Florida hotel owners pay $500,000 to settle suit
The owners of three hotels in the Miami area have settled a lawsuit alleging that the hotels’ owners had illegally refused to rent rooms to customers for religious reasons.
The lawsuit filed last year in federal court in Miami alleges that two hotel owners in Lake Tahoe, one of which was owned by a Florida company, had not paid a $500.000 penalty on behalf of their business in order to resolve the lawsuit, which was filed in December of 2016.
The suit claims that the Lake Tahoes owners “refused to provide rooms to guests who were being denied a place to stay because they were non-Christian.”
The lawsuit claims that, when the hotel owners began offering accommodations for religious accommodations, “they deliberately discriminated against guests of other religions by refusing to rent or lease rooms to non-religious guests.”
Lake Tahos owner Bill Smith told WFTV that he “hadn’t heard anything about this lawsuit and that it was a totally false and inaccurate allegation.
We’re going to vigorously defend ourselves and the hotel.”
Smith said he was not aware of the allegations when he signed a lease for the hotel in September.
He said he had no knowledge of the complaint, but that he had “never discriminated” against guests on the basis of religion.
The Lake Taho Hotel was located in a shopping center, which is owned by the Lake County Development Corp., and was built in 2003.
The hotel is located in the shopping center on a 1.8-acre site with a parking lot and a parking garage.
The owners have been the subject of several lawsuits alleging discrimination and are facing a class-action lawsuit from the Lake Co., which owns the shopping mall.
The plaintiffs allege that Lake Tahoma hotels were located in multiple locations throughout the city and county.
They claim that, based on religious beliefs, they could not provide a service that required religious accommodations.
They say that because they could offer religious accommodations in one location, they “must have been aware of this discriminatory practice.”
Lake Co. attorney Jason Wiebe told The Associated Press last year that the suit “takes us back a long way” and said the lawsuit “will have a huge impact on the Lakecoast.”