Hampton Inn & Suites In Violation Of City Codes
It started off as just another bad experience in the world of customer service in the hospitality industry, but it would lead to the uncovering of guest privacy invasion and a twenty year history of license expiration and ordinance code violations by one of the most reputable brands in the hotel industry.
During a recent stay in Milwaukee Wisconsin after having to frantically leave yet another hotel due to being stalked by a racist militia group, I booked a reservation at the Hampton Inn & Suites in downtown Milwaukee (176. W Wisconsin Ave). It almost seemed too perfect since the deal I received via Agoda for this particular hotel didn’t match the luxurious look of the room I was booking. As a journalist essentially on the run because I’m consistently stalked by various people I book hotel stays a day at a time as I never know when I’m going to have to pack up and leave in a hurry. The check in this day took over an hour. The clerk behind the desk seemed to lack training. Having not slept in two days because of the stalking I just wanted to get into the room and pass out. As I went to pay for my online booking I was informed the price was significantly higher than what I booked the room for which just added to the discouragement. I was told I was paying an additional fee of $50 for incidentals. This term being new to me I inquired what that meant. I’m used to fees being applied by some hotels in case there is damage to the room or if one decides to lift some towels to take with them as the unofficial souvenir, but an incidental fee seemed odd. I was told the fee was for the use of the room phone, movie rentals and other amenities of the hotel. Considering I own two cell phones and had no interest in renting movies or using any other amenities since I was technically on business and not staying for some much needed relaxing vacation, I didn’t feel this fee was necessary. I expressed my concern and the clerk removed the fee and I paid the booking rate that I reserved. Once in the room I was quite impressed. I figured with the amount of chaos I have endured over the last six months being able to stay in a luxurious room for a few days was just what I needed.
The following morning around 6am, I extended my stay another night, again using Agoda. I coordinated this with yet another clerk and was told it was all set. I returned back to my room only to see a charge for much more than what I booked the room for. I figured well, this was that incidental fee that I had already argued about. Too tired, I would just deal with this later after I woke up. At 11:49am I was woken up by the hotel phone ringing. Since I had no use for the phone and wasn’t expecting any calls I didn’t answer. Plus I was trying to sleep. Moments later my cell phone would start to ring. When I picked up it was the hotel’s General Manager who I would later identify as Amy Grunwald greeting me with some extra special morning rudeness telling me I was passed check out time and would need to leave the hotel immediately. As I tried to explain that I had extended my stay, I was cut off and told that I did not extend my stay and needed to leave. After several attempts of trying to explain how I did in fact extend the room she realized her mistake. With no apology afforded, it was confirmed that the room was booked and that the reservation was accepted. Thank god because I already paid for the room.
Later that evening I would exit the hotel and do some live streaming around the city seeing who was out and about on a late Sunday night. During my stream I would once again get stalked by the very same racist militia group that had confronted me just days prior for over two hours as viewers watched.
The following morning around 10am I went downstairs to have my morning cigarette and to extend my stay again by two more days. I noticed a clerk behind the desk but this time accompanied by the General Manager. I explained I was going to extend my stay by another two nights and would be booking through Agoda again but was stepping outside first and I’d be back in to secure the room. While outside, I booked the room. When I came back in I went to the desk to finalize the details and make the payment. Again, met with rudeness and accusations of not booking the room by no other than Amy Grunwald. This was seriously starting to get annoying. Once again I explained I did in fact reserve the room again and again after several moments of back and forth exchange she would realize she again made another mistake. I was told the price of the room which was $11 higher than what I reserved the room for. This led to another diatribe of dialog until it was fixed. The entire time met with rudeness and accusations. Not what I expected when it comes to customer service. She still attempted to charge me for a higher rate but it was pennies that I wasn’t going to argue about. When I ran the credit card it came up declined. Now of course this led to another argument as she was charging me a significant amount higher than what the room was booked for. I was informed the higher rate was for incidentals. Frustrated I informed her I had already paid this fee and finding out now that this fee was actually a daily fee and not a onetime fee was something a guest should have been told from the beginning. For me knowing I’m surviving 24 hours at a time there was no way I could consistently come up with this amount of money, I would have never booked this hotel with such malicious fees applied on a daily basis. Again, more argument and rudeness. By this time it was check out time and I wasn’t staying. Knowing all of my belonging were still upstairs in the room she refused to activate my room key so I could pack and I was told I would be escorted to my room. Escorted?? Had I done something wrong to be escorted through the hotel? I was taken to my room by whom I would later identify as a Chief of Engineering, Dean Hunt.
A couple of hours later I returned downstairs to exit the hotel and be on my way to my next hotel stay. After I loaded the vehicle of the Lyft driver’s car I returned the hotel cart to the front entrance. Without a hotel key card I could not get inside. Dean exited the building and gave me a nasty look and shook his head. Appalled I looked at him and expressed that I would be writing an article about my experience at this hotel. Dean laughed and stated he knew who I was. He repeated my first and last name, along with my company name and some very personal details about me that would not have shown up in a hotel computer system. With some of the personal information he revealed he knew about me, it was obvious he had to be an enemy. As I asked him who he was and if he was associated with a specific militia group, he laughed again and said, yeah that’s right. I told the driver to leave immediately and I was on my way.
Once I arrived at my new location I called the hotel and spoke with Amy Grunwald to express my serious concern about this privacy violation and serious safety concern. Amy explained how this behavior was acceptable for hotel employees to look into guests despite this being a policy violation with the Hilton Brand. She saw no issue that I was stalked online by an employee and just confronted outside of the hotel by an individual on duty self-identifying as a racist militia member. This was not acceptable and not going to go unnoticed.
