On the latest HOTEL IMPOSSIBLE, Anthony Melchiorri found it easier to learn how to use a jet pack than try and convince the owners of the Creekside Inn in Islamorada, Florida that they were their own worst enemies.
The Travel Channel’s Hotel Fixer had a tough case on his hands but as usual took time to have fun, using it as a lesson for the intransigent motel owners. It wasn’t the first time that a break in the action and shared adventure smoothed things out.
It usually works for Anthony and this episode was no different, which was a blessing when you realize that Melchiorri had been making few inroads prior to that.
Co-owners German Fucaraccio, his wife Valeria, along with a third partner, had been successful in previous tries at business and were “this” close to success at the Creekside Inn.
The place was relatively well maintained, had been upgraded nicely and was in an ideal spot located between a waterway that saw guests arriving by boat, or via a busy stretch of road outside its front doors.
Two main problems were identified immediately. Lack of onsite management and an attitude of defensiveness when problems arose. And problems arose often.
The Creekside Inn had no manager on duty from 8 p.m. through 8 the next morning. Keys were left in lock boxes for guests who were given a code to use, which didn’t always work. From early morning through mid-afternoon, an inexperienced high school grad manned the battle stations.
The Fucaraccios had children and Valeria went from taking care of them and their home, arriving at the motel at 3:30 in the afternoon, but only stayed until early evening.
Melchiorri sent in a secret shopper to experience what that was like and the gentleman who arrived after 8 at night found no key in the box, attempted to call the phone number listed for help in an emergency and got no one to answer. He slept in his car overnight, then had to fight to get a refund.
It was a fisherman’s paradise in the waters off the Florida Keys and many tourists came to the area to do just that. Yet on the first day Anthony arrived the entire motel was empty and a prospective guest arrived after finding each and every place booked within — wait for it—- 70 miles of the Creekside Inn.
Their online reviews were a nightmare because Valeria did the worst thing you can do as an owner, argue with the guests. She would be defensive about problems and rather than take care of refunds on an immediate basis, made people wait for her to “review” the problem and then justify her motel’s policies.
AND SHE TYPED IN CAPS in response to the reviews, which was the equivalent of yelling. That’s a big no-no.
That had to change. The biggest decision made was for hubby German to take a break from his other business, to manage the place until a professional was found.
Valeria learned that the customer was always right and that like one would do with a child who needs babysitting, guests had to know someone was around to take care of them.
A lobby re-design along with a refreshed outside seating area added nice touches, and as Anthony left he was satisfied that a new attitude would prevail. All in all, a good few days in the Florida Keys for Anthony Melchiorri.
The guy’s got a great job, right?
Travel Channel airs new episodes of HOTEL IMPOSSIBLE Monday nights starting at 10:00 p.m. ET Images/video : Travel Channel