LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — There’s an official agreement between Attorney General Dana Nessel and hotel operators and tourism groups in Mackinaw City, after an investigation into dicey business practices.
Customer complaints were made to Nessel regarding alleged instances where rooms were booked at hotels that advertised said rooms as available.
Reservations for the rooms would be confirmed, but upon the guest’s arrival, the rooms would be closed with no communication of the closed room to the guest.
To make matters worse, Additionally, attempts to get refunds in those situations were unsuccessful.
Nessel issued a Notice of Intended Action in response to the complaints.
The AG’s Corporate Oversight Division investigated the incident, and found that the reservations were advertised through a tourism website that was ran by the people who had “ownership interests” in the hotels
Since Feb., the department has been working with attorneys who represent the hotels to reach an agreement.
An Assurance of Voluntary Compliance (AVC) was made with the following entities:
- Enjo Properties LLC
- Jade Enterprises, Inc.
- Lieghio’s Hamilton Inn Select, Inc.
- Mackinaw City Chamber of Tourism, Inc.
- Mackinaw City Chamber of Tourism, Inc., d/b/a Hotel Jabber Travel Advisor
- Quality Properties of Macknaw, Inc.
- Queen’s Properties, Inc.
The above entities conduct business as several hotels throughout Mackinaw City. Thus, the agreement also binds the following properties:
- Crown Choice Inn & Suites Lakeview & Waterpark
- The Beach House
- Bayside Hotel of Mackinac
- Bridge Vista Beach Hotel & Convention Center
- Bell’s Melody Motel
- Bridgeview Motel
- Budget Inn Mackinaw
- Cabins of Mackinac
- Capri Motel
- Calrion Hotel Beachfront
- Comfort Inn Lakeside
- Days Inn Lakeview
- Fairview Beachfront Inn
- Hamilton Inn Select Beachfront
- Mackinaw Beach & Bay
- Northwinds Motel
- Best Western Plus Dockside
- Quality Inn & Suites
- Ramada Inn Waterfront
- Starlite Budget Inn Mackinaw
- Super 8 Beachfront
- Super 8 Bridgeview
- Sunrise Beach Motel
- Thunderbird Inn
- Waterfront Inn
- Welcome Inn
Some of the highlights of the agreement include:
- The hotels will not take reservations for hotel rooms that are closed for the season
- Additionally, when a room reservation cannot be fulfilled, consumers will have ability to cancel and get a refund
- The tourism entity is required to remove the “official seal” from the Chamber of Tourism website
- The site must include conspicuous disclaimers on each website stating, “This site and all the hotels on this site have common ownership by a 5th generation local family that has owned, developed, and personally managed Mackinaw City hotels since 1955.”
- Customers will have 90 days to submit reimbursement claims and are eligible for 100% reimbursement by the entities if they can document a fully paid reservation at one of the hotels that was closed for the season, with the consumer being transferred to a different hotel, since January 1, 2017.
- Those who filed complaints with the Department or Better Business Bureau about being directed to a different hotel when arriving from January 1, 2017, through the issuance of the NIA in February are eligible for an extra $100 reimbursement from the entities
- The entities will be responsible for up to $25,000 total in consumer payments
- In addition to consumer payments, the entities will pay $5,000 to the State of Michigan and $35,000 to the Michigan Strategic Fund
“Our Consumer Protection Team is working to ensure residents and tourists to our great state can relax and enjoy their northern Michigan vacations,” Nessel said. “I encourage eligible consumers to file with us right away to secure these reimbursements.”
Had an experience with a reservation at one of the above-listed hotels during a time when it was closed for the season from January 1, 2017 through the present? And didn’t get a refund?
You can let the Attorney General’s Office know that you want to be considered for repayment under this agreement by filing a consumer complaint online.