While chatting before the Lifestyle/Boutique Hotel Development Conference in October, I asked Anthony Melchiorri how the filming of the second season of “Hotel Impossible” was going. “Whoever thought you could turn around a hotel in four days was a moron,” he answered. “Yes, I’m a moron.”
I’m not sure about that. And judging by the ratings last year and the fact a second season of the show is set to debut Monday at 10 p.m. EST/PST, viewers and executives of the Travel Channel must disagree.
Yes, the concept he came up with — turning around an independent hotel on the verge of complete failure in just days — is quite the challenge, but it makes for great TV, especially for those of us working in and around the hotel industry.
Melchiorri’s magic is his brutal honesty, and passion for the industry and people he’s working with. At our event at the Fontainebleau in Miami, Melchiorri spent more than an hour chatting with me on stage and taking questions from the audience, on everything from how much he makes to his keys to hotel success to some sneak peeks into season two.
Even the less than tactful questions got an honest response (not very much). Some of his best advice for hoteliers: Look people in the eye and shake their hands, clean a room (it’s the toughest and most important job at a hotel), interview every employee you hire and don’t forget whom you work for — the guest.
And the second season beginning Monday sounds even better than the first. It includes stops at the Bromley Sun Lodge, Peru, VT; Delaware Water Gap Country Club & Inn, Delaware Water Gap, PA; Glacier Bay Lodge, Yakutat, AK; The Hotel Leger, Mokelumne Hill, CA.; Maui Sunseeker Resort, Maui, HI; Palm Springs Travelodge, Palm Springs, CA.; Periwinkle Inn, Cape May, NJ; Telemark Resort & Convention Center, Cable, WI; and the Triangle T Historic Ranch, Dragoon, AZ.
He mentioned a few of the highlights (or were they lowlights?), including some run-ins with bears, guns, motorcycles and more. Viewers will also get a chance to see how some of the hotels he visited in the first season are doing today. There will be an hour-long special — “After Anthony” on Monday, Feb. 4 — to see if those owners have kept up with the changes Melchiorri made during his four days of work at their properties.