Homewood hotel denied yearlong extension, will be shut down

HOMEWOOD, Ala. (WIAT) — A Homewood hotel was not granted a yearlong extension to find a buyer for its property and will be shut down.

The America’s Best Value Inn & Suites released the following statement to WIAT 42 News Thursday night.

“To whom this may concern:

We requested a time extension so we would be able to quickly sell the property. Most potential buyers are skeptical with interacting in purchasing the property due to the fact that the city denied our business license for the hotel unexpectedly without any type of warning or notice. No warnings were ever given such as emails, phone calls, letters, in person, orally, or texts.

Even the Constitution protects our right to due process – an opportunity for notice and an opportunity to be heard. We feel that we were never afforded the opportunity to alleviate the city’s concerns. The city kept emphasizing that we have had issues for three-years, but if in fact the alleged issues were so ongoing why did the city wait so long to bring it up?  As an analogy: How is a doctor supposed to diagnose and heal a patient without any form of communication about any symptoms?

We have found over fifteen-articles across the country where hotels have been shut down, but all of those hotels were given fair, multiple and proper warnings. Homewood did not give us a fair warning at all and never even tried to work with us to solve any “issues”.

No council members from our wards such as Fred Hawkins, Vance Moody, Peter Wright or even Bruce Limbaugh ever once came to meet and discuss any issues in any form of communication they had with us or with the property.

The chief of police, Chief Roberson, or any highly ranked police officials never once came to discuss any matters with us. In fact, the first time we ever met the chief of police, was at the March 13, 2014 city council meeting. At that time Chief Roberson himself admitted, on the record, that he never once tried to come meet with us or discuss any “issues” or “problems” in any form of communication. It would have been more appropriate if the Chief of police had scheduled to meet us so we could discuss any issues the city may have had so we could solve “the problems” together.

Of the three-years of police reports and phone calls that the City of Homewood and some media outlets continue to reference and place emphasis on,  it should be noted that most of the phone calls to the police department were done by the hotel front desk in our efforts to cooperate with the police to clean up our community. ​Of the police reports that were brought up during the March 13th city council meeting, forty-three (43) of those arrests in the reports were officers running car license tags in our parking lot and then coming into the hotel and arresting customers with the assistance of the hotel front desk for warrants that were from various municipalities areas and counties. We had no idea that by Homewood Police running car license tags in our parking lot, or that it would later be used against us. It is impossible and would be highly infeasible for us to run a criminal background checks on every customer that checked into our hotel or parked in our parking lot. How are we supposed to know when we check these guests into our hotel that they had warrants out for their arrest? Nonetheless, we still fully cooperated with the police in every way possible. In addition, our hotel being conveniently located off Interstate 65 and Oxmoor Road, many of the arrests were done by Homewood Police pulling drivers over for traffic violations into our parking lot. These drivers had nothing to do with our hotel and those arrests were also counted against us. Regardless, we highly respect the Homewood Police officers and have always fully cooperated with them in every way possible to ensure we keep our community safe, however we just never expected our cooperation with them to backfire on us.

Many people have reached out to us and informed us that in situations like this that it seems like someone wants our land. We feel very strongly about this and agree that we have been targets and this has a great deal to do with why we are in this situation. It only makes sense considering how the city went about suddenly denying us our business license and the city’s lack of effort to work with us. Clearly, issues can happen in hotels, whether it is a high end, mid-scale or economy level. Shutting down one hotel will not solve “the problem.” None of the supposed issues or reports indicate any wrong doing on the management or staff.  We cannot control the behavior of what people do nor would we ever discriminate towards our guests.

Recently, an unfortunate incident took place up the hill that involved two other Homewood hotels, Super 8 and Motel 6. Homewood Police has yet to find the suspect. According to the news, the suspect was armed with a gun and is considered dangerous. At the time that our business license was denied, representatives of the City had made several comments to the media staying that we were the “worse” hotel. Why hasn’t anyone from the city of Homewood made any comments about this recent incident? Obviously, one hotel or business cannot be the “problem.” Respectfully, the city of Homewood should want their police department to work with the businesses and help overcome these types of issues by keeping our community safe, not by shutting businesses down. We already have enough abandoned businesses in Homewood.

Nonetheless, we are heavily disappointed in the way the City has handled the matter with us, and we hope the community understands that we have no choice but to board up the windows and fence up the property to protect it from certain crimes and vandalism. Unfortunately, we are aware that this will create an eye sore due to our property’s broad visibility on our exit and negatively impact neighboring businesses, affect future businesses that are wanting to come to Homewood, which is one of the main reasons we requested that the city provide us with a one-year extension. By not giving us an extension, It will also in time diminish property value and possibly urge businesses to relocate elsewhere as no business owner wants their business to be around an abandoned business. In any case, we plan to work diligently to sell the property.”
– Americas Best Value Inn & Suites

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