Hotel Hell: Applegate River Lodge

Applegate River Lodge is still open after its appearance on Hotel Hell, although the owners are currently looking for a buyer for the lodge.

The dissolution of a marriage is not easy. Couple that with running businesses together and having to navigate that conundrum, and the difficulty of the situation multiplies. On the hit FOX network show of the 2012s, Hotel Hell, one episode highlighted this.

The Applegate River Lodge was featured in the third episode of the third season of the show. Despite the difficulties and slump that the lodge faced before Ramsay’s intervention, it is still open, and the owners are looking for buyers.

Who owns Applegate River Lodge?

Applegate River Lodge is in Applegate, Oregon. The lodge is a family-run business, but the owners of the lodge are a divorced couple, Richard and Joanna Davis, and their two sons, Dusty and Duke also stay and “work” on the premises.

The two built the lodge from scratch over 20 years ago. Initially, when the couple was still married, it was suggested that the business was successful.

However, when the couple divorced, the business seemingly started failing. Hence, they called Gordon Ramsay and his Hotel Hell team to intervene.

Hotel Hell: Applegate River Lodge

When Gordon Ramsay first got to Applegate River Lodge, he immediately recognised why it was so successful initially; the location is beautiful.

Built right next to the Applegate River, the lodge has 360 views of nature, the river and greenery is all-encompassing. But it only took stepping into the reception for the lodge’s problems to start becoming apparent to Ramsay.

When Ramsay first walked in, he smelled a distinct aroma. But he forgot about that when he walked into a sparse reception area that had no chairs and had to press a bell and wait for someone to receive him.

After a little wait, Richard, who wanted to be referred to as “Pa Butt”, received him and as they walked into Richard’s office and the lodge’s apparent party venue, Ramsay identified the aroma from earlier as marijuana, which Richard allegedly smoked medicinally.

Moreover, Richard was all but despondent about the business, as he treated it as his family home first. It was his ex-wife, Joanna, who handled the books and ensured that the business was running.

Hence, she was honest with Ramsay and told him that the business started failing after their divorce. During his stay, Ramsay found dead and alive insects in his room, as well as stained furnishings and undesirable bed covers.

Joanna also confirmed that the lodge was close to being $1 million in debt, which was worsened by the initial lack of contribution by or assistance from their sons, Dusty and Duke.

How Dusty and Duke made matters worse at Applegate River Lodge

Dusty and Duke may have made money from the lodge, but both the brothers initially did not contribute any of their profits or proceeds to their mother.

Duke threw parties that would disturb the guests of the lodge and charged an average of $15 as an entrance fee to the party. He kept all the proceeds.

Similarly, Dusty, who ran the restaurant, made a profit of $150 000 annually but did not share any of the proceedings with his mother or use it to help the lodge improve.

Moreover, the brothers were constantly fighting and did not help their mother with the upkeep of the lodge.

Ramsay’s intervention

Before his intervention, Gordon Ramsay took a swim by the river. Thereafter, he renovated the lodge, giving it an updated appearance and more furnishings for the reception so that guests could have a place to sit while waiting.

Moreover, he updated the restaurant menu with simpler meals that prioritised taste and not quantity. He moved the parties that were hosted in Richard’s office to camping tents that were fitted outside to better match the aesthetic and feel of the riverside.

This meant that guests at the lodge were not disturbed by the noise, and Richard did not offer them weed. Lastly, Ramsay got Dusty and Duke to agree to help their mother with the business, financially and with the upkeep.

Is Applegate River Lodge still open?

As of 2022, Applegate River Lodge is still operational. The lodge now receives mixed reviews, mostly remarking on the lack of service and the quality of the lodge.

Moreover, the restaurant now has better reviews than it did before with a 3.5 approval score, versus the 3 approval score on Yelp. Joanna and Richard have seemingly been looking to sell the lodge and the entire property with no buyers as of yet.

Where to watch Hotel Hell?