. He admires the building and figures that maybe the hotel has a chance. Anthony enters a room and finds flowered wallpaper everywhere. The rest of the room is okay. The flowers are fake so Anthony goes looking for real flowers on the patio. There are no flowers, but the decorative fountain is filled with filthy water that hasn't been cleaned in years. The bench shakes when Anthony sits on it, and the "white" canopy is filthy.

Mary's daughter Mary and her grandson Eddie have been helping out with the hotel over the years. They want to take on a bigger role, and meet off-property with Anthony to tell them why the hotel is in bad shape. The daughter says that Mary has run the hotel since Rafael died, and Eddie says that his grandmother isn't teaching him how to run the business. They both admit that their mother isn't very nice to employees or guests. The daughter reached her breaking point when her mother cursed her out and told her to get off the property. Anthony figures that Mary is the problem, and they say that the hotel means everything to them.

Anthony calls in designer Carrie Lockman and meets her in the lobby posing as a corpse. Carrie admits that the place looks like a funeral parlor, and Anthony gets up. The designer figures that they have to dedesign the place and get rid of the flowers and decorations so people can see the building. Anthony takes her to the room and Carrie figures that it feels more East Coast than West Coast. He then shows her the fountain area and wants her to bring it back to its former glory with her team from Testorff Construction.

Next, Anthony checks the online reviews and confirms that the guests are unhappy with Mary. He meets with Mary and her four children: Renee, Chris, Rafael, and Mary, as well as grandson Eddie. Anthony points out the moldy breakfast and Eddie says that Mary told him to scrape the mold off. He figures that Mary, consciously or subconsciously, is trying to close the building. The children agree but Anthony points out that they also have a responsibility to the hotel. He asks why they've abandoned their mother, and Rafael says that they were told not to come there. Mary called the sheriff's department and said that Rafael threatened her life. Mary doesn't want to go into all the legal situations, but Anthony says that she's failed her husband's legacy. He tells her to choose what she does going forward, and Mary says that she wants her children to turn it over. She says that Eddie and her daughter Mary will run the place, but no one believes her. Anthony tells them to get a lawyer confirming that Mary will sign over the bank accounts to her daughter Mary and Eddie.

Anthony turns his attention to the maintenance of the property. He brings in a building inspector to give him a full report on the hotel. The inspector tells him that the roof is shot and it will cost from $80,000 to $120,000 to fix. There's a lot of termite damage and they'd have to fumigate the entire structure, and that will cost up to $50,000. The final estimate is $750,000 and Anthony figures they'll need twice that to turn the place around. He wonders if Eddie and the daughter are in over their heads.

Later, Anthony sets up an exercise with play money to show Mary and Eddie the problems. He shows them the roof and steps out on it, and says that it's reached the end of its life expectancy. Anthony points out the soft spots and snaps off a shingle, and tells them how much it will cost. He warns that they have to earmark the high range of the price, and then shows them the termite damage. Anthony says that they need $500,000, and they confirm that they have the equity. Mary has to secure a loan from the bank if they want the hotel to succeed.

At another meeting, Anthony meets with the mother Mary, who glares at him. He leaves her with her daughter to talk about the next steps. The daughter says that she's had a lawyer draw up an LLC passing on the operation. The mother wants to make sure the hotel is protected, and her daughter invites her to go over it with a lawyer. Mary Jr. then tells Anthony that Mary Sr. trusts her and figures that she's ready. However, she's said the same thing before and Anthony warns Mary Jr. that her mother may not sign.

Anthony then trains Eddie as a GM. They inspect the property and Eddie spots the same things that Anthony did. Anthony then shows him how to inspect a room and clean a toilet, and is impressed by how engaged Eddie is. Eddie goes to work redecorating and meeting with a local bakery to bring in fresh food.

When Anthony learns that the hotel doesn't have a website, he brings in Corey from the Lure Agency to get the word out about the property. Corey shows his branding plan to Mary Jr. and says that he'll provide three months of free marketing. She says that the bank said that they won't approve her refinancing unless she has a website. They are considering a $1.5 million loan to cover the debts and the upgrade.

Mary Jr. and Anthony meet with Mary Sr. to see if she will sign the LLC. Mary Sr. hesitates and then signs, and says that it feels good. Anthony then takes them to see the renovations. They start with the room, which has new darker wallpaper and has a classier West Coast style. There are hand-painted tiles for the fireplace, and kept Rafael's side tables. American Register provided sheets, duvets, and towels. Anthony then shows them the new website created by Milestone Internet Marketing. Finally, Anthony and Carrie take the entire family to the fountain area, which is now clean and running. A company has donated a new sign for the hotel. Anthony tells Eddie that he hast to step up and keep his grandfather's legacy alive, and says that the family has to talk out their issues.

Written by Gadfly on Jul 12, 2016

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