The DNC shines the spotlight of the world stage on our Queen City. Delegates from all 50 states, 15,000 journalists, and more than 350 foreign leaders will experience Charlotte . . .
— Charlotte Business Journal, August 31, 2012
I can’t speak for the delegates or ther foreign dignitaries, but many of the journalists I have spoken with here are appalled at the accommodations in Charlotte to which they were assigned by the DNC. National Review was assigned to two Knights Inn properties. Everyone who saw them fled immediately across state lines to an available Marriott in South Carolina rather than stay there. As one of our political correspondents reported:
The Knights Inn was the worst hotel I have ever seen, and I’ve stayed in many bad motels in my life. Two guys were dealing drugs in the room next to me, and a prostitute was working out of the parking lot. And this was in the early afternoon. The room itself was dirty, full of other people’s stuff, etc.
I have never requested a hotel change in 3 years at NR. This was the first time I felt absolutely compelled.
It’s not as if the DNC couldn’t have figured out something was wrong with the properties. TripAdvisor had these recent comments on one of the Knights Inn properties: “wouldn’t recommend it to my worst enemy,” “scared to death,” and “pimps and prostitutes at night.”
Nor was National Review singled out. Staff members from Politico and the Hill abandoned their assigned hotels, too. Staffers from the Hill found refuge in a cheap Microtel and considered it a comparative oasis.
Tucker Carlson, editor of The Daily Caller, told me that the Quality Inn his staff was assigned to was “the worst hotel you can imagine.” TripAdvisor carried these recent reviews: “barely a Bates Motel,” “scary area and parking lot,” and “the worst.”
Some of the scarcity of good hotels is due to Charlotte’s relatively small size. It is the least populous city to host a national convention since the GOP held theirs in New Orleans in 1988, and the Big Easy had lots of hotels because of its popularity with tourists.
But there really is no excuse for anyone, especially women, to be assigned to hotels that are beyond dingy and in some cases clearly unsafe.