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City issues vacate notice, effectively closing Red Carpet Inn and Fanta Suites

WRTV Investigates raised questions about health and safety
A vacate noticed is now posted on the front door of the Red Carpet Inn and Fanta Suites hotel in Greenwood.
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Posted at 1:33 PM, Sep 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-30 18:23:30-04

GREENWOOD — The City of Greenwood issued a notice Friday morning to the Red Carpet Inn and Fanta Suites, ordering the hotel's guests and workers to vacate the property within 10 days and revoking the hotel's certificate of occupancy.

WRTV Investigates raised questions regarding the health and safety of the hotel after the operations manager was found dead, and a mother found a man inside her room going through her credit cards.

PREVIOUS | Greenwood man avoids prosecution after ‘scary’ encounter at hotel

The vacate notice was issued at 10:40 a.m. Friday to a front desk employee and posted at the hotel.

The owner was not present, according to a Greenwood city spokesperson.

On Sept. 14, inspectors with the city and Johnson County conducted an inspection at the Red Carpet Inn as a follow-up to two 2021 inspections that found cockroaches and bedbugs, extensive damage to walls, plumbing and electrical issues, as well as mold and water damage.

In a letter issued Sept. 30 from the Greenwood Building Commissioner, it said the hotel has made “minimal progress” to bring the property in compliance and that some violations have “gotten substantially worse.”

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A vacate noticed is now posted on the front door of the Red Carpet Inn and Fanta Suites hotel in Greenwood.

Inspectors found the hotel had closed affected rooms.

“Mold and roaches migrate to those areas that support environments for them to thrive, rooms without operating smoke detectors will provide no warning of a fire or smoke event, and excessive leaks from the roof or plumbing affect rooms below,” read the letter. “The closure of a room with health or life safety issues without correctly addressing the problem does not alleviate that problem.”

The Red Carpet Inn is in violation of the state and city’s unsafe structure ordinance, the letter states.

“This business is not suitable for habitation or occupancy of its designed use by the citizens of the City of Greenwood or its visitors,” read the letter.

The building commissioner says anyone in the hotel has to leave the premises within 10 days.

The owner of the property and people making repairs will be allowed inside.

If the violations are addressed, the hotel can obtain a certificate of occupancy, according to the letter.

The hotel owner can appeal the order in writing within 10 days and request a hearing before the City of Greenwood Plan Commission.

WRTV Investigates has uncovered police calls to the hotel are on the rise.

GREENWOOD POLICE RESPONSE TO RED CARPET INN

  • 2019—75 calls, 20 criminal offenses
  • 2020- 109 calls, 14 criminal offenses
  • 2021- 165 calls, 35 criminal offenses
  • 2022 (1/1 to 9/8)- 119 calls, 31 criminal offenses

The family of a New Palestine mother asked the city to shut down the hotel after the mother was found dead at the hotel.

Dana Smith, 37, died at the Red Carpet Inn and Fanta Suites on Aug. 24. She was the operations manager at the Red Carpet Inn and Fanta Suites, 1117 E Main St, in Greenwood.

“She was very happy-go-lucky,” said Smith’s sister, Kristine Auclerc. “She was always happy, always smiling.”

Dana Smith, a mother of two, had only been working at the hotel a few months when she was found dead in a hotel room, according to Auclerc, who lives in Kentucky.

“She was just the sweetest person,” said Auclerc. “She was so kindhearted. She was loving to everybody, accepting to everybody for who they were."

Smith died of an accidental overdose of amphetamine, methamphetamine and fentanyl, Johnson County Coroner Mike Pruitt said Wednesday.

PREVIOUS | Greenwood man avoid prosecution after ‘scary’ encounter at hotel

Just last year, records show overdose deaths on April 23, April 26 and Sept. 9.

Dana Smith’s family is calling on the City of Greenwood to take action.

"It is awful,” said Auclerc. “It's a black hole. Shut it down. Get rid of it."

WRTV Investigates did some checking and found the hotel is registered with the state under the name “Lodging & Trade LLC” and the general manager is listed as Ahmed Mubarak.

As the inspection began, the hotel's owner asked WRTV to leave the property.

He has not agreed to speak with WRTV.

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