Anthony is off to Costa Rica to help out the Hotel Iguanazul on western coast. It has 22 rooms and a great location, but it is ready to close. A guest, Joyce, has called in Anthony for once and he meets her at the hotel. When Anthony pulls into the parking lot, he finds garbage piled up at the front gate. A rusted set of washing and drying machines is nearby and there's more garbage everywhere. There's a "no smoking" sign on a piece of cheap paper tacked to the door.
Inside at the bar, Anthony finds Joyce waiting for him. She explains that they have a house down the road and they get to use the hotel free because they bought the land from the owner, Dave McKague. Dave didn't used to frequent the hotel, but now he's sold his house and moved in. Now he runs the hotel like it's his house, and he smokes and drinks when he's not supposed to. Her friend's language is offensive, and she doesn't want to see the hotel go under.
Anthony looks around the hotel and discovers a well-designed view. However, when he looks closer he finds filthy lounge chairs and cheap patio tables that are falling apart. Anthony goes to the beach and finds a dirty hammock and a filthy playground with rusting chains. Next he checks out a room with a view of the Pacific Ocean. There are bloodstains and mold on the sheets and pillows.
Dave agrees to meet with Anthony, who asks him what's going on. The owner says that he's a real-estate guy who has never run a hotel, and he bought the undeveloped farmland. He blames the hotel's failure on the world economy and the failure to create a marketing problem too early. The hotel is losing $50,000 to $100,000 a year according to Dave, but Anthony doesn't buy it. He confirms that Dave will run out of money by the end of the season, and he's into the property for $1 million. Dave says that he needs marketing but Anthony tells him that he has to go back to basics.
Anthony asks Dave if thinks his rooms are clean and Dave says that they're running a full housekeeping program. Anthony hauls out a pillow with mold on it and Dave says that he hasn't seen it before. He admits that he's never slept in one of his own rooms, and Anthony shows him a guest comment about ants in the room. Dave told the guest to report it to the front desk, and Anthony tells him that he has to fix the problem before a guest gets there. The owner's gaze keeps drifting off, and Anthony tells him to focus on him and listen when he says that families coming for a vacation aren't entitled to mold. Dave says he's got it, but Anthony leads him to the parking lot and shows him the garbage. He then shows Dave the lamps that are falling apart and the light stands that are missing lights. It's onto the beach and Anthony shows him the swing set. He tells Dave that the things people will remember are the unique things. The hotelier explains that the problem isn't marketing, it's the fact that people would never check in once they saw the mold and the garbage. Dave says that it's easier to fix then marketing, and Anthony stares at him in shock.
The hotelier tries to explain that Dave has got the location, and asks why he's losing to the competition. Dave admits that he hasn't been paying as much attention as he should, and Anthony tells him that he's ruined it. While Dave takes in Anthony's advice, the hotelier brings in Blanche Garcia and shows her around. They find an empty umbrella stand and an umbrella lying nearby on the ground. Blanche admits that the view is good but they need some shade, and tells Anthony that she can do better. He shows her the view of the Pacific and tells her to revise the pool deck and get rid of the swings. As for the rooms, Anthony tells her to get the mold out.
Anthony gets the idea to set up the property as a destination marriage site and talks to Dave. Dave shows him where they used to hold marriages on a cliff overlooking the ocean. They average eight weddings a year from guests outside of Costa Rica, but Anthony tells him that he should have a lot more.
As Anthony goes to meet with the general manager, Roberto, he notices anthills everywhere. Enough anthills could potentially weaken the foundations of the buildings, and figures that there's no preventative maintenance program. Anthony finds more garbage and tracks down Roberto. Roberto has been the GM for 13 years and Anthony tells him that there are a lot of problems. He takes the GM out to show him everything that he's found, and Robert admits that they don't have exterminators. Roberto takes him to the storage area and finds a CB radio and lots of other garbage. Anthony figures that Dave doesn't know how to run the place, and wonders why Roberto isn't doing anything. He tells the GM to manage more than just what Dave wants and quickly leaves the filthy storage shed.
