Glenwood Motor Inn meets ‘Hotel Impossible’ reality show
Ryan Summerlin June 10, 2014
Any business can use a reboot every few years.
But would you subject yours to reality TV, whose stock in trade is drama, confrontation and emotion?
Josie Fit, owner of the Glenwood Motor Inn, did just that. Her motel on West Sixth Street in Glenwood Springs, with a crisp view of Red Mountain, will be featured at 8 p.m. Monday on the Travel Channel’s “Hotel Impossible.”
The show features Anthony Melchiorri, a hotel “fixer,” whom the Travel Channel describes on its website as “relentless when it comes to getting struggling hotels all over the world back on their feet and on the path to success. His no-nonsense approach may put some owners off. … It won’t always be pretty, and it will never be easy.”
“I was blown away by Glenwood. Not only is there one of the most amazing caverns that gets tons of caving fans, but the amusement park is a place that I want to return to with my whole family.”
“Hotel Impossible” host
“I was scared,” Fit said Thursday. “I’ve never been on anything like that.”
The evaluation of her family’s motel, the filming and renovation work by local contractor D.M. Neuman Construction in early April proved to be great fun, she said.
“The TV people were such a nice group,” Fit said.
It doesn’t seem that way from the show’s promotional description: “Anthony Melchiorri is in Glenwood Springs, CO, which was voted ‘The Most Fun Town In America’ by a USA Today/Rand McNally poll in 2011. Yet he’s having anything but a good time as he tries to help a 45-room motor inn overcome outdated systems, tacky decor and an owner who works hard but would rather do laundry and housekeeping than be the real business manager of the hotel.”
It’s been a tough year for Fit.
She and her husband, John, bought the inn 25 years ago. John died almost a year ago, on June 15, shortly after the couple’s 34th wedding anniversary. They lived in Chicago and were originally from Poland — in fact, a Polish flag flies under the U.S. and Colorado flags in the parking lot.
“We came to Colorado once,” she said, visiting near Colorado Springs, and decided to move here. “We love mountains.”
The couple had three children, and the motel remains a family operation. Magdalena Fit, Josie’s daughter-in-law, saw “Hotel Impossible” and started asking Josie if she would like to participate.
“I don’t have time to watch those shows,” Josie said.
Magdalena applied, and after a few Skype conversations, the Glenwood Motor Inn was selected.
Travel Channel producers told the Post Independent by email that the show had hundreds of properties from which to choose.
“We pick hotels based upon our ability to help and the different types of problems of each property,” the email said. “We look for unique issues that Anthony can help with, things that we haven’t done on the show before. We look for good, deserving characters who want our help.”
Josie Fit said Melchiorri and his crew recommended changes in bedding, the satellite TV channel lineup and WiFi. “The tourists really want good WiFi now,” Fit said.
Melchiorri, who met with Glenwood Caverns owner Steve Beckley with Fit and visited the caves and amusement park, also advocated upgrading the motel’s computer system and added a gathering space for skiers and hunters that will be unveiled on the show Monday. Aside from the construction crew, only the Fits and “Hotel Impossible” crew have seen that area.
Jason Neuman, co-owner of D.M. Neuman Construction, said in a statement, “Getting selected by the Travel Channel to be a part of ‘Hotel Impossible’ here in our hometown was such a great experience. We were interviewed by the show’s designer about a month ahead of the show taping and were selected to be a part of the renovation side of the show. It was definitely a whirlwind experience — we completed about two weeks’ worth of work in four days’ time, working around the clock to get everything ready for the big reveal.
“We’ve never worked on a project that required this level of secrecy,” he added. “It makes us even more excited to show everyone what we were able to accomplish in such a short amount of time.”
Melchiorri said he loved Glenwood Springs.
“What excites me about doing ‘Hotel Impossible’ is that I am given the amazing opportunity to visit beautiful places around the world,” Melchiorri said in an email to the PI. “I was blown away by Glenwood. Not only is there one of the most amazing caverns that gets tons of caving fans, but the amusement park is a place that I want to return to with my whole family.”
Where will they stay?