News

3 Mackinaw City hotels under investigation, accused of misleading reservations, fake ads

Hotels have until Feb. 18 to take appropriate steps to address the issues
Mackinac Bridge file photo
Posted at 12:35 PM, Feb 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-10 12:35:10-05

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

Allegedly 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 waterpark.

According to a news release from the state, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel issued an NIA to the hotels.

"Upon arrival to the closed hotel, the consumer is directed to the Hamilton Inn and given a ‘substitute’ room with non-comparable amenities," states the NIA. "The complaints also allege consumers who decline to stay at the Hamilton Inn are denied refunds citing a 72-hour cancellation policy. The refunds are denied even though the consumer was not made aware of the original hotel’s closure at any time prior to the consumer arriving in Mackinaw City."

Within the investigation, a special agent from Attorney General Dana Nessel made a reservation at the Crown Choice Inn for Nov. 10 for a "two-bed queen lake view balcony room." Allegedly the reservation also included "access to 17 indoor pools and admission to an indoor waterpark." The news release states that the agent received an email confirming his reservation five days after he made the reservation. The reservation was confirmed a day before the room was initially booked and was after the 72-hour cancellation window. The agent arrived on Nov. 10 at the Crown Choice Inn, where according to the news release, the hotel was closed and had a sign directing visitors to the Hamilton Inn. The news release states that the agent was told that his reservation was moved to the Hamilton Inn and that the waterpark was not accessible due to it being closed for cleaning, and that there are no other waterparks in the area.

“Tourism is part of the life-blood for the economy in northern Michigan,” Nessel said.  "My Office will not tolerate actions that threaten our reputation in the tourism industry or harm consumers.”

The news release states that the hotels have until Feb. 18 to respond and take appropriate steps to address the issues the AG department found.