The Charlotte Ritz Carlton is one of the more popular spots to congregate during the CIAA basketball tournament. Patrons gather there not only to stay for the weekend, but also have drinks and dine with friends. Tournament attendees were outraged this year when the upscale hotel charged its customers a “CIAA Surcharge”.
The fee was not sanctioned by the CIAA Tournament, nor is it assessed during other large events in the city and now the NC Attorney General is taking action.
In a statement Thursday, Special Deputy Attorney General Harriet Worley said, “We feel we have no choice but to take formal legal action,” citing a lack of progress in resolving the matter.
In statement regarding the action, the Charlotte Ritz acknowledged receiving an “inquiry.”
“The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte has received an inquiry from the North Carolina Attorney General’s Division of Consumer Affairs. We will be cooperating and will respond in due course.”
The hotel gave this explanation for the charge in March.
“Due to the size of the CIAA event, we instituted a modest 15% service charge for our lobby beverage servers, on whom the event places significant demands throughout the weekend.”
The bottom line is, the charge was discriminatory and should not have been assessed. It’s refreshing to hear that the NC Attorney General is not taking this lightly. Now it’s time for tournament attendees to let their voices be heard next year by not patronizing that venue.