River Inn Resort - Resort Rescue Update - Open or Closed?

Resort Rescue River Inn Resortt

In this Resort Rescue episode, Shane Green visits the River Inn Resort in Brownville, Nebraska.

River Inn Resort is owned by Randel and Jane Smith.

The resort is managed and run by their son James Jr/Jamie.

Brownville is located on the shores of the majestic Missouri river.

It has become a highly sought-after tourist destination with wineries, art galleries and a thriving local theater.

The River Inn is one of the only floating hotels in the country and has 18 state rooms.

They also host private parties, weddings and exclusive events.

Jamie says the rooms are set up with beautiful queen-size beds.

They also run a passenger boat company and provide dinner cruises and sight-seeing cruises on the Missouri river.

After 45 years of working on the river, they thought it would be easy to diversify into running a resort.

So, they took the plunge and opened The River Inn.

Jamie’s father phoned him and told him they were now in the hotel business.

The family quicky came to realize that running a river cruise is a lot easier than running a resort.

Jamie says they have a hard time with communication at the resort.

His father has a hard time putting faith or trust in anyone besides himself to get things done.

The family dynamic is not the only issue at The River Inn.

Online reviews talk about less than stately rooms, an old fashioned dinner cruise menu and dated guest experiences.

The staff lacks leadership.

The owner is stuck in his old ways and his son just wants to preserve the family legacy.

Shane’s challenge is to help them navigate some very tricky waters.

He says that resorts on water are a tricky thing to run. .

Shane meets with Jamie.

Jamie says that his parents had a dream of having a resort right on the banks of the Missouri River.

His father took that vision and ran with it.

Jamie assists his father at the resort as well as being captain of the riverboat.

They have been in the boating business for 45 years.

They got into the hotel business and joined the two together.

Jamie says it has been difficult in getting his father to acknowledge that this is the 21st century.

He struggles to see that they need to do things a little bit differently than they have in the past.

Jamie hopes to pass the business on to his son.

Shane and his crew get to work.

Hidden cameras and microphones are positioned at key points around the resort.

The base camp is set up in an empty suite.

Jamie says they have put their heart and soul into the resort.

Shane has Marissa come in to see what the check-in process is like.

Overall, Marissa is pleasantly surprised.

Randel announces over the intercom the weather and the time that lunch will be served.

The first issue Shane has is there are no protocols in place for when the front desk is unstaffed.

If they want to be successful, they have to be attentive to guest’s needs.

That starts the moment they walk through the front door.

The housekeepers are on their phones while working.

The second issue Shane has observed is that the housekeepers are doing the bare minimum in cleaning the rooms.

They’re using the rest of the time to play.

They clearly have no fear of getting in trouble and it’s showing in their complete lack of attention to detail.

Marissa says that the rolls are severely undercooked.

The potatoes look really dry, almost like pasta.

Jamie’s father controls the menu.

Shane’s third issue is that the menu has not changed in years.

The overall lack of quality is bringing the dinner boat experience down.

The food on the riverboat is just the start.

The bartender is drinking shots.

The resort is non-smoking but Randel tells a customer that it is okay to smoke.

The next morning, Shane asks Jamie to gather the resort staff.

Shane introduces himself to the staff and explains why he is there.

Shane tells the staff about all of the things they do wrong.

Shane says he blames Jamie for the way things are, not the staff.

Shane creates a plan with Jamie.

He wants to see a collaboration between the resort and the local theater.

Shane meets with the staff.

He has Marissa show the kitchen staff different foods they can make.


What Happened Next at River Inn Resort?

30 days later, Shane returns to the resort.

With the phones removed and Kim back in charge, the rooms have never been cleaner.

Clear instructions are provided at the front desk so guests will always receive a warm welcome.

Jamie runs daily staff meetings and has even presented his father with a business plan.

This has given Randel the confidence to take a step back and let Jamie lead the resort.

Dinner cruise guests now enjoy drinks in the Inn’s air-conditioned lounge.

Unfortunately, they still have to endure the calliope.

A variety of a la carte menu items are available on the dinner cruise, providing return guests with more variety and increased revenue.

Occupancy is up and word is already spreading about them on the banks of the Missouri.

River Inn Resort is open.

Reviews are mostly very positive since the show.

The food in the restaurant and service is highly praised in online reviews.

Click for more Resort Rescue episodes

Next episode - Calumet Inn

Previous episode - Bear Inn Resort

This post was last updated in September 2023.

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