The city of Palm Springs has filed a lawsuit against the Bahama Hotel, asking the owner to clean up some serious problems. Neighbors in the area say they've complained for quite some time. "This building has a continuous stream of drug dealers and prostitutes on the street, they come in and out of the building," said Marc Modrow.
He says these problems are long-documented and the neighborhood makes sure the police know. He believes patrols have increased, even conduction raids to arrest numerous people inside the hotel. "I heard this sound, through a bull horn, says, 'come out with your hands up' and then there was a little explosion," said Modrow.
But, neighbors say police presence isn't enough. The city took notice and stepped in, filing a lawsuit with the hotel's owner under the drug den abatement act and for being a public nuisance. "If the property owner does not adequately address the issues, there are remedies the lawsuit will provide that address the issue," said Jason McEwen, the deputy district attorney for the city.
Remedies like shutting it down completely. To avoid that, the owner's cooperating, putting in new surveillance cameras and issuing a 60-day notice on June 1 for tenants to vacate, so the hotel can start over. "They're going to renovate and they've got a new property management where they're going to bring in and do background checks," said Dan Hodgson, a maintenance worker at the hotel.
Neighbors like Modrow hope it cleans things up. Not only for their peace of mind, but because they want north Palm Springs to continue growing and improving. "We're looking for this problem to be resolved and the neighborhood to thrive," said Modrow.
The attorney for the property owner says she's hired a new management firm, security patrol and wants to remodel and upgrade the Bahama hotel. He's confident they can reach a resolution with the city before there's a need to take the matter to court.