“You would know all about that, I imagine.”

He laughed. “Nice shot at me first thing.”

“I meant it to be funny.” She sat on the opposite end of the couch since he’d put his boots on the coffee table.

“Your sense of humor needs work.”

Tierney pushed her glasses up her nose. “Now who’s taking potshots?”

He flashed that naughty-boy grin. “Sorry. What’s up?”

“Now that we’ve been open a few days, I’ve drafted a list of what’s working and what needs improvement.” She knew enough about management to start with the positive aspects and gradually segue into the negative aspects. “I compiled the final financial data for the construction. The cost overruns were expected, but I have to admit, comparing the initial blueprints to the revised ones, I believe the additional building costs were justified.”

Renner’s mug stopped halfway to his mouth. “Come again?”

“Connecting the four separate buildings made sense, given the Wyoming winters. And it creates the illusion of a bigger resort.”

“It was a pain in the ass leveling the area and pouring more footings. We didn’t add much in material costs since I’d purchased in bulk, but our labor costs were higher.”

She tapped the building plans in front of her. “The overall flow, the main lodge and guest areas at the center, separate dining and entertainment area to the left, and the retail section to the right, is easier for guests and employees to navigate. The additional square footage for the dining area makes a difference in terms of retaining the open feeling.”

He rubbed the back of his neck. “That addition was pricier, because for some reason we’d forgotten to add laundry facilities to the initial plans. Luckily we had room to expand rearward. Relocating the bar and game room away from the lodge keeps it a place to relax.”

“I haven’t heard any more complaints about the food.”

“Janie dealt with Dodie.”

“Where did you find the rest of the employees?” Tierney didn’t ask if he’d requested references, and if he had, if he’d actually checked them.

“I have no idea. Janie handled the employee hiring.”

“All of it? Without your input?”

“No. When she found someone to fill a position she ran it by me. I trust her gut and she trusts mine.”

“Which works, but the bottom line is we don’t have all of the advertised services up and running, so we need to make some hard decisions about those services.”

His eyes challenged hers. “Ain’t that why Daddy sent you here? To make those types of financial decisions? I’m surprised you’re even giving me an option.”

She’d promised herself she wouldn’t take his bait today, no matter how juicy it was or how close he dangled it. “Whose idea was the spa?”

“Mine. I thought it’d be a nice draw for guys who wanna bring women here. Give the ladies something to do while the men are out doin’ their thing.”

“What constitutes a spa in your opinion?”

He scratched his chin. “Fuck if I know. A place for women to hang out.”

“You constructed an entire building around this concept,” she chided. “You have to be more specific.”

“A place for a woman to get her fingernails and toenails painted. A place to get some of that organic goop slopped on her face. Then she’s got her choice between soaking in a deep tub with herbs and shit thrown in or having a massage. Then we’d serve girlie food for lunch and lots of fruity alcoholic drinks with umbrellas.” He flashed his captivating smile. “Did I pass?”

“No. It’s not sustainable. Why is the building an empty shell and construction stopped?”

“It wasn’t a priority after we added to the original building plans. The main areas needed finishing first according to the specific timeline in your father’s contract.”

Another jab she left unanswered. “It’s a good thing the spa aspect wasn’t realized.”

“And why’s that?”

“Spas require specialized employees. Most spas boast a variety of services—manicures, pedicures, hot wax treatments, aromatherapy, as well as massages. No one has hired a single qualified employee to handle any of these specific beauty-related services.” Tierney cocked her head, looking at him curiously. “Unless you intend on painting toenails and slopping face gunk on female guests?”

She sensed Renner wanted to tell her to deal with the luxury spa idea, since the high-end idea was right up her daddy’s little rich-girl alley, but he didn’t. “Everyone has f**kups.”

“Renner. This is not a simple f**kup. This is a fatal flaw.”

“On a financial level?”

“Not yet. And I want to keep it from becoming one.”

He crossed those muscular arms over that muscular chest and stared at her coolly. “How?”

“By eliminating the spa concept entirely.” Tierney stopped his interruption. “I’ve scoured the reservations for the next six months. From what I’ve gathered, exactly two female guests are interested in spa services. What does that tell you?”

“Our marketing plan is a piece of shit?”

“Partially. But it means we can cut out this spa option without losing our ass or without pissing off existing customers. It’ll take little more than a Web site change. We’ll delete any reference to the word spa and luckily the brochures just feature the lodge.”


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