Controversial Best Way Inn, in Columbia, surrenders business license, closes

A City of Columbia hotel has agreed to voluntarily relinquish its business license, effective today.

Columbia Police Department  representatives sent a letter of notification to Mr. K. Patel, owner/operator of the Best Way Inn, 2322 Two Notch Road of the intention to declare the hotel a nuisance.

As a result of the letter, Mr. Patel met with CPD officials on July 10, 2017 to discuss whether the business should be declared a public nuisance due to excessive calls for service, narcotics activity, and prostitution which contribute to slum and blight in the area.

During the meeting, Mr. Patel agreed to surrender his business license by close of business Friday.

Operating a business without a business license, or when the license has been surrendered or revoked, would be considered a criminal act for which a person could be arrested and subject to a penalty.

This closure is part of CPD’s on-going efforts to improve the overall quality of life along the Two Notch Road corridor. In that regard, CPD will continue to apply all city ordinances and general statutes regarding nuisance behavior.

Police Chief Skip Holbrook said, “This is another example of applying the revised nuisance ordinance dealing with nuisance properties that have resulted in the voluntary surrender of a business license.

We are continuing to identify establishments in the Two Notch Road corridor that are negatively impacting the quality of life for the residents of that area, and holding owner/operators of the businesses accountable.”

Specifically, from June 1, 2016 to June 1, 2017 CPD officers responded to 138 calls for service, taking 42 incident reports at the Best Way Inn, ranging from shots fired calls, shootings with an injured person, narcotics use/transactions, trespassing complaints and special property checks.

A formal document outlining the details of the understanding between the City of Columbia and Patel was signed by both parties.