Now, if you know the name Never Stop Media, you know very well that if there is corruption, racism or something to expose that the general public needs to know, we are going to find it and expose it. After doing some digging into Amy Grunwald, Dean Hunt and the Hampton Inn, I found some very disturbing information about this property. What started as a bad experience has now led to guest safety issue with a very creepy employee and would turn even worse with what we uncovered.
It was found that the Hampton Inn & Suites in downtown Milwaukee was operating without a current Hotel License. Their previous license had expired and the city issued a violation to the hotel. Doing some more digging and speaking with a representative with the city, it was confirmed that the hotel is in violation of operating without the proper licensing and there has been no current license issued to date of this article. This is even more concerning considering that Amy Grunwald told us they did in fact have the proper licensing to be operating the hotel and that it was not true they were operating without a hotel license. They just recently applied for a Food Safety License which hasn’t been issued yet, yet they sell food in the hotel lobby.
Doing some more digging into this hotel they have a history that spreads twenty years of not having the proper licenses and city violations. As I kept clicking on more links within the city's website, I was appalled and frightened at what I was looking at. The Hampton Inn has more current violations with the city when it comes to very serious safety issues. I was looking at multiple documents that listed dozens of city ordinance violations ranging from everything from not keeping the proper binders behind the desk that would include the location of handicapped guest that checked into the hotel should there be an emergency to documents listing date/time checks of mandatory safety equipment, and employee training logs for emergencies. As I read on there were even more violations when it came to what the City of Milwaukee calls “Life Safety”. These violations were even more concerning because they listed violations consisting of “Exit” signs not being installed, “Exit” signs not being illuminated, Fire Extinguishers not being filled or in working order, Smoke detectors and fire alarms not in working order & carbon monoxide detectors not installed. Improper extension cords being used that could cause fires as they were plugged into outlets not approved for this specific type of cord, extensions cords being hung from fixtures, and other extension cords running out of exit doors leaving the doors propped open which leads to security issues for random people being able to access the hotel. If you are lucky enough to find an exit during a fire or other serious safety issue you may not be lucky enough to exit because multiple exit doors are blocked off and not accessible. And the list of fire safety related violations goes on. This is extremely concerning because the likelihood of a fire starting in this hotel is actually possible considering they are using the wrong cords to plug major pieces of equipment in. Should there be a fire you wouldn’t know considering the smoke detectors don’t work. The pull fire alarms don’t work to even notify other guests there is a fire and if you think you might be able to fight the fire yourself, you will be hard-pressed to find a fire extinguisher or even one in working order. Now again, these aren’t just one off issues, this has been going on since 2001. Guess who is responsible for correcting these issues? Yep, you guessed it, Dean Hunt, the Chief of Engineering who instead of correcting these issues for the safety of the guests, he’s busy sitting in the main lobby on his phone stalking guests and you won’t find the General Manager Amy Grunwald staying on top of these issues because she’s busy being rude to guests and obviously not doing her job because she can’t even fill out the necessary paperwork that belongs in her office where I might add there is also not a working fire extinguisher.
I’ve made several calls to corporate and to guest services which is even more of a nightmare because there aren’t supervisors you can speak with, they refuse to give out corporate’s number, you can’t figure out who Amy’s boss is and god forbid you want to speak with any of the chief executives of the company, you just get redirected back to Amy with any complaints and you can imagine where those complaints go. Considering Never Stop Media is not one to be ran around in circles we were able to speak with Laura Fuentes who is the Vice President & Chief Executive Officer of Human Resources who initially sounded concerned about what I was telling her but after several days has still not gotten back to me in regards to any resolution. We were able to find out that Schulte Hospitality owns this particular property as this Hampton Inn & Suites is a franchised property from the Hilton brand. We still have not heard from the Regional Vice President of Schulte, Jacob Vanwinkle and a supervisor from the escalations department has also not contacted us back. Doesn’t really seem like anyone is taking any of this as serious as it needs to be taken when it comes to creepy stalking employees and the very real possibility that this hotel could result in something similar to the Great Chicago Fire.
Normally, Never Stop Media investigates and reports news to its followers so they are aware, but in this situation we had to take this a step further. NSM and its followers have engaged in a phone campaign directly against the hotel disrupting business and demanding for Amy and Dean’s immediate termination. Since the exposing of the safety issues, these phone calls have escalated to demands of obtaining the proper licensing immediately and addressing and fixing the fire safety violations. Phone calls by us and our followers have reached Schulte Hospitality as well as Corporate Executives with the demands we are after. We have also created an online petition Boycotting the Hampton Inn & Suites in downtown Milwaukee. Our most recent protest with this very dangerous hotel will now be aimed at the District 4 Alderman Robert Bauman calling for action since this property falls in his district. Our next step will be conducting an actual protest outside of this hotel and canvasing the area with literature to let the residents of Milwaukee know about these very serious issues that one of their own local businesses possess to its community. Considering the Hampton Inn & Suites has no concern for the safety and regard to human life we strongly feel that this hotel needs to be shut down. This is an ongoing story and we will update you with further developments via our YouTube Channel Never Stop Voices.
The hotel can be reached at (414) 271-4656. At this point with the amount of calls coming in the hotel has been hanging up on everyone. We will be staging a protest at a later date TBD to SHUT IT DOWN!!!! Keep calling the hotel demanding for these two employees to be terminated. The corporate number is 703-883-1000 x 36580, the Hospitality Company that owns this franchised location is Schulte Hospitality 502-489-3737 x 7092. File complaints, email complaints. Do not let up. Sign The Petition!!!!