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Hotel Impossible


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#121

olivia1

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Posted Feb 13, 2013 @ 10:30 AM

Count me as one who didn't like the lobby either. It looked like a hodgepodge of colors and junk sitting around. I like the makeovers that Blanche does a lot better.

I don't understand those bubble things. Are they cleaned out between people and if so who does it? I can't see me getting inside there after who knows who has been in there doing who knows what with only a bathing suit or less on.
Seems very unhygenic but like I said maybe they get cleaned between people.
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#122

lu1wml

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Posted Feb 14, 2013 @ 7:38 PM

Rates begin at $59! How are rates like that going to generate enough income to pay the $9 million mortgage?

That's certainly budget motel rates, which they'd said they wanted to get away from, but to me, the architecture/style of the place is budget motel.

I've seen those balls at shopping centers. They'd set them up by the food court for kids.


I thought The Curve was a poor name because there's a chain of gyms or something like that called Curves.
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#123

SanDiegoInExile

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Posted Feb 15, 2013 @ 2:15 AM

wasn't impressed with the lobby makeover at The Curve last night. So many wonderful things could have been done to have achieved a wonderful 60's look.


I have actually stayed at The Curve ! In fact, I stayed at that Travelodge 3-4X a year for the past decade. I don't even know where to begin.

One thing that Anthony somewhat touched on was the rage in Palm Springs with hipster motels. It started almost a decade ago when a ramshackle, drug-infested, $29-a-night Howard Johnson shut its doors and was refurbished/relaunched as The Ace Hotel. The Ace smartly marketed itself to the hipster 20-something LA crowd and was soon selling rooms for $199 a weekend night. Then the economy collapsed. The Ace held its own and survived, mostly by launching weekend pool parties with great drink deals, local entertainers from drag queen cabarets to wanna-be indie rockers, and drunk tourists wanting action. The place was always packed every weekend (and mostly empty during the week), so the neighboring motels were bought up. A 1970s-style Ramada-turned-Holiday-Inn two blocks away was gutted, painted in garish Miami-like colors, and rebranded by the Joie de Vivre (?) folks as The Saguaro. $69 rates turned into $299 rates. The place is heavily marketed to the LA hipster crowd, though skews older than The Ace, clientele wise. Two blocks in the other direction was the lowly Travelodge.

The Travelodge was never great, but it was a budget motel that had rather attractive grounds, large rooms, and mostly catered to international tourists (lots of Canadians and Germans). For me, it was always an acceptable cheap place to stay. The rooms were a step above Motel 6 quality and the location was convenient. Back in the day, Travelodge had a corporate program where you could get "free" nights just by finding a lower rate on competitor websites. Travelodge might advertise a $79 rate, but continually made its rooms available on lesser-known sites for as low as $35 a night. So it was easy to stay for free. That program ended a few years ago, but corporate Travelodge kept a policy where you could get 10% off the lower competitive website rate. I often stayed for a week @$40 a night.

If you go to the Travel Channel website, there is a bonus video where Anthony meets some guests who are lounging by the pool. They only paid $80+tax for THREE NIGHTS. TOTAL. $27 a night, plus tax. They likely had booked a deal through Expedia or Orbitz or Travelocity, where the hotel routinely offered those deals. Yet even with these deals, the hotel has rarely had a crowd, aside from weekends (which is true of PS in general, a situation that the collapsed economy since 2008 only exacerbated).

Back to the property itself. The rooms are pretty much as Anthony described. The bedding has always been awful, although I never had too many issues with cleanliness. The towels are sandpaper-like, and when I was staying for more than a few days, I often brought my own, or used my own pool towels, or even grabbed some $4 towels at Target/WalMart/Kohls. The pillows were tiny and old. They did buy small flat screen TVs a couple years ago, but they have them bolted to the wall and unable to turn. So you can't watch TV from the desk or the table. I've never stayed in a room that had a tub, but the showers are closetlike and also rarely pristine.

