Despite a proposed amendment to the city’s public nuisance code being tabled in the Metro Council Public Safety Committee last week over possible concerns from the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau, its CEO Karen Williams tells Insider Louisville that none of its partnered hotels have brought forth any concerns about the legislation.
The ordinance sponsored by Councilman Steve Magre, D-10, seeks to close loopholes in the public nuisance code that have allowed hotels ridden with crime to avoid such citations. The amendment would now make hotel owners liable for any repeated criminal activity on their entire premises, which if not abated could result in the closure of the entire hotel.
Councilman David Yates, D-25, the chairman of the committee, tabled the ordinance until next week’s meeting, wanting “to make sure that we’re not negatively impacting the Convention (and Visitors) Bureau and other things like that with unintended consequences that could directly affect our constituents and our bottom dollar, or set ourselves up for a lawsuit.”
Williams says that none of the hotels the Convention & Visitors Bureau is partnered with in Louisville have brought up any concerns since Magre’s ordinance was made public.
“We’ve not had any issues with the ordinance at all from any of the hotels,” says Williams. “So to this point we have no issues with the ordinance.”
While the language of the ordinance does not specifically mention any hotel, Magre has repeatedly used the Economy Inn on Bardstown Road in his district as an example of a hotel notorious for criminal activity that could now be held accountable with a change in the public nuisance code.
Williams noted that the Economy Inn is not one of the bureau’s partnered hotels, adding that “we do not promote or recommend this establishment to our convention or leisure travelers.”
In last week’s Public Safety Committee meeting, Yates also mentioned his concern that the ordinance could open the city up to a lawsuit from a hotel claiming its rights are violated. Economy Inn attorney Aubrey Williams indicated that such a lawsuit is a possibility, claiming the hotel’s owners are being unfairly and specifically targeted because of an unspecified “agenda” by Magre.