SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah News) – Frustrated residents of an East Bench neighborhood confronted the owners of what they call a “nuisance motel” on Monday night.
Salt Lake City District 6 Councilman Charlie Luke hosted a meeting to discuss the crime in and around the Skyline Inn, located at 1700 South and Foothill Drive.
People who live and work near the budget motel said that its customers buy and sell illegal drugs, engage in prostitution and break in to homes and cars in the area. They claim that drug busts and overdoses are common at the inn which has even seen SWAT standoffs.
A man named Will said he’s the Operations Manager at Mister Car Wash, located next to the Skyline Inn.
“I find needles every day, pipes,” he said. “And I don’t want to call anybody a prostitute but I’ve watched ladies walk back and forth all day with a different guy.”
One by one they detailed the problems surrounding the inn while the owners Mike and Geeta Intwala sat and listened.
“My kids are afraid to play outside,” one woman said. “We had to install a new security system. We are afraid to have our doors open. We are afraid to have our windows open.”
“I don’t understand why the owners have chosen to almost be complicit in attracting this type of behavior,” a man said.
“If I want to check into Skyline, I probably don’t need a driver’s license or a credit card,” homeowner Bruce Hansing said. “That is a business practice of the owners. If you really want to be good neighbors, owners of the Skyline, require your guests to have identification.”
Finally Mrs. Intwala read a written statement, claiming not all of the problems are from her business and that she has implemented new policies at the inn.
“People looking to cause problems are not welcome at the hotel,” she said. “We will be renting only to people with valid IDs and credit cards.”
But at least one area homeowner wasn’t buying it.
“Their comments to me showed me that they’re not willing to do what it takes to make a difference,” Dustin Warr told ABC4 Utah News. “It felt like lip service to me. I don’t think you can change the clientele without changing the service you provide.”
After the meeting, Mrs. Intwala declined an on-camera interview saying only “No comment.”