OYO Hotel in BR, known for illegal activity, under new management

OYO Hotel, which is known as a hotspot for criminal and drug activity, is now under new ownership. A new owner is taking over one of the OYO Hotels off I-12.
Published: Sep. 28, 2022 at 1:25 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 29, 2022 at 6:34 PM CDT

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - OYO Hotel, which is known as a hotspot for criminal and drug activity, is now under new ownership.

A new owner is taking over one of the OYO Hotels off I-12. Police are often called to the hotel on Mead Road for reports of criminal activity. City leaders hope the new management makes some changes. “We are hoping that the new ownership will actually put an infusion in funding into the hotel to improve its operation,” says East Baton Rouge Chief Administrative Officer Darryl Gissel.

Deadly drug overdoses, suspected prostitution and disturbing the community are a few of the complaints that caught the attention of city leaders. Since 2022, Baton Rouge EMS crews responded to a total of 68 calls. 18 of those calls involved overdoses.

Property records show managers from Unique Hospitality LLC paid more than $2 million for the Oyo Hotel Baton Rouge-Mead Road Location. Gissel plans to sit down with the new management to discuss some of the problems in the area. “Any ownership change is of great interest to us, we know this is one of the hotels that’s had a real problems in the past. We’ve worked with the older owner to try to improve what was going on there,” explains Gissel.

Gissel says the former owner hired off duty officers to patrol and reduce the activity happening around the hotel. About a month ago, the former owner ended his contact with BRPD because he could no longer afford it. Money problems are what ultimately lead to the change of ownership. “We do know that since, the bank, since 2020 has been involved in issues with that property, seizures, foreclosures, things that were kind of on the books, but probably never fully executed,” adds Gissel.

Gissels says he want to make an amendment to the parish’s hotel ordinance, allowing police to issue citations if certain activities continue. “We are really doing everything we can to rewrite the hotel ordinance that the city has on the books. That ordinance has been very problematic in trying to do actual enforcement. It talks about the fact that felony arrests in many cases have to be the trigger for citing the owner,” explains Gissel.

Gissel plans to have the modified hotel ordinance ready to present to the Metro Council within the next 30 days.

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