Last night, hotel guru Anthony Melchiorri took his Brooklyn roots down to the heart of the South — specifically to Fiddler’s Inn, located in Nashville, TN. And despite it being so close famed country music landmark, the Grand Ole Opry, Fiddler’s Inn was struggling for business — but thanks to the help of the Hotel Impossible crew, it’s now blossoming more than it ever has before. Find out what we loved the most about last night’s episode after the jump — besides a new-found love for country tunes, of course.
1. The owner of Fiddler’s Inn is named Johnny Walker. Seriously.
I mean, how can you not love that? And whether Johnny Walker is actually affiliated with the liquor brand is irrelevant (he is in fact not), but it made the story about the South for this Yankee a hell of a lot funnier.
2. Anthony’s summation of what a hotel lobby should be.
Hoteliers, repeat after Anthony: “When you walk in, you should be greeted warmly by the staff, not bombarded by tchtockies and for sale signs.” And the famous hotelier couldn’t be more right — one of the best experiences to be had at a hotel is to walk into said lobby and experience friendly staff, beautiful design, and, of course, cool places to sit. Not to walk into a gift shop. Especially since we learned last night that hotel gift shops account for approximately one percent of a property’s revenue — practically peanuts when you’re already suffering from 2008′s recession.
3. The can-do attitude of on-site engineer Greg.
Maintenance departments, it seems, not only need the most help in the course of Hotel Impossible‘s run, but also suffer from negative attitudes at times. Perhaps because they’re often cast aside in favor of other financial projects within the property? Nonetheless, Greg, a part-time engineer who comes on to help with big projects, was eager to please. He organized the extensive maintenance closet to the point that would please anyone’s OCDish needs. And he was the one who fessed up to a lack of organization and structure within the department — not the purported boss himself. Needless to say, we love go-getters. Especially when it comes to the hospitality industry.
4. Adorable hotel GM Angela and her plucky nature.
What GM would stand to be screamed at for going over-budget on necessities like deep-cleaning those rooms filled with body-fluid stains? Only sweet little Angela, who is incredibly — and sentimentally — attached to the hotel, and rightfully so, considering the property is steeped in Nashville’s cultural history.
5. Anthony’s marketing plan.
We really felt that Anthony made this visit a true labor of love. Throughout the episode, we saw many displays of comraderie, tons of family and friends pitching in (did you happen to catch how everyone helping Blanche was related), and most importantly, Anthony’s personal involvement. This guy, man, is a true master of his trade. To help bolster the fading Fidder Inn’s presence, he organized not only a radio spot to promote the property, but also surprised proprietor Johnny Walker with a celeb-hosted cook-off to come that weekend. What more would a good Southerner want besides delicious, traditional eats and a killer country crooner? Not much.