The June Motel has become a hugely popular getaway location in Ontario and the two BFFs behind the project, April Brown and Sarah Sklash, have recreated the same Instagramable magic at their new Sauble Beach location.
Only this time the transformation was filmed for Netflix and you can watch how a beat-up motel turned into a trendy new spot that can cost more than $400 per night on their new show Motel Makeover dropping August 25.
The pair bought their second location in Sauble Beach for $1.4 million and personally guaranteed it with their homes — so there was no room for failure.
They had originally set aside $600,000 for their renovation budget, but it had to be brought down to $500,000 after the COVID-19 lockdown forced them to close their Prince Edward County location for months — which was their main source of income.
Brown and Sklash told Narcity what the scariest and grossest moments of the renovations were while they were filming their Netflix series.
What was the biggest shock you had while doing the Sauble Beach renovations?
"Probably when we had like finished bathrooms and then there was a leak. Yeah, and that was incredibly scary, did not see that coming. Like these bathrooms looked perfect, looked guest-ready — we were like, ready — and then to see that happen was incredibly alarming," Brown says.
"It was nice that there was like a somewhat easy fix, and that it wasn't, you know, gutting the whole second floors and redoing all of those bathrooms, but yeah, that was by far the biggest surprise."
What was the grossest moment during the renovations?
"Oh, there's a few that didn't make it into the show. The grossest one was we found like a 40-year-old piece like underwear behind the drywall," Sklash says.
"Yeah, that was really gross," Brown chimes in.
"Yeah, I know. What a gross souvenir to leave behind," Sklash adds, laughing.
Was there a moment during renovations you thought you might actually lose your business?
"Yeah, those were really, really scary times. I think you know the whole last year would have been a hard year regardless. We were, we took on a project that was much bigger than Prince Edward County, so we had 24 rooms, we had a shop, we had a pool, we had an indoor-outdoor restaurant. It was, by far, like the biggest project that we had taken on. But then when you layer on a TV show, and then you layer on a global pandemic, which hit when all the rooms were, like, pretty much absolutely gutted. So, there was no going back. There was a lot of really scary moments sitting on these balconies, wondering do we even open as The June? Like can we even pull this off?" Brown says.
"So, yeah, I think the time when we were in lockdown was the hardest. Once lockdown was over, and people were sort of allowed to travel locally again. It was really encouraging to see how many people booked at The June in Prince Edward County and how quickly we sold out for the summer. So that gave us a lot of confidence that if we could like push forward and open for Labour Day like we could do this and that was like really the turning point there."
The June Motel, Sauble Beach
Address: 11 Sauble Falls Pkwy., Sauble Beach, ON