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Proposed Hotel Registration Ordinance


My comments in blue.  Should have been subtitled “Ihre Papieren, bitte.”  Frankly, this seems about as intrusive as – and far less potentially effective than – checking IDs at the front door of WalMart to look for fugitives.




117.01 Definitions.
The following words or phrases, whenever used in this article, shall be construed as defined in this section:

Hotel. A building having three or more rooms in which members of the public may temporarily obtain sleeping accommodations for consideration. The term includes those establishments commonly known as hotels, motels, tourist homes, tourist houses, tourist courts, lodging houses, or inns.

Official photo identification. A driver’s license, passport, or other government issued identification document.

117.02 Maintenance standards in general.
Every person who owns, manages or operates any hotel in the city shall at all times keep and maintain it, and each and every room, apartment or place and all fixtures, furniture, bedding and other things used in connection with the business in a thoroughly clean and sanitary condition.

Aren’t there already health regulations that deal with this at the state level?  What is “thoroughly clean and sanitary?”

117.03 Guest registration.
A. No person registering in a hotel shall do so or attempt to do so under any false name or identity.

Well, that should keep out all the bad people.  Especially those celebrities who use false names to check into hotels so they can do such nefarious things as get a quiet night’s sleep without fans showing up at all hours of the night.  Of course, fugitives will be so terrified of the potential misdemeanor charge that they will either use their real names or take their hotel/motel tax dollars elsewhere.

No person registering in a hotel shall present for the purpose of registration, false identification or any identification which misrepresents or fails to disclose the registrant’s true identity.

Last I checked, it was already illegal to present a fake ID for any reason.  I’d also say we need that fifth grade English teacher to explain that something which fails to disclose a person’s identity is, by definition, not identification.

B. It shall be the duty of the owner or operator of any hotel as defined in this chapter to keep a register of persons accommodated in the hotel for the purpose of verifying registrants’
identities. The register shall include, for all guest rooms and guest stays, both:

Okay, this is just good business sense, but if a business owner wants to take a chance with their own property, that is their right.

1. The name of the registrant, the type of official photo identification presented and any personal identification number contained thereupon, the registrant’s permanent residence
address, an attached photocopy of the official photo identification that was presented, and the expected duration of the registrant’s stay in such establishment; or, in the alternative,
2. Documentation that the person guaranteed payment using a valid credit card issued in the name of the registrant as provided by the registrant, which at the time of registration, was
verified through the hotel’s customary credit card verification procedures.

We can’t demand that of someone wanting to vote, so why should checking into a motel for the night be harder than picking a President?

No owner or operator, or his employee, agent or representative shall knowingly write, cause to be written, or permit to be written, in any register in any hotel any other or different name or designation than the true name of the person so registered therein.

So if you recognize [insert celebrity here] but still allow them to sign in under an assumed name, you’re now committing a crime too.

C. The record or register shall be available at all times for inspection by any officer of the police department of the city, and shall be maintained by the hotel’s owner for a period of two years.

Oh come on; I can make it across town on a bicycle in half an hour.  If they’re going to a two year response time, they need to start using some of that bike-and-walk fuel so many of them are hoarding and sell off the cars.

D. Any person who violates any provision of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine as defined by state statute.


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