Motel 6: Turns Away All Big Spring Residents

By Camaron Abundes
NewsWest 9

BIG SPRING- We've all seen the signs. A business has the right to refuse service, but can a business turn away an entire city. One Big Spring woman, forced out of her home during Thursday's big grass fire was told she couldn't rent at a Motel 6 on I-20, because she is from Big Spring.

"We had no place to go, no place at all and they would not let us rent a room because we lived in Big Spring," said Maire Watkins who fled her home Thursday,"I am disabled, and I needed to lay down because I was hurting so bad."

Watkins and her son Leonard tried several hotels, before stopping at the Motel 6.

"They were the only place that had any rooms available," she said and went in and showed her ID, "She looked at it, and said I am sorry I can not rent to you. She said it's our policy we do not rent to Big Spring residents here, and she turned us away."

Watkins says she didn't know what was left of three mobile homes, belonging to her son, late father and herself.

"All I wanted was a roof over our heads for the night so we could rest a little before we could get back in here to see if we did have anything left," she said.

NewsWest Nine sent in our photographer Stefen Stone, who is also from Big Spring. He tried to get a room, but noticed a policy posted on the desk that said first they had a right to refuse service, and they did not rent to people with Big Spring addresses on their IDs. The clerk told Stone they stopped renting to Big Spring residents after a rash of TV thefts. We tried to contact the manager, but were unsuccessful.

"I think their policy is very cruel, very disrespectful to the Big Spring residents here," said Watkins.

Just after 10 o'clock Thursday Watkins returned home to find her home damaged, her son and late father's mobile homes were gone. The electricity and water were completely shut off. Watkins says firefighters spent the night putting out hot spots.

"Everybody else out here was rallying around, and trying to help us, and they wouldn't as much as let us lay down and take a shower," she said.