Hotel Impossible, Melchiorri integrates gay resort in Maui

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Anthony Melchiorri came face-to-face with naked hot tub enthusiasts and used a zipline as shock therapy on the latest installment of Travel Channel's Hotel Impossible.

Hotel Impossible traveled to the island of Maui where the Maui Sunseeker Resort offered a safe haven for the homosexual community. plus ocean views to die for.

That was an important point to owner Chuck and his GM Michael, both of whom are gay. The intrepid Melchiorri didn't give them mere lip service when it came to preserving that quality.

Instead, he demonstrated how to make it straight-friendly without compromising its mission. Watch video posted below for part of his approach.

Melchiorri told them that their marketing material makes a heterosexual traveler feel unwelcome.

"Gay, gay, gay," he said pointing to their brochure artwork. "I don't know if I"m welcome, not because I don't like gay people, because you're not giving me a chance to stay here."

Chuck recounted his experiences as a gay man looking for a safe place to emphasize why the Sunseeker was set up that way, but when Anthony said in that blunt way we have come to know and love, "You're going out of business --- period, end of story," it changed the tone.

There is a reason that Anthony Melchiorri charges into your front lobby. You've asked him to help you save your bacon so why not make changes if the alternative is to fold?

At the Maui Sunseeker, the roof deck, which was "clothing optional" sported a rickety hot tub that sat over a prime guest room.

When the contraption was turned on, the room below it rattled

The tubbers that engaged in an impromptu chat with Melchiorri as they enjoyed their naked soak told him that traveling as a gay couple didn't mean that they didn't care about price, amenities and location, location, location.

The roof deck became his mission. The 360 degree view of the Pacific Ocean didn't require a hot tub but it certainly should have a bar, clean and new furniture and something to make it a special area of the hotel that would keep guests on the property.

Melchiorri did the financial breakdown and convinced Chuck that fear of spending the money he had left was dooming his prospects of remaining open.

If the resort could attract even 10-15% more visitors per year, it could survive and flourish, particularly because it would be the only resort in the Hawaiian Islands that welcomes the LGBT community.

The GM was prevented from authorizing expenditures that he knew would make the Sunseeker a better place, but he feared telling the owner to butt out.

It's a conversation fans of Hotel Impossible are familiar with, when Melchiorri tries to light a fire under an employee.

This time he took Michael to a place where he'd never been due to a terrible fear of heights. A nearby zipline, suspended hundreds of feet in the air was used as the lesson.

Watching Anthony with his helmet and goggles descend on the zipline was priceless. With renewed courage Michael told Chuck to step aside.

Immediate changes were made, both simple ones as well as the roof deck transformation.

To ensure future success, Melchiorri and his partner Pegasus Solutions created new marketing material that would attract heterosexual travelers as well as those in the LGBT community.

It was a tough subject to tackle for a fun loving show. It was handled brilliantly, with Melchiorri's openness and belief in all tourist dollars being equal when deposited in a business' bank account.

Travel Channel airs new episodes of Hotel Impossible Monday nights at 10:00 p.m. ET Image: Travel Channel/Hotel Impossible


Submitted by stevemd2 (not verified) on
REally its a shame that we have both the puritan and anti gay religious type in AmeriKKKa abotu 10 mi north of Copenhagen DK, at Klapinger station (rail service) is a nice long beach. One end of it (no real demarkation line) is for nude bathing and the joke is its called the Naked beach for guys, girls and gays. I went there in Aug of this year while in CP,DK. Big deal naked guys, naked girls, some certainly gay eg rainbow colored blankets to lie on. etc.. Wx was about 80, got to see the trail of planes headed to CP AP etc.

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