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Best Western Now Open; NC General Assembly Passes Measure Requiring CO Detectors in Hotels By October

By Jesse Wood

July 26, 2013. The Best Western Plus in Boone, which opened earlier this week, is now accepting reservations.

The Best Western was closed to the public for more than a month after three people died from carbon monoxide while staying in Room 225, which was located above a equipment room housing the pool’s water heater.

Although control of the hotel was granted to management on June 13 by local authorities investigating the deaths, Boone Planning & Inspections department didn’t issue a certificate for occupancy until last week.

The Best Western in Boone, along with four other local hotels, was listed for sale in a portfolio on the Hotel Assets Group website.  Attorney Paul Culpepper, who represents the owners and operators of the Best Western Plus, Appalachian Hospitality Management and AJD Investments, said the contract agreement for the hotel was signed on April 5 – nearly two weeks before first carbon monoxide deaths at the Best Western in Boone.

Last week, Culpepper said that carbon monoxide detectors were installed “in the areas that my client understands is where the proposed legislation would require them.”

As one of the final bills passed during the closing of the N.C. General Assembly session this morning, a regulatory reform bill included a measure that requires lodging establishments to install detectors by Oct. 1 in every enclosed space with a fossil-fuel burning heater appliance or fire place and in every hotel room that shares a common wall, floor and ceiling with those spaces.

When Daryl, 73, and Shirley Jenkins, 72, died together on April 16 and later Jeffrey Williams, 11, in June, hotels in North Carolina were not required to have carbon monoxide detectors.