FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Six months into Fort Wayne’s new grading system for hotels, almost every lodging facility in the city has an “A” or “B” rating. But city-county leaders say the current grades don’t represent the entire hotel, which is why some don’t match online reviews.
The Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health launched its new grading system for hotels, motels, and inns in January.
In April, the Regency Inn on W. Coliseum Blvd. received an “F” and a $450 fine with one of the worst inspections. Inspectors shut down several rooms after finding bed bugs, animal droppings, graffiti, and soiled mattresses.
After a couple more failed inspections and a hearing, the Regency Inn passed an inspection and the Health Department gave it an “A” rating.
Inspectors handed out drastic and sudden changes in grades to several other lodging facilities as well.
Since it’s the first year for the grading system, the Health Department can only get to about 10 percent of rooms at each hotel or motel. Per the ordinance, the facilities are fixing specific rooms in violation, then getting inspectors to come take another look.
Leaders with the Health Department say it’s ultimately a good thing that hotels are improving, but the current grades don’t reflect the condition of the entire hotel.
“There are a few [facilities] that were in poor disrepair, they remediated those few rooms, but perhaps didn’t address the rest of the facility. So that’s something that I think will be covered in the next few years as we progressively look at the entire place,” said Mindy Waldron, administrator with the Health Department.
Manager Angela Beyer with the Regency Inn gladly showed NewsChannel 15 improvements going on inside the facility Thursday. The rooms that were cited for health violations appeared to be much cleaner with new mattresses and new paint. Beyer said an exterminator had also sprayed for bed bugs. The manager was thankful for the new ordinance.
“It kind of helped us, guide us to take care of certain things that we overlook,” she said.
Despite the “A” grade, the Regency Inn isn’t out of the clear. The Health Department has required four rooms to remain closed. NewsChannel 15 asked why the facility received an “A” when the rooms in question were still unfit to rent. Waldron said the Regency Inn is in the process of gutting and improving those rooms, which is the ultimate goal of the ordinance.
Waldron expects it to take several years before inspectors can check every room in every Fort Wayne hotel.