Ben Wilson (Jeff Daniels), a builder in Greenglen, Illinois, has sunken into alcoholism following the death of his wife. He has bought and is renovating a hotel with the help of his daughter Hilary (Ariana Richards). They receive a visit from a tour guide who offers whatever price they name if a party of nine can lodge there despite the fact the hotel is in disrepair. Ben agrees but soon finds odd things about the group. He then makes the discovery that they come from the future and are in fact tourists who travel through time, viewing the great disasters of history. The town is then suddenly devastated as it is hit by a meteor, although they are spared because the hotel is above the main township. This is followed by an explosion of the school boiler, in which Hilary is killed. As the party departs, one of the group sneaks Ben one of their time travel passports and he makes the decision to go back 48 hours in time to warn the townspeople and save Hilary.