I-TEAM INVESTIGATION: Unwelcome "Guests " at the Guest Inn

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Monday, March 4th, 2019
News 12 at 6 o'clock/NBC at 7

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - People working and staying at a local hotel say they fear for their safety because of what's next door. The Guest Inn went into foreclosure five years ago but it hasn't stopped people from staying overnight in the old dilapidated motel. Our I-Team found beer bottles, makeshift beds, and feces inside some of the rooms with doors wide open. The Guest Inn is steps from shopping, dining, and lodging near Washington Road.

Nighttime is always the worst. "I'm scared enough to call my boss or have guest walk me to my car," Julia Gray said She's the night clerk at the Staybridge Suites. It's of four hotels grouped close together on Center West Parkway. "It's literally right here," Julia said motioning to the Guest Inn. The old motel sits in the middle of the four hotels. "We've had everyone from homeless people come out of there ladies of the night all types of stuff," she said.

The inside is gutted but it hasn't stopped overnight "guests." "This is one of the rooms that are open and you can see someone has been staying here. There are beer cans on the floor, graffiti on the wall. There is a lock right there as well," our I-Team's Liz Owens said as she walked inside. "That looks like someone may have been doing some kind of drugs right here." Our I-Team also saw makeshift beds and human feces on the floor.

"At night if i want to walk to Texas Roadhouse and get something to eat. You really don't want to walk by yourself because people will come up and approach you," Robert Kelser said. He stays at the Staybridge four days a week when he comes here for work. He's now thinking twice about it. "In the past no it wasn't a problem. Nowadays..." his voice trailed off.

"It's not only something that is ugly but something that makes myself and others feel uncomfortable," Julia said. "We called police. We've reported to the city. We've had our guests call in as well because they feel unsafe so we reported on numerous occasions," she added.

Our I-Team spoke with property management. They told us they have received complaints over the years. They told us they do plan to renovate but the city doesn't have a record of any recent permits pulled for work. The Guest Inn has been sitting five empty for years now.

Property management did send someone out to secure the motel after we called them. We went back out there and found the new locks broken and lying on the ground.