Undercover Boss Live Recap: Vacation Destination CEO Finds Bankrupt Acquisitions in Need of Major Management Overhaul (11/30/12)

Undercover Boss brings back the CEO of a transnational firm to determine the productivity of its employees in its newly acquired properties. These properties have been purchased after they went bankrupt.

Stephen Cloobeck is the Chairman and CEO of Diamond Resorts International, a company that sells vacation destinations using the time share strategy. To date, the firm has 220 properties in 28 countries. Diamond’s recent acquisition is Pacific Monarch Resorts which consists of hotels in California, Utah and its crown jewel in Cabo Azul, Mexico.

Cloobeck believes that his company’s biggest advantage is based on the principle of giving its guests the ultimate experience: employees should be able to say yes to guest requests. He wants this principle to be executed in their latest acquisition.

For his second undercover work, Cloobeck decides to bring in his own stylist and doctor to ensure that he won’t look sloppy, unlike his first disguise.

Cloobeck starts his journey in Utah where he checks in at the Cedar Breaks Lodge. He immediately notices the poor maintenance of the facilities and the room he’s occupying. He meets RK, the maintenance person, who reveals that although he’s been in the company for 2 years, management has yet to take action on the feedback that he passes on to them. Even his name has yet to be properly reflected in his name tag.

RK tells Cloobeck all the problems in the lodge; he says that he brings up about the management’s poor response when guests complain. RK also tells how he has foregone school and is a single parent to his daughter. Cloobeck feels gratitude for the information. During his stay, he reveals his identity and gives RJ some incentives: paid college fees for 4 years, $25,000 for day care expenses for his child and a trust fund for his daughter’s education (which will grow to $50,000).

Cloobeck realizes that acquiring a resort that has gone bankrupt needs a lot of work so guests won’t suffer.

Cloobeck’s next destination is a resort in Palm Springs, another Diamond acquisition, where he takes on tasks as the coordinator for guest activities. He spends the day with Monique, the activities coordinator, where he realizes that her passion for the job makes her a good representative of the Diamond Resorts brand. Monique also shares her thoughts on the bland resort uniform and her desire to be a stylist.

He meets Markus, the man in charge of maintenance operations. His time with Markus makes him realize that management is used to sustaining the existing set-up, never replacing the old items. This is a result of a management that is forced to deal with financial strain. Cloobeck needs to make changes with regard to this “getting by” attitude to ensure guest satisfaction.

Cloobeck’s final stop is in Los Cabos, Mexico. His immediate concern is the spa which attracts not only house guests but even those from other hotels. He meets Veronica who works two jobs: as the spa receptionist and service provider.

After spending time with Veronica, Cloobeck agrees that the spa is important to the hotel. He also learns of Veronica’s financial distress on her daughter’s medical condition.

Cloobeck heads to the front desk to check if the Diamond standards on training and operating protocols are being used. Stephanie gives him an overview of the job; this is where he learns that the employees take their guests’ credit card numbers. Cloobeck is surprised at this practice, something that is entirely unethical, illegal and goes contrary to Diamond Resorts policies.

Things at the front desk go awry when Cloobeck learns that a Diamond guest is checking in; he’s alarmed that the different practices here will reflect badly on the parent company. Moreover, he’s agitated over the fact that management has yet to tell the employees that they’ve been acquired by Diamond Resorts. This reflects on Stephanie’s unawareness that she’s representing the mother company.

Another guest presents her quandary on her bill and notes that a lot of the promised discounts haven’t been given to her. This incenses Cloobeck and forces him to reveal his identity as the owner to the guest and the front desk staff. To compensate for the discrepancies, Cloobeck decides to waive the complaining guest’s bill.

Cloobeck is quick to say the front desk employees are innocent for the disarray and massive communication breakdown. The incident fortifies Cloobeck’s resolution that all employees should be trained on the ways and means of Diamond Resorts; moreover, the transition should be accomplished immediately.

Cloobeck repays the efforts of the employees he met through the following: he will be paying for Monique’s tuition in fashion school as well as her apartment while she’s in school.

Cloobeck invests in Markus so he can start his own business. Meanwhile, he foots the bill for the surgical requirements for Veronica’s daughter and offers them money for the purchase of a car and a house.  Cloobeck believes that Veronica shouldn’t be working two jobs so she can spend more time with her daughter.

Finally, Cloobeck creates a crisis fund for the employees of the Pacific Monarch Hotels.

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