2 Illinois hotels refuse to rent to locals, corporate officials outraged

GALESBURG, ILLINOIS A pair of budget hotels are under scrutiny from corporate officials and state authorities after refusing to rent rooms to local residents.

The Fairfield Inn and Comfort Inn in Galesburg, Illinois, each told a local couple this week that they do not rent guestrooms to residents of Galesburg, a claim that was independently confirmed by a reporter with The Register-Mail, a local newspaper.

Both hotels are owned by Fargo, North Dakota-based Tharaldson Hospitality. A regional manager from Theraldson was appalled to learn of the rejections. “That is not our policy and will not come out of another person’s mouth there,” Quad City-based Area Director Todd Watkins tells the newspaper. “I will do whatever I can to rectify that.”

David Peiken, senior director of corporate communications for Choice Hotels International, was incredulous when asked by the newspaper whether Choice condones such a policy: “That’s not a question I’ve ever been asked in my four and one-half years here. No, we don’t have a policy that says you can’t stay in a local motel.”

The Illinois Attorney General is investigating the matter.