It’s not that the place was bad, per se — it was getting three out of five stars on sites such as TripAdvisor.com and Hotels.com — but it still needed help. And so Anthony Melchiorri, the fixer-upper hospitality expert of Travel Channel’s “Hotel Impossible,” lent a hand to Clegg’s Hotel on Fire Island for the episode running Oct. 31 , at 10 p.m.
“The biggest challenge my team encountered at Clegg’s Hotel was shared bathrooms for a majority of the hotel rooms,” says Melchiorri, a Sheepshead Bay native, of the 20-room bed-and-breakfast. “In order to get the oldest hotel on the island up to today’s standards I gave the owner a full design plan for the building, including architectural blueprints and renderings to make the much-needed renovations.”
Built by the grandfather of owner-manager Tyler Clegg Sterck and open since 1946, Clegg’s, at 478 Bayberry Walk in Ocean Beach, also needed a modern marketing strategy. For this, Melchiorri, 51, brought in the New York City company Alternatives: Branding and Design Experts. Sterck, he says, “was resistant to change at first, like most owners are,” but after a few tough conversations, he finally came around. When I showed Tyler the marketing plan for the hotel, he got teary when he realized he could finally revitalize his grandfather’s legacy.”
Melchiorri says he and his crew “had a great experience staying in Ocean Beach. The locals were friendly and we were so grateful to all the city officials we worked with who gave us an incredible amount of support. My crew was even able to immerse themselves in the [island’s] no-car culture by using Radio Flyer wagons, bikes and golf carts to get around” during production from June 12 to 14. Over all, he says of the Fire Island shoot, “The convenience of having everything at your fingertips really made this go very smoothly.”