HOTEL

High volume of 911 calls from local hotel links back to housing crisis

Despite crime being down in the city of Fort Myers—Fort Myers Police are seeing a trend at a local hotel on U.S. 41.

Even though the snowbirds are out of town right now, FMPD said there is actually one area of town that’s remaining busy…for them.

Police told Fox 4 Investigates the Travelodge located on South Cleveland Avenue has more 911 calls than any other hotel in the area.

MORE: See Part One of this report

Since May, police have responded to this hotel for an armed robbery, a shooting, a resident of the hotel who was accused of animal abuse across the street, and many other calls for service. This prompted FOX 4 to look deeper into the activity at the hotel.

When you combine low hotel rates with the affordable housing crisis that’s squeezing people across the area, you get a larger number of people with nowhere else to turn. That included an 18-year-old who lived at the hotel with her mother when they couldn’t afford rent.

“I felt like the first week I was there, it [the hotel] didn’t have much of an issue. But then a month or two later, everything started to go downhill,” the teenager said.

This 18-year-old did not want to risk her safety by going on camera, so we’re going to refer to her as Jane. A homeless advocate who partners with Fort Myers Police introduced us to Jane as a former customer of the hotel.

“There are a lot of negative things that go on over there… Violence, people have guns, not respecting the hotel policies, not caring and a lot of times it ends with cops,” Jane said.

Some of the things Jane claims to have seen showed up in 5 years of calls for service records Fox 4 Investigates

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