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Anchorless in Anchorage: Anchorage, AK Recap

Anthony goes to Anchorage, Alaska, to help the 222-room Anchorage Lofts Hotel. He takes a trolley there and explains that it was purchased three years ago by a couple, Randy and Jennifer. They're not making their $69,000/month mortgage payment. Jennifer picks Anthony up and says that they need his help bad even though they're in the heart of Anchorage. Anthony admires the outside décor, but points out that the logo is confusing. Jennifer admits that they don’t have lofts, and Anthony says that branding is important. She says that they're behind on the mortgage payment, and paid $9.4 million for the hotel. Jennifer explains that their marriage has been stressful and Randy calls the shots on everything even though she does a lot of the work.

Anthony goes into the lobby on his own and talks to the FD agent, Kiana. She says that she's frustrated and it's her last week there. Kiana resigned because Randy is a control freak, and he wants FD agents to do marketing and sales. The number-one problem is communication. Kiana explains that rooms are put on unavailable but no one lets the front desk know. She shows Anthony the property management system and says that they only have two maintenance people for 222 rooms. Kiana doesn't get a lunch or breaks, which is legal but unacceptable.

Kiana gives Anthony a key to room 257 and he admits that the hallway looks clean. In the room, the carpet looks good and there's no smell. Anthony admits that the room is acceptable, and then looks around and finds the supposed pool. The place is being used for storage of everything, including toilets and mattresses. If the pool was open, it would be a huge draw for locals and tourists alike.

Next, Anthony goes to the bar and lounge and discovers that it has a good vibe. Jennifer is working the bar and tells Anthon that she manages it because they don't have a manager. There is a cook in the kitchen and Jennifer helps out there as well. Anthony asks why Jennifer is doing everything, and she says that everybody there wears a lot of hats. She admits that she and Randy are supposed to be partners but she feels like an employee. Jennifer feels that Randy will be upset if he learns what she has been saying.

Later, Anthony meets with Randy and Jennifer. He points out that Jennifer seems to be stressed, and asks what Randy does. Randy says that he's the acting general manager, and Anthony figures that he's a control freak. Jennifer describes how Randy puts people down, including her in front of other people. Randy says that Jennifer spends money that they don't have, but Anthony follows up on her comments about being put down. The husband says that he's a little better at managing finances and he has to be in charge. Jennifer agrees but says that he makes condescending remarks, and Randy claims that making such comments hurt him more than her. Anthony doesn't believe it, and Randy says that Jennifer doesn't appreciate that he has to cut expenses.

Anthony asks about the pool, and Randy admits that they couldn't afford to fix it at the time. He says that it's the first time that they haven't made the mortgage payments, and Anthony notes that other hotels in the area are charging double what the Lofts is. If the hotel had a pool then they could charge more money. Anthony has checked the STAR Report and confirmed that Randy is charging 60 cents on the dollar compared to other hotels. Randy says that they're losing money on food and beverages and they need to close it down, but Jennifer likes it. She says that she has to pick up the pieces once Randy makes a decision, and one person can't run all the departments. When Randy says that she spreads the restaurant open, Jennifer walks out. Jennifer comes back after a minute of cooling off, and says that she's tired of being treated like an employee. Anthony tells them that their marriage is what is important, and tells them to figure out how to fix their marriage while he fixes the hotel.

To realize the hotel's potential, Anthony brings in designer Anne Rue to get the pool up and running. She says that it's a nightmare, and Anthony tells her that he needs it to be open. Anne says that she'll need to get it up to code and figures that she has a lot of work to do. Her team from Happy Homes and Maintenance go to work.

