Season 4, Episode 11

Getting Screwed

Anthony and his crew travel to Williston, North Dakota, where an oil boom has caused the population to skyrocket. Men from all over the country come to work on the oil fields, staying for months at a time. There are plenty of high-paying jobs, but not a lot of decent places to live in the town. Anthony has been called to the 60-room Missouri Flats Inn, which has high occupancy and room rates much lower than its competition. But the rooms and the exterior of the building is grossly neglected and half the roadside sign has fallen off entirely and is sitting at the edge of the parking lot. Williston has New York City-sized apartment rental rates and since demand for a room is so high, there is no incentive for the owner to improve the conditions, at least not in the immediate future. The Owner of the hotel, Harry, tells Anthony that they don't really need his help, and that he makes money hand over fist, but they could always "be better." The Manager who called Anthony to the hotel explains that they make money, but hopes he could show her some ways to improve some things. Anthony is confused as to why he came out to North Dakota in the first place, so he decides to meet with some guests, but doesn't get much help. An independent security expert describes how rough the hotel was and how rapidly the town is growing, and a local businessman explains the changing market in Williston. The Missouri Flats Inn predates the oil-boom, but new housing developments designed for oil-workers and their families will quickly put aging hotels out of business. The Missouri Flats Inn needs renovations. There is significant water damage in the hallways. The rooms have oil-stained carpets, and Anthony even finds a questionable fluid on the bed skirt. A night auditor informs Anthony that prostitutes and drug dealers freely come and go, and that there are major security issues. While the Missouri Flats is making plenty of money, the quality of life for the long-term guests is dismal. The honest oil-workers deserve more than to stay amongst vagrants and criminals, so Anthony brings in designer Tenecia Harris to redesign the guest rooms, while adding more security to the entire inn. Can Anthony convince the owner to reinvest the correct amount of money back into the property? Or will Harry accept an offer from him that he's never made before in the history of the series?
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