Residents petition to close The Royal Inn

by Daniel Schere

The Royal Inn, located at 200 South Broad Street inWinston-Salem, has once again come under scrutiny by residents who live nearby.

Real estate broker Brandon Vickers started apetition on entitled “Declare the Royal Inn apublic nuisance and immediately begin the abatement process.” It includesa lengthy list of police incidents recorded betweenOctober 24 and June 14, including possession of various types of drugs, rape, prostitution, malicious injuryto property, driving while impaired, trespassing and other disturbances. So farit has more than 200 signatures.

Vickers said in April 2013 the Winston-SalemNeighborhood Association became fed up with the number of incidents and held apublic meeting that was attended by police officers, city officials, citizensand the hotel’s owners. Ultimately, the owners were given time to rectify thesituation, but one year later crime still persists.

“About a year later it doesn’t seem like toomuch has happened. I’m not pointing fingers or anything, but I think maybetheir business model really is broken,” Vickers said.

He said he thinks the crux of the issue is thehotel’s lack of a screening process for its guests.

“When you rent a room by the hour for lessthan $35 and you don’t check people’s identification, and if you have thephilosophy that if you pay you can stay, then in essence you begin to invitethat broken business model.”

Vickers said there have been no issues related todeclining property values, but that the hotel’s presence has affected thequality of life for nearby residents.

“Those things affect people’s ability toquietly enjoy their property, whether they’re renters or whether they’rehomeowners,” he said.

According to the Forsyth County GIS database, thebuilding was purchased for $1.5 million on February 29, 2000 by ShriKrishna 2000 Llc. It has a value of $755,488 with the land being worth$434,700.

Vickers he has not had any recent contact with theowners or city officials and hopes the petition will lead to a voluntaryresolution.