The hotel converted in November 2012 from a Travelodge and my last stay was in late November under a discount booking I had made while it was Travelodge affilliated. That's when I saw the horrific lobby. At that time, they had a posting that they awaiting their liquor license to start their "bar and lounge". Egad. Horrible space and horrible idea. The new sign was also in place and its equally bad. It cannot be seen in the bright PS sunshine and at night, the backlighting is so diffuse that it just sorta glows. The lettering us so fine that you cannot see it unless you are 10 feet away.

For what its worth, I think Anthony pegged the owners right at the start. These two saw what was happening two blocks away at The Ace and thought they too could make a killing. Those two would fit in perfectly to that ridiculous hipster wanna-be crowd. I do believe that they have spent nearly $10M to upgrade the place, though I think a lot of that money was wasted on things that really didnt improve the guest experience.

I was sad when I got the email last year announcing that the Travelodge was no more. I always felt like it was my little secret place. I enjoyed the cheap rates and earned enough bonus hotel reward points (even at those cheap rates) to stay at other motels for free. I openly admit to being a "chain" type. These boutique-y "experiences" are not what I want on a vacation or while traveling. While I love watching Hotel Impossible, I can honestly say there isn't a single place that Anthony has "fixed" where I would want to spend my travel dollars. I prefer the reliability, discounts, perks of the chains.

The Curve still sells nights at easyclicktravel dot com for as low as $44. The hotel also can be had on Priceline for $35 name-your-own-price bidding or $40-ish on Hotwire/opaque bidding sites.

Did I hear Anthony correctly when he said the water bubbles could be "clothing optional"?


This is Palm Springs. There are a dozen gay, clothing optional motels within one mile of the Travelodge. One of the nation's largest straight clothing optional condo timeshare developments is about 2 miles away. They even built a pedestrian walkway across busy Indian Canyon Drive to allow their residents to walk from one side to the other without needing to get dressed.

"Clothing Optional" is about as Palm Springs as the midcentury architecture and Mayor Sonny Bono.

Either it didn't air where I am or it wasn't showing up as a new episode.


My COMCAST on-demand finally loaded the After Anthony episode. Not sure why there was such a delay.

Edited by SanDiegoInExile, Feb 15, 2013 @ 3:01 AM.

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#124

NYGirl

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Posted Feb 19, 2013 @ 10:34 AM

I think I'm already done with this show. Last year Anthony fixed what was wrong with the hotels. This year he's more interested in surfing, riding ATV's etc.

The show now has drama and back story just like Gordon Ramsey's show and Anthony needs to also be a psychologist.

I'm not feeling the renovations either. I liked when he just used Blanche ..now there's different decorators. And then the same old....I don't like this color..I don't like this..etc from Anthony and the decorator defending what she's doing and in the end he loves it. Same old..same old.

Edited by NYGirl, Feb 19, 2013 @ 10:34 AM.

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#125

olivia1

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Posted Feb 19, 2013 @ 12:50 PM

I can watch this show in less than 5 min. Just zoom to the end and they will recap all the drama, all the old stuff, then all the new stuff! If they don't bring back Blanche I'm going to tell my DVR to forget this one. I like Anthony, but I don't like him being a family counselor any more than I want to see GR doing that.
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#126

Kromm

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Posted Feb 20, 2013 @ 9:17 AM

If they don't bring back Blanche I'm going to tell my DVR to forget this one. I like Anthony, but I don't like him being a family counselor any more than I want to see GR doing that.

Blanche's Twitter and Facebook pages clearly disclose she's been filming Hotel Impossible episodes again. In fact, she tweeted yesterday that she's back in the next episode airing.

Edited by Kromm, Feb 20, 2013 @ 9:18 AM.

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#127

olivia1

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Posted Feb 24, 2013 @ 5:12 PM

Thanks, Kromm. I'll keep watching to see what she does. I usually like her makeovers.
I still wish that Anthony would focus on the hotel itself and tell the dysfunctional owners they need to sign up for some therapy. His "counseling sessions" are the worst part of the show for me.
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#128

nottopbravo

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Posted Mar 12, 2013 @ 11:37 AM

The Alpenhof Lodge episode was probably one of the finest episodes of Hotel Impossible.

