CINCINNATI -- City leaders may take the first steps Tuesday in trying to get the owners of Downtown’s largest hotel to do a remodel.
Vice Mayor Chris Smitherman and Coucilwoman Amy Murray have submitted a motion asking Mayor John Cranley to appoint a task force, which would “engage by any means necessary in discussions with the owners” of the Millenium Hotel to remodel the property.
For many years Cranley has tried to persuade Millennium owners to either renovate the hotel connected to the Duke Energy Convention Center, or sell it. The hotel is part of the London-based Millennium & Copthorne Hotels chain. The majority investor in the chain is Singapore-based City Developments Limited.
“I want to officially tell people not to stay there because they will have a bad experience in Cincinnati,” Cranley said. “That’s just a terrible place to stay.”
Millennium Hotels spokesperson Erik Anderouard responded to city officials' allegations, in a statement to WCPO, that Millennium Hotels and Resorts Group has been proud to be a part of the Cincinnati community for more than 20 years, but "Unfortunately, certain local government authorities appear to have launched a campaign against our business. Our business model is to provide safe and clean rooms to our visitors and guests at a very reasonable price in Downtown Cincinnati. We are proud of our more than 100 dedicated colleagues, many of whom have been with the hotel for many years, and the support we provide to our neighbors, suppliers and other stakeholders."
Prosecutor Joe Deters said last month that he would file a public nuisance complaint, which could temporarily shut down the 872-room hotel on West Fifth Street. A judge would then decide whether the hotel stays closed until repairs are made.
“I don’t stay there, but I’ve heard that it’s really bad,” Deters said. “That location is great. But the property itself is in such disrepair and has been such a problem.”
Anderouard's statement from Millennium Hotels continues: "We have been fully cooperative with the City of Cincinnati's recent inspections from this past week, which did not raise any out-of-the-ordinary issues. As good corporate citizens, we believe this campaign on our business is unwarranted, and should disturb any business operating in the city.
We have chosen to take the high road while our hotel continues to offer safe, clean rooms at affordable prices.
In the meantime, we welcome the opportunity to engage in meaningful and productive discussions on the ways our hotel can continue to be supportive of the long-term vision and vitality of Cincinnati.”
City council will meet at 10 a.m. Tuesday. WCPO will update this story.