Anthony meets with Jennifer to tour the restaurant. She shows him around and notes that the compressor for the walk-in refrigerator needs to be fixed and requires $1,300. They're using five refrigerators to store food, and Anthony discovers that the food is in disarray. They go to the bar and then the jazz club, and Anthony confirms that they make $113,000 in seven months. He brings in Howard Cannon, a food and beverage analyst, to determine if they should keep the restaurant open or not. While Howard looks round the place, Anthony tells Jennifer that she can't let Randy cross whatever line she sets down. He points out that she whispers a lot, and Jennifer admits that she doesn't know if they'll be married in a year. Randy has told her to leave, but then calls her back when he runs into something he doesn't know what to do.

Next, Anthony checks out their helicopter rides. Randy explains that they have a helipad on the hotel, and Anthony points out that a pool is more important. He has Anthony take a trip with the owner of the helicopter company, Egli Air Haul. Anthony says that it's a cool ide abut nobody knows about it, and goes up with the pilot. They fly over the countryside above the glaciers and then land on one. Anthony is impressed and figures that they need to market the hotel around the helicopter tour, but Randy is marketing it the wrong way.

Anne calls Anthony to the pool, and the pool inspector Jeff says that there is a lot of work to do. The pool has been dismantled and they don't have a pool contractor. Anthony doesn't care how hard it is to find a pool contractor in Alaska and tells Anne that it has to happen. Anne wants to leave them with a pool that's ready to go and then they'll find a contractor, but Anthony says that the two of them are jumping in the pool before they leave.

Anthony and Howard present Howard's findings to Jennifer and Randy. Howard says that their food isn't that great, and the bartender touches the edge of the glass. The place is filthy and the food is slimy. Howard says that it's as close to bad as he's ever seen, and he recommends that they should be in the restaurant business. Jennifer breaks into tears but Anthony figures that she understands that shutting down the restaurant is the right move.

Later, Anthony crashes Randy's senior staff meeting and calls Randy outside. He has Randy watch the meeting on a monitor as Anthony talks to the staff. The staff says that upper management overreaches and has no direction, and lacks experience. They say that Randy doesn't trust them to do their job so they're afraid to move. Jennifer is at the meetings, and the staff says that it's uncomfortable. Randy cuts Jennifer off and isn't nice about it. Anthony says that Randy is leading the wrong way and his yelling at Jennifer is unacceptable.

Anthony then meets with Randy, who admits that it was an eye-opening experience. Anthony tells the owner that his relationship with Jennifer is the most important thing, and Randy agrees to talk to Jennifer. Jennifer comes in and Randy apologizes for how he's been treating her and says that it won't happen again. They hug and Anthony hopes that it's a turning point for the marriage and the hotel.

Next, Anthony introduces the owners to management expert Larry Broughton of Broughton Hotels. Larry says that his company comes in and helps distressed properties. He figures the employees aren't disrespected, and will give them 45 days of complimentary services. Then he'll find a good GM to run the place. Anthony tells them not to screw the opportunity up and Randy agrees.

When Anthony goes to the pool area, Anne refuses to let him in. She explains that the mechanics are an absolute mess. They've purchased everything the owners need to get the pool ready, but there's only one pool guy in all of Alaska and they can't get him there. Anthony then brings in Jim and Kris from MSI Communications to rebrand the hotel around the helicopter tour. He shows the owners the footage he shot during the helicopter tour and says that he sent it to Kris and Jim. They resent a mockup of the hotel's potential webpage, rebranding the property the Aviation Hotel. Randy likes the logo but he doesn't like the name. Anthony says that he's making a big mistake if he doesn't change the name, and Jim and Kris says that they'll develop a transition plan with Randy for a month so that they can make him happy.

Next, the owners check out the pool, which is done except for the lack of water. They say that it's beautiful and Anne thanks Jacob from Happy Homes and Maintenance. is donating all of the mechanical equipment they need before the season starts. Anthony admits that he put Anne under a lot of pressure, and she warns the owners that it's not all done but she's provided them with all of the materials that they need. The value of the remodeled pool is almost $100,000, and Anthony says that it will drive their average rate. Finally, Anthony goes up to the helipad to take a final look at the separation point where he realized what could save the hotel.

Written by Gadfly on Jul 19, 2016

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