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The first episode aired of Hotel Impossible sets the stage for the show’s direction of helping troubled hotel operations. It is a classic case of 2nd generation hotel management allowing a hotel to fall into oblivion due to a lack of decisive management.

Episode Recap – Paralyzed Hotel Operations

Situated on the tip of Long Island, this beautiful located 109 room hotel had seen better days. From the start, it was clear that the level of service combined with a lack of basic hotel maintenance and archaic design could no longer justify the high room rates being charged to guest.

Host Anthony Melchiorri correctly zeroed in on the owner/general manager as the major obstacle to change as well as survival. Changing the GM’s attitude from excuses to enthusiastic involvement was the main challenge. It was because of a non-caring attitude that the hotel was faced with an assortment of problems.

Gurney’s Inn Hotel and Maintenance Opportunities

“Hotel management that does not pay attention to details is a sign of bigger problems”

Source: Anthony Melchiorri

For the Gurney Inn this statement held much truth as the problems that started with top management were resulting in:

When hotel details are overlooked

  • Hotel management were effectively working in silos and not together
  • Terrible online reviews which the general manager was ignoring
  • No training or accountability for service issues ranging from the role of the Bellman to restaurant service
  • The staff was basically doing what they wanted to and did not dress professionally
  • No housekeeping checklist of tasks that need to be performed
  • The hotel lobby was dysfunctional, obsolete and made a terrible impression
  • The lobby and hotel had several maintenance issues including
    • Path/hotel leading up to front entrance looked beat up and unkempt
    • Captains wheel (in front of entrance) was in bad condition, leaving a bad first impression
    • Ceiling stains
    • Electrical outlets that just looked like safety hazards
    • The lobby smelled bad
    • Water was dripping from the ceiling
    • Furniture was dusty
    • Carpet was stained
    • Hotel room HVAC preventive maintenance and inspections not being done
    • Ceiling fans not clean

On the bright side, one of the owners/managers was running a great Spa operation. Upon visiting the Spa, Anthony found an immaculate operation with outstanding customer service. The way that the Spa manager handled a customer complaint was exceptional. The opportunity was to make the entire hotel operations as good.

The Gurney Inn Fix

Family run operations can be difficult to fix especially if management living in silos are afraid to confront one another in a positive fashion. The fix for the Gurney Inn was to show the owners how things could and should be done.

The fixes included a total renovation of the lobby, hands on training for the Bellman as well as other staff and teaching and empowering the restaurant manager to professionalize his staff. The result was a more enthusiastic staff that started to take pride in their work.

However, the most important change was convincing the general manager that he needed help in operations and the subsequent increase in the role of the Spa manager for hotel operations. Changing attitudes and energy levels is critical to turning around a hotel and it starts at the top.

This type of change in management attitudes was also seen in a later episode about Southern Oaks Inn. I tip my hat to the host for recognizing some basic premises of change management which are attitude and energy, obtaining buy-in and effective leadership.

Tell us about the best hotels you have stayed at. Was maintenance noticeable? Come back next week for another recap of Hotel Impossible.

The first episode aired of Hotel Impossible sets the stage for the show’s direction of helping troubled hotel operations. It is a classic case of 2nd generation hotel management allowing a hotel to fall into oblivion due to a lack of decisive management.

Episode Recap – Paralyzed Hotel Operations

Situated on the tip of Long Island, this beautiful located 109 room hotel had seen better days. From the start, it was clear that the level of service combined with a lack of basic hotel maintenance and archaic design could no longer justify the high room rates being charged to guest.

Host Anthony Melchiorri correctly zeroed in on the owner/general manager as the major obstacle to change as well as survival. Changing the GM’s attitude from excuses to enthusiastic involvement was the main challenge. It was because of a non-caring attitude that the hotel was faced with an assortment of problems.

Gurney’s Inn Hotel and Maintenance Opportunities

“Hotel management that does not pay attention to details is a sign of bigger problems”

Source: Anthony Melchiorri

For the Gurney Inn this statement held much truth as the problems that started with top management were resulting in:

When hotel details are overlooked

  • Hotel management were effectively working in silos and not together
  • Terrible online reviews which the general manager was ignoring
  • No training or accountability for service issues ranging from the role of the Bellman to restaurant service
  • The staff was basically doing what they wanted to and did not dress professionally
  • No housekeeping checklist of tasks that need to be performed
  • The hotel lobby was dysfunctional, obsolete and made a terrible impression
  • The lobby and hotel had several maintenance issues including
    • Path/hotel leading up to front entrance looked beat up and unkempt
    • Captains wheel (in front of entrance) was in bad condition, leaving a bad first impression
    • Ceiling stains
    • Electrical outlets that just looked like safety hazards
    • The lobby smelled bad
    • Water was dripping from the ceiling
    • Furniture was dusty
    • Carpet was stained
    • Hotel room HVAC preventive maintenance and inspections not being done
    • Ceiling fans not clean

On the bright side, one of the owners/managers was running a great Spa operation. Upon visiting the Spa, Anthony found an immaculate operation with outstanding customer service. The way that the Spa manager handled a customer complaint was exceptional. The opportunity was to make the entire hotel operations as good.

The Gurney Inn Fix

Family run operations can be difficult to fix especially if management living in silos are afraid to confront one another in a positive fashion. The fix for the Gurney Inn was to show the owners how things could and should be done.

The fixes included a total renovation of the lobby, hands on training for the Bellman as well as other staff and teaching and empowering the restaurant manager to professionalize his staff. The result was a more enthusiastic staff that started to take pride in their work.

However, the most important change was convincing the general manager that he needed help in operations and the subsequent increase in the role of the Spa manager for hotel operations. Changing attitudes and energy levels is critical to turning around a hotel and it starts at the top.

This type of change in management attitudes was also seen in a later episode about Southern Oaks Inn. I tip my hat to the host for recognizing some basic premises of change management which are attitude and energy, obtaining buy-in and effective leadership.

Tell us about the best hotels you have stayed at. Was maintenance noticeable? Come back next week for another recap of Hotel Impossible.