A Cody woman claims her family was rudely thrown out of Las Vegas Hotel on Saturday by staff using racist and vulgar language.
Sarah Paul said that when her nephew politely requested to go back inside to get his wife, who was still inside with their infant child and apparently unaware of an incident that just occurred, a staff member at the Virgin Hotels Las Vegas rudely refused.
“The guy just looked at him and said, ‘I don’t give a f*ck. Get out,’” Paul told Cowboy State Daily on Sunday.
She said that she and her family, who are of Hispanic heritage, were also referred to as “f*cking Mexicans” by a security guard, within earshot of other staff and guests in the hotel lobby.
The eviction was allegedly over the family’s dogs showing aggressive behavior toward other guests, which Paul said didn’t happen.
She added that she received a response early Sunday to a complaint she lodged with the hotel’s parent company, Hilton.
The company promised to investigate the incident, Paul said. But her family had yet to be refunded any of the roughly $3,800 they had spent on reserving rooms and for tickets to a mariachi concert at the hotel.
A front office manager at the hotel, who identified himself as “Raschan H.,” told Cowboy State Daily that no word of such an incident had crossed his desk.
He added that any further comment would be corporate matter, and agreed to put Cowboy State Daily in contact with corporate public relations personnel, who were not available on Sunday.
Paul said her family has deep roots in Park County, her fiancé owns a business in Powell.
They’ve also been loyal customers of the Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas for years, she said.
They drive to the Los Angeles area every year during the Fourth of July holiday. The trek includes a stayover in Vegas, usually on July 1. They have always reserved rooms at that hotel, and have frequently taken in concerts in the hotel’s showrooms during their stays.
And members of the family also frequently stay there at other times of the year, Paul said.
During the ruckus on Saturday, she said that her nephew tried telling hotel staff that “I stay here in this hotel at least once a month.”
Aggressive Dog Accusations
The family travels with two America bulldogs. “Maui,” a male, is a certified Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) service dog. He helps Paul’s son, Cain, with panic attacks and other health challenges.
Their female dog, “Luna” is strictly a pet, Paul said, adding that neither of the dogs has ever been aggressive.
Part of the reason they’ve stayed loyal to the Virgin Hotels is because it’s a “dog-friendly” establishment, she said.
She said that after a 14-hour drive from Park County, the family was checking in to the hotel Saturday, where rooms they had already reserved and paid for. Some other guests asked if they could pet the dogs.
Luna enjoyed the attention, but Maui was sleeping, Paul said. She said that as near as she can figure, it’s possible that somebody mistook his unusual snoring “because of his bulldog snout” for growling.
“All of the sudden, here comes this 6-foot-3, bald white guy with another guy (hotel security),” Paul said. “He said, ‘Get your f*cking dogs out of here.’”
Paul said they were told that they had to leave, because their dogs had been reported being aggressive toward other guests.
When they tried to push back, explaining that Maui is an ADA-certified service animal, and that they already had paid for their rooms and 14 concert tickets, the bald security guard continued to be rude and belligerent.
At one point, near the main doors in the lobby, he announced over his two-way radio that he was “eighty-sixing these f*cking Mexicans,” Paul said.
110 Degree Heat
Paul said that her nephew tried complaining to front desk staff, and requested to go inform his wife – who was eating in a hotel café with their infant child – about what was happening. But he told her that his requests were rebuffed with more vulgar language.
They family had to regroup outside “in 110-degree heat” and then seek other lodging.
“Of course, it’s the Fourth of July Weekend, so everything was booked solid. We ended up having to stay all they way over in Henderson,” Paul said.
Henderson is about 16 miles southeast of downtown Las Vegas.
Paul said she plans to keep corresponding with Hilton corporate headquarters and isn’t sure where things will go from here, or if any legal action will be taken.
She said the incident reflects racism and “how bad discrimination is like against ADA.”
Mark Heinz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.