The owner of the Economy Inn on Bardstown Road tells Insider Louisville that the embattled motel is changing its name to Budgetel Inn & Suites, joining the franchise that has 29 other locations across 13 states.
The rebranding will begin right away, as a crew pulled down the Economy Inn sign advertising cheap jacuzzi rooms on Monday afternoon.
The Economy Inn withstood a tumultuous year of scrutiny in 2015, as its operating permit was almost revoked twice by the local health department for repeatedly failing safety and health code violations, only to pass follow-up inspections that allowed it to stay in business. The motel also faced continuing criticism from neighbors who view the high crime rate and police runs at the motel as a blight on their neighborhood, and became the focal point of an amendment to Louisville’s public nuisance ordinance, which cracked down on hotels that have a high number of arrests on their property.
Owner Tony Yaldo told IL that the motel had operated independently as the Economy Inn, but said that becoming a franchisee of Budgetel Inn & Suites was the best move for his business, as it has a national reputation and would bring “stricter standards.”
The Budgetel brand was revived from obscurity in 2008 and has changed ownership several times since then. It is now owned by Hospitality Lodging Systems.