Downtowner to close, owner’s license revoked
November 21, 2008
The Carson City Board of Supervisors on Thursday revoked the business license for the Downtowner Motor Inn, whose owner, Ralph Ahmad, has not paid room taxes since August. The city will work to find new homes for residents of the 34-room motel at the corner of North Carson and Washington streets.
The city will start moving people in two weeks to a month, Developmental Services Director Walt Sullivan said. They will not be evicted.
“Obviously, we’re just not going to throw them out on the sidewalk,” he said.
Jesse James, a 22-year-old man who’s lived at the Downtowner for two months, said he’s planning to join the circus when he loses his maintenance job at the motel. The move might be harder for the families who live there, he said.
“There’s a lot of kids that won’t have a place to stay,” he said.
Long-term resident Gina Jones, 56, is worried about what will happen to her roommate, who is looking for a job and has a teenage son.
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The Downtowner’s business license doesn’t allow stays longer than a month, but many residents are long-term.
Ahmad also lost his license in August, but got it back when he paid back taxes.
The business was going to be taken over by the Shearer family, Ahmad had said.
Representatives for the Carson City Convention and Visitors Bureau, which collects room taxes, said that they found a check under the door Thursday morning for the few hundred dollars Ahmad owed, but said that it didn’t look valid.
Ahmad could not be reached for comment Thursday.
The Downtowner, a 14,450-square-foot motel built in 1962, re-opened in September 2007 after being shut by the city in April 2005 under Ahmad’s ownership for problems including sewage in living rooms.
The motel is scheduled to be foreclosed and sold at an auction Dec. 9.
– Contact reporter Dave Frank at email@example.com or 881-1212.