No family drama, no filthy rooms, just a hotel run by methods of some forty years ago.

Computerizing the check in, the maintenence reports, partnering with a nearby ski lift and overhauling the breakfast area was really all that needed to be done.

Nice work, Anthony.
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#129

lu1wml

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Posted Mar 12, 2013 @ 12:53 PM

This episode should be must viewing for all the reality show execs who think a show has to have tons of faux drama to woo the viewers.
I especially loved that the father saw what Blanche was doing, in bringing in authentic Austrian or Alpine design.
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#130

Dom Curry

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Posted Mar 12, 2013 @ 3:47 PM

That was an Ok episode. I enjoyed seeing how hotels were run in the 70s, especially details like counting cars. I also learned about modern competitive analysis and what some of the numbers are. But the episode lacked something.



1. We didn't see much of the hotel. Perhaps because it's not an expansive resort? I don't have an idea of the layout of the property. In other episodes I can picture in my mind where the pool, office, lobby... are located. Except for the lobby, I don't know where anything is. Those tractors just appeared from nowhere.

2. The lobby was rushed. I didn't get to appreciate Blanche's work. When they panned to the breakfast spread, I initially thought they just upgraded the little table in the corner.

3. Too much side padding. Anthony in the front loader snow thing was fun. But we didn't also need the skiing shot. Both shots weren't necessary. For a moment, when she entered, I thought we may get a hot tub scene with Blanche :-)

4. Editing was off. Anthony redubbed some lines spoken to people on the show in his narrator voice.

5. Too much crying. Grandpa's 180 degree turn of ownership was fake. Plus why was one son always grabbing water bottles? I wish him well in his recovery.

6. The guest room reveal was a bit phony as well. They replaced one perfectly good digital clock (the kind that I see in modern hotels) with another, changed a lamp Anthony didn't have a problem with and solved a problem we didn't know about with a solution we already saw in an earlier episode (hanging skis / fishing poles). And they didn't show what happened to the outdated phone system.

I like the family and wish them good luck. But the episode was so-so, IMHO.
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#131

nottopbravo

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Posted Mar 19, 2013 @ 4:31 PM

Boy, Anthony got in some good zingers last night.

re: the decorator

"I don't trust anybody that says trust me"

"I'm terrified"

and my favorite re: the owner

"Did you brush your teeth yesterday?"
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#132

GirlInAVolvo

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Posted Mar 28, 2013 @ 5:58 PM

The Alpenhof Lodge episode was probably one of the finest episodes of Hotel Impossible.

No family drama, no filthy rooms, just a hotel run by methods of some forty years ago.


I agree! Nobody on this show was crazy, horrible, or truly incompetent. They just needed someone from outside to point out some things, mostly to the father; the GM seemed to know they needed to be online. Nothing really struck me as too phony. The room makeover was unimpressive enough to be believable, and I can buy that the older man did change after seeing a few things pointed out. The crying didn't bother me because it was obviously genuine (red, watery eyes all around, even Anthony!), and most of it was happy.

I also appreciated Blanche's research on Alpine decor, and thought it turned out nicely. The parts with Anthony and Blanche playing in the snow were boring, but they seem to think the show always needs a segment where he tries out the local activities, so whatever. All in all, definitely in my top 3 episodes ever.
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#133

seacliffsal

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Posted Apr 7, 2013 @ 11:09 AM

I found the Alphenhof episode to be lovely. The family seemed genuine and like they will really follow the advice that was given to them. So many times I feel like the owners just want an update without any intention of changing their obviously failing ways. This family seemed to embrace the changes. There was a lot of pollen or dust in the air when I watched this, and I found my eyes were tearing up when the grandfather talked about spending time with the grandchildren. I wish more episode were this heartwarming and positive.
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#134

JackiFL

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Posted Jun 8, 2013 @ 11:28 PM

I'm not sure what's going on with this season but none of the new episodes are showing on my DirecTv Travel Channel. I just broke down and purchased the videos from Amazon for my Kindle Fire.