Once outside, Anthony asks what the guests think about Dave. Roberto admits that Dave is often rude to guests, drinks at the bar, and has screaming fits. Roberto has no choice but to tell guests that the owner is away. When Anthony wonders why Roberto lets it continue, the GM explains that he had an accident with fireworks seven years ago and was in the hospital for 15 days. His right arm was badly burned, and Dave paid for the treatments adding up to $40,000. Since then, Roberto has been loyal to him and tried to cover up for his bad decisions. Anthony figures that the best way for Roberto to repay his debt is to take control and keep the hotel afloat.
Blanche is renovating the cabanas with a local contractor, David Garcia. They're building new cabana beds inside a tent so the owner doesn't see it. Anthony likes the color for once, but warns that they'll have to work on the pool on the last day to keep it a secret from Dave. Blanche then explains that they're going to put in an archway with fabric to invite guests to look at the ocean. Anthony isn't big on the idea of blocking the view but Blanche assures him that it will work out.
Anthony brings in an exterminator, Sergio, to check out the ant problem. Sergio has discovered that there are poisonous ants on the ground with a potentially fatal bite. He then shows Anthony the real problem: termites all over the grounds. The biggest nest is near a group of dead trees that are close to the resort, and one tree alone has at least a million termites. Anthony tries to find Dave and finally tracks him down at his office. He introduces Dave to Sergio and the exterminator shows them the termites. Dave admits that he's had to change the beams over the years, but Anthony realizes that he's drunk. The hotelier talks to his producers and then pulls Dave off to the side. He asks the owner what is going on with him and asks if he's had any alcoholic beverages. Dave says that he's had two margaritas but Anthony points out that he stinks like alcohol. The owner takes offense, saying that the alcohol isn't affecting his judgment, and Anthony insists that he wants to help him.
While crews upgrade the hotel facilities, Anthony has no choice but to work with Roberto. Both men meet with the staff and Anthony asks them who the boss of the hotel is. Some of them say David and some of them say Roberto, and Anthony realizes that's why nothing is getting done. The staff members admit that it's confusing and Anthony tells them that they all answer to Roberto.
Anthony then meets with Dave and tells him that his employees are confused. He warns Dave that he can't fix him and Dave insists that he isn't the problem. Anthony tells him that he is and that he's given up. Dave admits that he hasn't had his heart in the hotel for a while, and Anthony suggests that he leave for six months. The owner finally agrees, and Anthony tells Roberto that he is solely responsible for the hotel for the next six months. The hotelier tells Roberto what he has to focus on and warns that he'll spend someone to do an evaluation in six months.
Blanche is working on a room when Anthony finds her. He likes the small changes that she's made and Blanche explains that she dealt with the mold by proving clean sheets and good air circulation. She hasn't done anything with the pool yet, and Blanche assures Anthony that they'll have it done by noon.
Next, Anthony takes Roberto to one of the rooms and shows him a mold-infested mattress. Since bleach is bad for the environment, Anthony shows Roberto how to use vinegar to clean the mold. Once they do, they take the mattresses out into the sunlight and let the UV rays bake the mold out.
Anthony brings in Jim Risner from Votigo, an online marketer. Votigo is going to run a video contest across mobile social networks and have contestants push the eco-friendly nature of the hotel. The winner will get a three-month all-expenses-paid trip to the hotel to promote eco-tourism. Dave and Roberto agree and Anthony shows off all of the potential backdrops.
Next, Anthony brings in Larissa from Costa Rica Wedding. Larissa's company looks for hotels for wedding destinations and she assures Roberto and Dave that they have a unique location. A wedding party can book the entire hotel and all 22 rooms, and she figures that they can start with 20 weddings a year. Once they do that, they have enough income to thrive. Anthony then shows Dave and Roberto the room that Blanche renovated for $500. Roberto is eager to start and Anthony tells him that it's in his hands.
The hotelier then shows the owner and GM the new pool deck. Blanche has set up cabana beds on the lawn and a new archway that leads out onto the ocean. There is also a new playground swing set. Anthony brings out Blanche so Dave and Roberto can thank her. She explains that all of the furniture is custom-made teak and they provided new umbrellas for shade. Anthony closes by calling in the employees to enjoy the improvements. They are all impressed as well and they promise to work together and keep it clean. Roberto promises to give them all the help that he can, and Anthony is happy to see how energized that he is. He talks to the GM privately and asks if he can handle it, and Roberto assures him that he can.
Share this article with your friends