The Cambridge Hotel: One of Hotel Hell’s biggest failures

The Cambridge Hotel: One of Hotel Hell’s biggest failures

The “Cambridge Hotel” episode of Hotel Hell may be memorable, but the hotel’s makeover turned out to be just too little, too late.

It is certainly not strange for the owners who have their establishments  featured on Gordon Ramsay’s hit show, Hotel Hell, to admit that their businesses are struggling to make ends meet.

After all, that is usually why they agreed to be subjected to Ramsay’s criticism in the first place.

What happened at the Cambridge Hotel after Hotel Hell

However, it is considerably rarer for these businesses to be so near the cliff’s edge that they end up closing down before their Hotel Hell episodes can even air.

Unfortunately, this is exactly what happened to the Cambridge Hotel and its owner, John Imhof, who were on the very first season of Hotel Hell all the way back in 2012.

And while this episode will likely always remain a crowd-pleaser due to its unusual combination of almost-believable ghost-stories and the sweet, heartfelt moments shared between Ramsay and the staff, there is just no denying that Ramsay’s makeover of the hotel turned out to be entirely fruitless and mostly just a waste of everyone’s time.

Especially since the Cambridge Hotel never operated as a fully-functioning hotel ever again.

The Cambridge Hotel’s history in a nutshell

Though the Cambridge Hotel did end up closing before it could enter a new era as the reality television hub of Cambridge, New York, the hotel is a historic landmark in the area, and it had quite the storied history before Ramsay set foot in it.

Some of the most notable moments in the Cambridge Hotel’s history include:

Date Event
1885 Construction on the Cambridge Hotel is finalized
1999 A group of investors get together to raise about $500,000 to bring the hotel back to life
2007 John Imhof (along with a group of investors) purchase the property and refurbish it
2008 The Cambridge Hotel reopens
January 2012 Ramsay and the Hotel Hell crew arrive to film the episode
June 2012 The Cambridge Hotel closes
August 20, 2012 The “Cambridge Hotel” episode airs

Why the Cambridge Hotel closed

When Ramsay first arrived at the Cambridge Hotel, John confided in the celebrity chef that the business had racked up more than $700,000 in debt.

And, while the hotel’s reviews did start improving slightly after Ramsay’s visit and John confirmed that business was improving slowly, it seems as though the hotel was really just too far gone, and was eventually foreclosed on by Glens Falls National Bank when its mounting debt reached nearly $470,000.

This was the third time in the hotel’s history that it had been foreclosed upon.

There is a small silver lining to the story, however, as this historic building has now taken on a new life as The Cambridge Assisted Living Residence.

What happened to Scooter?

Unfortunately, it seems like Ramsay’s makeover of the Cambridge Hotel was not the only thing shown in this episode that did not quite work out as planned.

In case you missed it, Ramsay also offered to pay for Scooter (the young prep cook who worked at the Cambridge Hotel) to finish culinary school.

And though Ramsay did end up paying for two years of Scooter’s tuition, a small miscommunication between Scooter and Ramsay’s people ultimately meant that Scooter was unable to transfer to a four-year program to finish his studies.

However, Scooter does retain his love for cooking (and his gratitude to Ramsay) all these years later, and he is still dreaming of opening his own restaurant (or even a food truck) one day.

What John Imhof is doing now

If you were paying close attention to the “Cambridge Hotel” episode, you may have just caught the bit about John, the hotel’s former owner, being a big-shot lawyer.

Well, it turns out that John had decided to return to his life in public service before the hotel shut its doors.

According to the Times Union, John had hoped that his daughter could take over the hotel, as things had started looking up for the business financially.

He said, “We agreed to relocate fully expecting the bank would act in a commercially reasonable way and work with us to keep the Hotel open, albeit under “new” management.”

But even though this long-term plan did not play out as expected, John did stay the course and worked as the officer in charge of the Office of Military Commissions at Guantanamo Bay for several years.

However, a 2022 update by Army of Good’s Jon Katz reveals that John is now working at the federal service in Texas and (perhaps more surprisingly)he is a very avid knitter.