DNC hotel reviews complain of drugs, prostitution

DNC hotel reviews complain of drugs, prostitution


by BEN THOMPSON / NewsChannel 36 Staff

Bio | Follow: @BenTNews | Email


Posted on September 10, 2012 at 5:50 PM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 11 at 10:38 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Some Charlotte hotels are getting critical reviews after the Democratic National Convention last week.  It's estimated 150 hotels were booked during the convention.

While many delegates complained about the distance of their hotels from uptown Charlotte, journalists were the ones that had the most pointed critiques.

"The Knights Inn was the worst hotel I have ever seen, and I've stayed in many bad motels in my life.  Two guys were dealing drugs in the room next to me, and a prostitute was working out of the parking lot.  And this was very early in the afternoon," reads a blog appearing on the National Review's website, describing one political reporter's experience.

According to the column, National Review had journalists in the two Charlotte Knights Inn locations—Nation's Ford Road and Glenwood Road.  A manager at the Nation's Ford location wouldn't speak on camera.

"We didn't have any major complaints," said P.G. Patel, manager of the Knights Inn on Glenwood Road.

Patel gave NewsChannel 36 a tour of his hotel, located in west Charlotte off of Interstate 85.

"We keep it clean and neat, maybe not fancy. Not fancy but clean and quite comfortable," he said.

The popular website Gawker also had discouraging words for an undisclosed hotel in Charlotte.

"A $250-a-night mildewy rathole for truckers and prostitutes on a decimated strip mall," explained reporter John Cook, referring to his hotel.

Sid Smith with the Charlotte Area Hotel Association wasn't convinced the problem was widespread.

"Charlotte would've never have gotten the Democratic National Convention if we didn't have enough high quality hotel rooms to accommodate them all," Smith said.

Smith says overwhelmingly the feedback was positive from the delegates and the hotels.  He says it’s a sign Charlotte is ready for the next big event.

"We can accommodate the DNC, the NRA, all the other big meetings we've had here.  Yes, we can do a Super Bowl here," noted Smith.

Smith acknowledges the need for another large hotel uptown.  He said ideally it would have 1,000 rooms and be next to the convention center.