The Dream Inn - Daytona, FL - Recap

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Anthony is called to Daytona Beach, FL, to help out the 25-room Dream Inn, owned by Cindy, John, and their son Jody Kinberger. Cindy and John went to Daytona Beach for their honeymoon and 20 years later bought a hotel there with their life savings in 1992. At 2008, the recession hit and they were devastated. Jody is their general manager and trying to keep the hotel afloat, but he’s gone through all of their reserves.

Upon pulling up, Anthony takes in the nearby beach and notices the miniature Statue of Liberty. He points out that the hotel sign looks bad and makes a poor impression. Anthony hates the yellow color and points out that the local community made an ordinance to prevent anyone else from using the same color. The plants are dead and the grounds are filled with dolphin statues. Anthony heads for the front desk and discovers... more dolphins. The office is small and Jody is running the front desk. He explains that Cindy decorated it but Anthony points out that the room is too small for all of the decorations. Jody admits that he can’t afford a front desk agent, and Anthony points out that he isn’t dressed in uniform. He tells Jody to bring his parents in so they can meet and find out what they need.

Next, Anthony goes to see the hotel’s biggest amenity: the pool near the beach. The furniture is lousy and there are bars around it. The heater is in plain sight and the stairway to the lower level is easily accessible to anyone who wanders by. Anthony then meets with the entire family. Cindy explains that she’s had cancer for two years and walked away, leaving Jody in charge, and has only been cancer-free for the last six months. Jody admits that there have been days when he didn’t know what to do and just sat in his office. Anthony concentrates on the hotel and asks what they want when he leaves in four days. Jody wants a boutique hotel but Anthony points out that the Dream Inn isn’t even close.

Cindy says that it’s a motel while Jody says that it’s a hotel, and Jody admits that Cindy makes all the final decisions. Anthony figures that Jody can’t run the hotel if his mother can overrule him anytime she wants. Cindy says that she trained her son well but Anthony doesn’t buy it. He asks Jody if he likes working the front desk and Jody admits that he doesn’t like talking to people. Cindy contradicts him and Anthony tells him to get away from the front desk if he doesn’t like working there.

Anthony checks out a 2-queen room for $79.95 and discovers that it has a kitchenette. The sink is filthy and Anthony finds a sign charging guests $25 if they leave dirty dishes there. Anthony confirms that the carpet is filthy and there’s dust in the corner. The bedspread is ugly and the pillowcases have been washed to the point of grayness. When he pulls on the headboard, it falls off the wall. Anthony figures that Jody is spread too thin to monitor the housekeeping and repairs. In the bathroom, Anthony finds fecal matter and urine under the edge of the toilet bowl and then goes out on the patio. There’s a great view but there’s an ashtray tub filled with hundreds of butts.

Figuring that the pool can draw in the most guests, he brings in designer Blanche Garcia. She says they need greenery and new furniture and assures Anthony that they can make it a luxury amenity. However, Blanche wants it to tie into the rest of the hotel and goes to check the lobby.

Anthony meets with Courtney, the hotel’s only housekeeper. He figures that she’s cutting corners since she’d be working 12 hours a day. Anthony looks at the blanket and Courtney explains that they change it once a month. He throws it out and Courtney explains that Cindy told her to keep the blankets on the bed. When Anthony points out that Cindy isn’t there, Courtney tells him that Cindy is still managing everything at the hotel.

Next, Anthony goes to talk to Steve, the head of maintenance and the only other employee. He checks people in and admits that they don’t have a uniform, but Steve is willing to accept a dress code so he can keep his job. He tells Anthony that the number one complaint is the yellow paint job on the hotel. Number two is Jody’s personality. Steve admits that Cindy controls everything and that there’s no negotiation.

Anthony takes Jody to the room he inspected and shows him what he found, including the loose headboard and the tub of cigarette butts. He tells the general manager that everything is his fault and doesn’t know what to do with him. Jody insists that he wants to run the hotel but Anthony tells him that Cindy ran it, and now Jody has to step up to her and take charge. The GM says that he has stepped back since his mother was sick because he doesn’t want to push the issue with her. Anthony figures that he might have pushed too hard, but he figures he has no other choice if he wants to save the business and get Jody to save the business. He tells Jody to think about acting like a GM.

Anthony calls in Steve, a local painter, and tells him that he needs the hotel repainted in the next few days. The painter warns it would take three guys a few weeks, and tells Anthony that he’ll bring in twenty guys to get it done in three days. However, he warns that they are likely to get rain and if they do, it will wash off the paint. Anthony calls in carpet cleaners and then checks in with Blanche. She wants to get rid of one dolphin but John says that Cindy likes the dolphins. He admits that it’s up to Cindy, and Jody will tell them no because Cindy wants them. Anthony calls Jody out as a test and Blanche explains that there are too many dolphins. Cindy comes out and Jody lets her make the call.

Realizing that something has to change, Anthony walks down to the beach with Cindy. She insists that she hasn’t made any decisions for the last year, but says that she has the last say when they discuss things. Anthony tells her that it’s failing because she’s lost sight of the place and asks if she has faith in Jody to make decisions. She reluctantly agrees and Anthony tells her to treat her son like a GM. Once a month, she can sit down and question Jody’s decisions, but otherwise she’s to stay away. Cindy agrees, telling Anthony that she trusts him and that she needs to walk away.

Anthony then checks her commitment by asking her about the color. She explains that she picked the color in 2006 and she likes it, but Anthony says that they’re going to repaint it. He wants Cindy to put the first stroke of blue paint on the wall and she reluctantly did it. Next Anthony has her paint over the bird and refuses to let her put a dolphin up.

While the paint crew goes to work, Anthony has John clean off the Statue of Liberty statue. The painting continues but then it starts raining. Everyone takes cover and Blanche tells Anthony that the bad weather has set them back and they confirm that the paint is dripping. She warns him that if it rains throughout the night then they’ll have to wait the next day for it to dry. Blanche assures him that it’ll get done but Anthony isn’t convinced and worries that he’s second-guessing himself.

The weather clears the next day and the painters go back to work. Anthony tells Jody that he’s put an ad in the Internet for a front desk agent. The first guy, Charlie, has worked five years in the business but is wearing a hat. Charlie assures them he shows up on time and likes people, but has trouble meeting girls. When Anthony asks for something specific to the hotel business, he says that he as trouble talking to guests on the phone. Jody agrees with Anthony that Charlie won’t work. The next candidate is Autumn, who has no front desk experience. She likes working in the tourist industry and is good with people, and Jody agrees to give her a 30-day trial period. Anthony asks what Jody thinks his boss is going to say, and Jody says that he’s the boss.

Jody meets with Courtney and Anthony checks in on them. They’ve put together a checklist for guests checking out, and Anthony assures Courtney that they’ll get her help. He then removes the sign about charging guests for unwashed dishes and Jody agrees. Anthony then meets with the entire staff and gives them their new uniforms and nametags. He then takes them to a room along with Cindy and surprises them with new bedding for every room in the hotel.

Blanche and her crew continue their work remaking the pool but the temperature soars. They bring in Blanche, who is suffering from heat exhaustion. Anthony tells her that nothing is more important than her health.

Next, Anthony brings Jody to the redesigned front lobby, which has all of the junk cleaned out. Meanwhile, the painting crew comes through and Anthony takes the family around to see their new pool area, complete with cabanas. Anthony calls Blanche out and introduces her to the Kinbergers, and tells Jody that he should take advantage of the hotel’s location. He then takes them out front and shows them the new blue paint job and the new hotel logo. Cindy and John go for a walk on the beach while Jody and the staff check in their guests.