Things you expect from a show about a guy who goes in full throttle to fix failing hotels: Scenes of dirty rooms, bad service and hopeless business practices followed by wondrous makeovers. What you don’t expect is to get choked up.
But that happened to Anthony Melchiorri every time he went to some far-flung location to shoot an episode of his Travel Channel series Hotel Impossible, currently in its second season. The straight-talking New Yorker gets caught up in the personal stories of the hotel owners he meets, many of whom open their hearts to him and are clearly desperate for his help.
“I never in a million years thought it would be this emotional,” Melchiorri said. “There’s not a show I haven’t cried on, there’s not a show where people haven’t cried. … They know I’m the real deal. So they’re like, ‘Oh my God, this guy’s really here to help me,’ and that becomes emotional. And sometimes they get emotional because I say something they don’t like and they want to take my head off. We go in so open-hearted, with such an appreciation and respect for what they’re allowing us to do.”
He got the chance to see how his tough love played out long-term in Hotel Impossible: After Anthony, a special airing tonight at 10 that catches up with some of the show’s past guests to see how they’re doing now. They’re all success stories, with Melchiorri’s advice paying huge dividends, often saving the owners from going out of business.
Melchiorri said he’s still in frequent touch with many of the owners, so while he is pretty much up to date on their progress he comes across many fans of the show who are just dying for news.
“I hear about it almost every single day from Tweeting and Facebooking, and Travel Channel hears it, the production company hears it, at airports I hear it, in restaurants I hear it,” he said. “‘What happened to Purple Orchid?’ ‘What happened to the guys in Florida?’ … Everybody wants to know what’s going on. So this special really came out of demand.”
The reaction from the hospitality community has been favorable as well, with Melchiorri saying that the producers of Hotel Impossible no longer have to drum up business. It’s the hotel owners now who are coming to them.
Photo: © 2012 The Travel Channel, L.L.C. Credit: Cyrus Marshall