As the oldest motel in Pennsylvania, The AutoPort at 1405 S. Atherton St. has begun to show signs of wear.
That’s why Anthony Melchiorri and the rest of the Travel Channel’s “Hotel Impossible” crew have started filming at the location, hoping to return the AutoPort to its former glory.
For those unfamiliar, “Hotel Impossible” is “Bar Rescue” for hotels. The popular show has successfully remade hotels from Puerto Rico to Greece, so the AutoPort should be in good hands. It began filming here on Monday and will continue until week’s end.
“We choose hotels based on the potential of success as well as location,” executive producer Brian Leonard says. “Each episode is tailored to the specific needs and struggles of that location.”
Leonard sats a filming a segment requires an evaluation of the hotel, owners and business structure. “Hotel Impossible” will also bring in a designer to recommend aesthetics and Melchiorri will act as the primary business consultant.
The AutoPort was founded by Marion B. Meyer in 1936 after he saw a motel for the first time on a visit to Miami. It also includes a Clem’s Roadside Bar and Grill Restaurant, bar and pool. In 2007, the business was purchased by Greg and Lynda Mussi and Kathy Punt. They wanted to preserve the motel’s historic location after hearing that the Meyer family had put The Autoport up for sale and it was at the risk of demolition.
“The hotel was already struggling when they purchased it, and with no hotel experience, it’s been a struggle for the owners ever since,” Leonard says.
Employee Rachael Hartman says filming began Monday, and the rest of the “Hotel Impossible” crew arrived Tuesday. She says they’ve been focusing on renovating some of the rooms, and paying particular attention to the restaurant.
An air date for the episode about the AutoPort has not yet been announced. Below is an example of how the hour-long episodes of the show normally go.
Ben Berkman contributed to this story.
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