3 Mackinaw City hotels under investigation, accused of misleading reservations and false advertisements

MACKINAW CITY, Mich. (WXYZ) — Three Mackinaw City hotels are under investigation after complaints about business practices related to guest reservations.

Apparently the Beach House Hotel, Crown Choice Inn & Suites, and Hamilton Inn Select Beachfront offered rooms to visitors that weren’t available and falsely advertised an open water park.

According to a state press release, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel issued NIAs to hotels.

“Upon arrival at the closed hotel, the consumer is directed to the Hamilton Inn and assigned a ‘replacement’ room with non-comparable amenities,” the NIA states. “The complaints also allege that consumers who refuse to stay at the Hamilton Inn are denied refunds citing a 72-hour cancellation policy. Refunds are denied even if the consumer was not notified of the hotel’s closure. original hotel at no time prior to the consumer’s arrival in the City of Mackinaw.”

As part of the investigation, Attorney General’s Special Agent Dana Nessel made a reservation at the Crown Choice Inn for Nov. 10 for a “twin room with balcony and lake view.” Apparently, the reservation also included “access to 17 indoor swimming pools and admission to an indoor water park”. The press release says the agent received an email confirming his reservation five days after making the reservation. The reservation was confirmed one day prior to the original room reservation and after the 72 hour cancellation window. The officer arrived Nov. 10 at the Crown Choice Inn, where the press release said the hotel was closed and had a sign directing visitors to the Hamilton Inn. The press release says the agent was informed that his reservation had been transferred to the Hamilton Inn and that the water park was not accessible as it was closed for cleaning, and that there are no other water parks in the area.

“Tourism is part of the lifeblood of Northern Michigan’s economy,” Nessel said. “My Office will not tolerate actions that threaten our reputation in the tourism industry or harm consumers.”

The press release indicates that hotels have until February 18 to respond and take appropriate action to resolve the issues detected by the AG department.

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