I wish they'd showed the beach "after" in the Caribe Playa episode. I think a little effort would have gone a lonnnnng way there!
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#135

LizDC

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Posted Aug 12, 2013 @ 11:03 AM

New episodes start tonight!

 

 

Crack Vials and Denials

 
Anthony visits the Abacrombie Inn, once an award-winning bed and breakfast in historic Baltimore. Unfortunately, the inn has been run down by its new owners. Can Anthony save a hotel that’s rife with spoiled food, crack vials and more dust than he's ever seen?
 
Original Airdate | Monday, August 12, 2013

 

http://www.travelcha...otel-impossible

 


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#136

nottopbravo

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Posted Aug 12, 2013 @ 10:14 PM

Did Anthony just turn up the crazy, or was he really upset about the cleanliness of this place? 

 

Seems like he almost told the designer, "Forget it, you wasting your time. I'm out".

 

I would never give these owners a second chance. 


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#137

chickieloveknit

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Posted Aug 13, 2013 @ 7:22 AM

I think he was just astounded at the fact that the owners and the son couldn't get it through their thick skulls that the place was filthy and that was the main problem.  Not competitors, not new furniture....  The scene with the son not grasping the concept and repeating his rehearsed responses was irritating to watch. 

 

I was gagging over the unchanged sheet!  Can you imagine?!  Aghhh!  Frankly, I don't hold any hope for the owners.  If you simply cannot understand the basic principles of cleanliness and food management, I'm not sure any lessons will be learned from this process.  Also, I don't think the show did any favors for the hotel.  I wouldn't be a future visitor for the sheet incident alone; if the same people are still the owners, how are you going to know that kind of crap isn't still going on?

 

Not being a frequent visitor to B & B's, is it standard process to let yourself into the hotel?  Even beyond the basket full of envelopes/keys (wow, can't believe that one in this day and age), it just seemed so creepy and dangerous!


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#138

LizDC

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Posted Aug 13, 2013 @ 11:38 AM

I noticed that the updates at the end of the show didn't say anything about if they have been able to increase occupancy, just they are trying to hire a maid and that they are no longer serving expired eggs to guests. Not a good sign.
 
Here's an article from the Baltimore Sun.  They still sound a little delusional....
 
Travel Channel's 'Hotel Impossible' makes over Abacrombie Inn in Baltimore
 

Edited by LizDC, Aug 13, 2013 @ 2:52 PM.

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#139

misterbfd

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Posted Aug 13, 2013 @ 2:12 PM

In that interview it mentioned that they run a restaurant next door. I don't think that was mentioned at all in the episode. Sounds like they're spreading themselves way too thin.


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#140

yzerbear19

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Posted Aug 13, 2013 @ 6:47 PM

Those owners of the Abacrombie have no business being in the hotel industry. Those rooms were nasty. I can't believe the spoiled food either. That part made me throw up in my mouth a little. I would never, ever in a million years stay there. They should have just walked away from it. There is no way to turn that place around.


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#141

shibori

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Posted Aug 13, 2013 @ 6:55 PM

Gah! These people were awful! I could understand Anthony's desire to slap the shit out of them. They were like zombies. And I have no sympathy for people that take on a business and expect it to just manage itself. And they weren't clueless- they actively caught the wife in how many lies! And hard boiled eggs don't go bad to the point of gagging you with the stench in a day or two.
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#142

speac

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Posted Aug 13, 2013 @ 8:21 PM

I got the feeling that they just wanted Anthony to put his usual assortment of shiny new things he usually brings (phone systems, reservation systems, new linens...) so they could turn around and sell the property with the added value.  I thought it kind of strange that the only thing he gave them was one room, the lobby and new linens.   


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#143

GenieinTX

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Posted Aug 14, 2013 @ 12:06 PM

 

In that interview it mentioned that they run a restaurant next door.

 

Seeing how they handle the B&B and the horrible attempt at spoiled breakfast, I think I'd be scared to eat at the restaurant too.    And the wife says she has a long commute in daily.  Why??  She has an empty hotel right next door.  Why not live there in one of the rooms?    I get now that they don't want to sell and lose money, but they should sell as soon as they can.  They have no business running a hotel.


