Eau Claire City Attorney’s Office files lawsuit for the ordered closure of Eau Claire hotel
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - The Eau Claire City Attorney’s Office has filed a lawsuit for the closure of an Eau Claire hotel and the sale of the property.
The lawsuit basis is the compilations of Eau Claire Police Department incident reports and documentation of the persistent crime occurring at the business.
Eau Claire Police say the Regency Inn and Suites on Hastings Way was identified as one of the most problematic properties in the community in 2016. Adding that it is a common place of drug trafficking, illicit drug use, human trafficking, domestic violence, assault and other forms of violence.
“The other alternatives have all been exhausted. So, despite significant time and effort that’s been made to work cooperatively with the property’s owners to address the problems, these problems still remain,” Eau Claire Deputy City Attorney Douglas Hoffer said.
Chief of Police Matt Rokus says officers and several community groups have been in contact with Regency Inn and Suites management on these serious issues. He also said management has received formal notices in the form of in-person visits, telephone calls, letters and other orders, but these problems are still occurring.
The hotel’s owner, Hitesh Patel, said things have improved over the past few years. He said things were bad in 2016, but most hotel guests are now families with children. Police logs tell a different story.
“Since January of 2018 our officers have responded to over 550 incidents at the Regency, many for very serious issues,” Rokus said.
Police documents show the Regency Inn and Suites had more than double the number of calls each year between 2018 and 2020 compared to the nearest hotel.
Rokus adds that it is also recognized that many community members who are experiencing housing insecurity rely on hotels for housing, so the court filing will not result in the immediate closure of the hotel. Different groups and agencies are working to find housing options for people who may be displaced by the future closure.
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