‘Nuisance’ hotel comes to agreement with District Attorney’s office

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – Another Market Street hotel has agreed to change the way they conduct business, after entering into an agreement with the District Attorney’s Office.

Today in court, the DA’s office entered into a Consent Agreement with the owners of the Ramada Inn on Market Street. The agreement was in response to a lawsuit filed this morning by the State of North Carolina alleging the hotel property was operating as a public nuisance.

The owners, Viphinbhai Patel and Rakesh Patel, have agreed to require all guests to present a photo ID and matching credit card with the same name, requiring all guests to complete a registration card for all vehicles and display a parking pass inside those vehicles, keeping a hotel guest registry available for law enforcement, undergoing an inspection by the Fire Marshall to ensure health and safety compliance, and participation in training to teach employees how to detect signs of human trafficking.

The District Attorney says the owners have already installed more than 30 video cameras on the hotel property, which law enforcement will be able to view whenever they request it.

Also, although a restaurant that has a bar or serves alcohol is allowed inside the hotel, the property is not allowed to have separate lounges or nightclubs or other similar businesses inside the hotel that could attract large or unruly crowds of people.

Under this Judgment, a banquet facility is allowed but any permits for alcohol in that facility will need to be obtained by the person renting the space and not by the hotel.

This Consent Judgment applies to the current owners of the property individually, but it will also be filed with the Register of Deeds Office so that it will be permanently attached
to the actual property, in the event that it sold or otherwise changes ownership.

“The DA’s Office, in conjunction with the City Attorney’s Office and the Wilmington Police Department, have been working for over a year on an effort to clean up some of the problem hotels along
Market Street. I am hopeful that this action by the owners of the Ramada today will be another step towards turning this specific property around and to making the Market Street corridor an area of town where people can come and feel safe and enjoy everything that the City of Wilmington has to offer,” said District Attorney Ben David after the Order was entered by Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Jay Hockenbury this morning.

“We have already seen positive changes in some of the Market Street hotels during this process, and we are looking forward to
seeing additional improvements. We will continue to focus on other problem hotels, and to follow up on the hotels we already have agreements with to make sure that they are holding up their end of the deal and taking the necessary steps to turn around their properties,” said Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous.

The DA’s Office will now be proceeding with an action involving The Carolinian, one of the two remaining hotels that was originally notified last year that the property was operating as a nuisance.

“This particular property has been a blight on our community for some time. We are hopeful that the owners will decide to follow suit and agree to make corrections to turn this location around, but if they do not, we are prepared to proceed in court in the near future,” said David.

In July, the Budgetel Inn and Red Carpet Inn entered into a Consent Agreement with the District Attorney’s Office.

Categories: Local, New Hanover