Louisville Magazine

JAN 2017

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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wuol.org 20 LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 12.16 THE BIT Last year the Economy Inn simmered in the headlines. Reporters exhausted every angle. And justifiably so. The Economy Inn (now called the Budgetel Inn), located just outside the Watterson Expressway on Bardstown Road, had become a nuisance, a star quarterback of naughty: drug use, prostitution, human trafficking, criminals hiding out from probation and parole, folks wanted by cops holed up in a "Jacuzzi suite," residents fighting, residents eating turtles from nearby Beargrass Creek and discarding shells in a neighbor's yard. (That last one isn't made up! Source: a March 2015 Courier-Journal article.) In the fall of 2015, the owners of the Economy Inn (a group of brothers from Michigan) attempted an awkward mea culpa in the form of a community Halloween party at the hotel. Still, the naughty persisted. Finally, this past summer, a real step toward turnaround came when Budgetel Inn & Suites, a national operation, took over. The Economy Inn sign was taken down and some tough love arrived. Security cameras now watch the property. Guests must show identification. After 10 p.m. no one is allowed to roam around knocking on doors. Roughly 70 percent of the hotel has been remodeled with new bathrooms, granite countertops and new furniture. The hotel also got a new manager, Mike Patel, who lives on-site. And he's committed to the cause. He has dreams of attracting corporate clients (and not the kind swooping in for a little one- night action). "From here on out we are going up and up," Patel says. A review of 911 calls over the last 18 months shows the hotel still demands quite a bit of attention from police, EMS and probation and parole officers. But councilman Pat Mulvihill, whose district includes the hotel, says things are "definitely headed in a better direction." Recently, the hotel earned a 92 percent on its health inspection. This from a venue that nearly got shut down twice by the local health department in 2015 for health-code violations. — Anne Marshall WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO?

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