Travel Channel's Hotel Impossible visited the Telemark Lodge. Anthony Melchiorri risked a black eye by telling the financial backer to go home.
The Telemark Lodge in Cable, Wisconsin had to be saved but it was not the typical situation for world-class hotel fixer Anthony Melchiorri.
While Anthony decried the tiny bars of soap in the bathrooms and some smelly carpet in a hallway --- yes he bent down to sniff it --- overall the place was in OK shape.
The Hotel Impossible series has seen its share of messy situations.
In Puerto Rico at the Caribe Playa Beach Resort Melchiorri had to force a husband to fire his wife.
In Alaska, the building structure of the Glacier Bear Lodge was ready to crumble from water damage and rot, while guests had to carry guns to deal with hungry bears.
The Telemark resort had architectural greatness in its bones, a unique history and a world-class fitness center that trained Olympic hopefuls, yet it lacked the most basic of systems to run a commercial establishment.
Where was the hotel's Property Management System (PMS), Melchiorri wanted to know? "It's like a car without an engine," he declared
There wasn't one unless you believe that paper and pencil are replacements for computer software.
It made the whirling dervish go into full-on "I'm going to go to back to New York" mode if that was not to be taken care of.
That would have been a shame since we would have missed hilarious scenes of him doing a "wheelie" on an ATV.
The second biggest issue was the power being thrown around by Steve, the man who came in with a loan to keep Dick, the Telemark owner afloat.
With his cocky manner and sloppy meets casual style, he resembled Mark Cuban, billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks --- without the business acumen.
It filtered down to the extent that the general manager hired Rick, a sales/marketing guy he didn't trust and put him to work tending to the ATV and mountain biking trails.
You get the picture?
The biggest fix needed, aside from the PMS, which was created and installed gratis by one of Melchiorri's commercial partners, was getting Steve out of the way.
Employees were ready to revolt and in a rare show of guts from people who could lose their jobs if they looked the wrong way at the bully, they told the truth at a meeting called by Anthony.
But that took Melchiorri sizing up the situation. He called upon his decades of experience in managing people, not just properties.
Steve and Anthony had their man-to-man chat about him taking a hiatus away from the property, and Steve actually threw bouquets at himself for not taking the cash out of the place and leaving it to die.
When Melchiorri used the word "embezzlement" it shut him up and it achieved the purpose of getting Steve out of the picture, at least for the time being.
Then it was off to empower Rick to literally tell the GM Robin to go f--- himself when given instructions to tend to the trails. Yup, you read that right.
Blanche's project was to create a room off the lobby that reflected the richness of the architecture, while giving guests a sense of history about the Telemark.
Unlike previous episodes, she had enough time, great local help and didn't butt heads with Melchiorri over her time frame or her color choices (remember the eggplant-purple in South Beach?).
A thirty-day consult with a sales/marketing expert gave Rick what he needed and the PMS installation completed the task at hand.
Part of Anthony's charm is turning the bravado into childlike excitement and letting go to enjoy what the properties have to offer.
As Melchiorri said, one of the perks of his job is playing with the toys and having fun. He had loads of it while saving the Telemark Lodge. Check out the video posted below.
Travel Channel airs new episodes of Hotel Impossible on Monday nights beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET. Image: Travel Channel/Hotel Impossible.
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