4 hotels to pay $105K over wildfire price-gouging

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Four Oregon hotels will pay over $105,000 in penalties and reimburse at least 100 customers to settle allegations of price gouging during wildfires last year.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the September fires burned more than 1 million acres and forced thousands of Oregonians from their homes, many of whom fled to hotels.

Some people reported sharply higher hotel prices and Gov. Kate Brown issued a directive to crack down on price gouging.

The hotels paying penalties and reimbursing customers include the Rodeway Inn Willamette River in Corvallis; Capital Inn & Suites in Salem; Le Chateau Inn in Florence; and the Days Inn in Roseburg.

According to the Oregon Department of Justice, the Capital Inn typically charged between $60 and $80 per night for one room.

DOJ’s investigation found instances of the Capital Inn charging $135 a night after the governor’s declaration.

One room went for $146.25. Capital Inn customers have already received $1,342 in refunds.

In addition, under the settlement the hotel must reimburse any consumers who paid more than $92 per night including taxes and fees.

Consumers who feel they were overcharged should contact the Oregon DOJ’s Consumer Complaint Hotline. Finally, the Capital Inn will pay the state $38,000 for its conduct.

Le Chateau Inn in Florence, Oregon

Le Chateau Inn typically charged between $89 and $125 per night for one room. DOJ’s investigation found at least 18 rooms for which the hotel raised the price more than 15 percent after the governor’s declaration.

As a result, 22 Oregonians will receive $2,188.87 in restitution. In addition, the Le Chateau Inn will pay the state $21,600.

Rodeway Inn Willamette River in Corvallis, Oregon

Rodeway Inn typically charged between $80 and $100 per night for one room. DOJ’s investigation identified 15 rooms for which the hotel raised the price more than 15 percent, charging as much $150 for a room with a single queen bed. DOJ required the Rodeway Inn to issue 23 refunds totaling $918.15.

In addition, the Rodeway Inn will pay the state $15,000.

Days Inn by Wyndham in Roseburg, Oregon

DOJ’s investigation found that prior to the fires, the highest room rate the Days Inn charged for one night was $150.

After the governor’s declaration, 12 different rooms rented for over $200 per night, and 6 rooms rented for over $300 per night.

Altogether, DOJ’s investigation found 31 different instances of a room rate increased by over 15 percent.

The Days Inn will pay $4,860.07 to 31 to those Oregonians. In addition,  the Days Inn will pay the state $31,000.

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