Grass Valley businesses anticipate Travel Channel at Holbrooke Hotel |

Grass Valley businesses anticipate Travel Channel at Holbrooke Hotel

Christopher Rosacker
Staff Writer

Photo for The Union by John Hart

With the Travel Channel in Grass Valley to film an episode of "Hotel Impossible" at the historic Holbrooke Hotel, members of the city's business community are hoping for a boost in tourism to follow the national attention.

"They are also going to feature a lot of stuff about Grass Valley," said Holbrooke owner Ian Garfinkel in a Feb. 22 interview with The Union.

"Hotel Impossible" is a reality makeover television show focused on turning around struggling hotels that first aired in April 2012.

Last year, host Anthony Melchiorri, an aggressive 20-year hospitality business veteran, spent several days transforming the Hotel Leger in Calaveras County — a project featured on "Hotel Impossible" in January.

"This region of California is often featured in newspaper and magazine articles, but television reaches so many more people," said Keith Davies, co-CEO and executive director of the Greater Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce, in a statement.

"And based on prior episodes of 'Hotel Impossible,' some of our local attractions may also be included when the program airs later this year," he said.

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Garfinkel isn't the only one hoping that the Holbrooke's spotlight shines on other areas in Grass Valley.

Since The Union's story about "Hotel Impossible" coming to the Holbrooke was published last week, several businesses and organizations have called the paper inquiring how to be featured during filming. Garfinkel also has been inundated.

"This is going to be a great opportunity for Ian and, in the process, will expose millions of television viewers to Grass Valley," Davies said.

The Holbrooke Hotel has had its ups and downs in recent years, and struggling with the current economy has been a challenge in search of a solution, so advice from the New York City hotel guru will be welcomed, according to the chamber of commerce release.

Melchiorri will reportedly look for ways to improve the Holbrooke's business, reposition the operation and fill the hostelry with satisfied, repeat guests.

Garfinkel said he was looking forward to the kind of frank critique that has made Melchiorri's program one of the most popular shows on the Travel Channel,, and the chamber of commerce is excited by the free publicity, the Travel Channel reported.

"Getting advice from someone who has helped revitalize iconic New York City hotels like the Plaza and Algonquin will absolutely benefit the Holbrooke and, by extension, will also benefit our community," Davies said.

Melchiorri finds online reviews to be very helpful as he prepares to visit a hotel, reported Travel Channel representatives, so Davies hopes that the program host has approached his current assignment with optimism.

"The Holbrooke has an outstanding reputation, and online reviews show strong customer support — both in the bar and restaurant and also in the hotel itself," Davies said. "But there's always room for improvement, and fresh ideas can often energize a business."

The crew from the show will film at the hotel through March 5, said a spokeswoman. The episode planned to feature the Holbrooke Hotel has yet to be scheduled on "Hotel Impossible" next season.

To contact Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker, email or call (530) 477-4236.

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