Indianapolis hotels receive surprise inspections

More than a dozen Indy hotels, motels inspected

INDIANAPOLIS - The inspection results of more than a dozen Indianapolis hotels and motels on the city’s northwest side were expected to be released Friday just one day after a surprise visit from code enforcement officials.

Police and fire officials conducted random inspections on 18 properties in a day-long effort focused on the health and safety of the public.

Officials issued a number of citations related to health, fire and code enforcement issues. 

Health inspectors found issues with non-working smoke detectors at a number of hotels on the list, including rooms at the first stop of the sweep -- America’s Best Value Inn.

"If people come from out of town to the city, we want them to feel like where they are staying is both clean and safe," Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Sgt. William Carter said.

At another location on the list, The Indy Hostel, near Broad Ripple, agencies surprised owner John Newton who has been up and running for 10 years. He said he didn't know he needed a hotel license.

"We had three meetings with the city. Variance went well. We got through it and I never received any information about us needing a hotel license until 15 days ago," Newton said.

The Indy Hotel on the city’s east side was another stop on the sweep. Police said they made 60 runs to the hotel so far this year.

During Thursday’s sweep, officials found structural issues, with exposed wiring and other fire violations.

"If a location has a high concentration of runs, then obviously that is draining the city's resources, both from fire and the police department, but we also want to make sure those places are safe for guests," Carter said.

Inspectors also found bed bugs at a number of sites.

Police arrested one man at the Country Hearth Inn and Suites on the far east side after officials found him in possession of marijuana and a gun.

Officials with the Department of Code Enforcement said all the hard numbers, including violations and citations, will be available Friday morning.

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