If you’re black and looking for a hotel in Portland, Ore., you might want to stay away from the Residence Inn by Marriott Portland Downtown/Convention Center. Unless, of course, you’re willing to agree to their “no party policy,” which a new $300,000 lawsuit claims is only required for black guests.
From the Oregonian:
Felicia Gonzales, 51, claims the front desk clerk at the Residence Inn by Marriott Portland Downtown/Convention Center told her that all guests had to sign the policy. But Gonzales soon learned that didn’t hold true as she watched white guests check in after her who weren’t required to sign the policy, according to the lawsuit.
The two-page no party policy, provided by Gonzales’ attorneys, says it was established to inform all guests of noise limits and “not to insinuate any distrust in the ‘average’ guest.”
“No hotels want to have parties in them and we don’t want that type of business,” the policy read.
“Having to sign a ‘NO PARTY’ policy form did not feel right to Ms. Gonzales, so she went back to the front desk,” the lawsuit states. “Ms. Gonzales observed as multiple Caucasian guests checked in. None of them were asked to sign a ‘NO PARTY’ policy.”
Her lawsuit notes that prior to the incident, Gonzales held a Marriott Rewards membership and “never had a problem or noise complaint at any other Marriott hotel she had ever stayed at,” but agreed to sign the policy in order to check into her room.
Gonzales is seeking $300,000 for embarrassment, frustration, humiliation and “feelings of racial stigmatization.” The lawsuit, which was filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court, can also be amended to include $1 million in punitive damages.
Jeff Flahert, a spokesperson for Marriott, stated that the hotel chain doesn’t provide public comment on pending lawsuits, but I suppose we’ll soon be finding out if they cut checks instead.