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#144

lu1wml

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Posted Aug 14, 2013 @ 12:37 PM

So many things didn't make sense.
How can you buy a business and believe that no one needs to be there?  I can't believe the owners who won the "best b&b" told them that. 
Have they never watched Hotel Impossible?  You'd think that they'd clean the room given to Anthony, even if the others are still bad.
 

 I thought it kind of strange that the only thing he gave them was one room, the lobby and new linens.  

 

 

I think he didn't want to call in any favors for people who didn't bother to help themselves.
 


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#145

CoyoteBlue

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Posted Aug 14, 2013 @ 2:14 PM

How can you buy a business and believe that no one needs to be there?  I can't believe the owners who won the "best b&b" told them that. 

I think the past owners just mentioned it as a quirk of B&Bs after hours (didn't Anthony say the same thing?), not as your primary method of invisibly dealing with customers 24/7.


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#146

aliyameadow

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Posted Aug 14, 2013 @ 4:47 PM

After reading the comments, I broke down and watched this on iTunes. O.M. freaking G. Filthy, filthy, filthy! Spoiled food, no care for the guests, no pride. Even it there isn't a lot of money coming in (and considering they were Best B&B at one time, whose fault is that??), you can do a once around each room and keep the dust at bay.  How exasperated was Anthony?!  He cracked me up.

 

At one point I thought of running a B&B when I retired. I read books. I looked at websites. It seems these people just paid for a business with the hopes they wouldn't have to know anything about it or ever be there. No, people, it's called the hospitality industry. You have to show up sometimes, even if you run a small B&B from your house. It was like these people had no idea about the business. But it seems more than that. I don't care how little you know about B&Bs, who doesn't know you have to keep the rooms clean? That you have to change both sheets? If she took off both sheets at the same time, she wouldn't have made that 'mistake' with the bottom sheet. And then to lie about it when they had proof from the tape. Jebus H.

 

I keep losing this show. What day is it on?


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#147

lu1wml

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Posted Aug 14, 2013 @ 5:51 PM

It's on Mondays at 10 on the Travel Channel.  I know because I "liked" Anthony on Facebook, and he always sends a reminder.

I always figured that most people who ran B&Bs lived in them. 


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#148

peachbeserk

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Posted Aug 15, 2013 @ 1:18 AM

We've stayed in over 50 B&Bs, and we've never once seen anything as awful as this place.  One of the reasons people go to B&Bs (at least for us) is to have a personal experience with the innkeeper who usually provides lots of helpful info about the area. And the other reasons are to have an especially comfortable and unusual room with a dynamite breakfast. Boy, does this place fall short on all fronts.

 

These deer-in-the-headlight owners think they bought a turn key business that will just run itself. Once Anthony caught them lying, I don't blame him for just doing one room.

 

If they operate their restaurant like they do the breakfast at the B&B, I bet they are poisoning people daily.


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#149

walnutqueen

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Posted Aug 15, 2013 @ 5:44 AM

These people don't even belong in the no-tell motel business.  Skid row rooms by the hour are probably not as filthy.


Edited by walnutqueen, Aug 15, 2013 @ 5:46 AM.

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#150

AyeshaTheGreat

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Posted Aug 15, 2013 @ 12:01 PM

I missed that they were starting a new season so imagine my surprise when I see them in my hometown.  I actually drive past that B&B often so I knew about the restaurant below.  I had no idea the place was so bad and thought it was funny that the son didn't know why BSO ended their arrangement.

 

Other things that stood out from the article and showed through the episode included the fact that they live in Columbia, a suburb outside of the city.  That explains why they were gone for so long when they "went home to change clothes".  Additionally, Columbia is a decent drive from Mt. Vernon so I can see why no one is usually there in the morning.  Couple that with the other businesses they run and I can see why they feel they need to hire employees to complete the tasks that have been neglected.  I believe they truly thought this business would run itself and have put as little effort as possible to maintain it.  I'd need to see them on camera again before I went into either the B&B or the restaurant.


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