AP NEWS

Motel 6 opens, replacing condemned Sterling Motor Inn

January 5, 2019
1 of 2
The owners of the new Motel 6 in Burlington celebrate with family members and workers during the grand opening of the motel Thursday afternoon. Owners Mike Mungra and wife Nita Mungra (right) prepare to have a bite while Mena Tada (left) gives her husband Shaliest Tada a taste of cake.

BURLINGTON — A new Motel 6 opened Thursday along Burlington Boulevard, replacing the former Sterling Motor Inn.

Jerry Brown, general manager of the motel, said the city can expect a cleaner, quieter property than what existed there in the past.

The new 35-room motel replaces the Sterling Motor Inn, which Burlington police once called one of the most troublesome properties in the city.

“We want to try and portray a different image to the community,” Brown said at an opening celebration Thursday.

The Sterling Motor Inn was declared a threat to public health, safety and welfare by the Burlington City Council in late 2016 because of the high number of 911 calls to the motel.

Police were called to the property 209 times in 2015 for fights, drug deals, prostitution, burglaries and other incidents.

In November 2016, the city advised those staying at the motel to leave after an inspection of the property found methamphetamine residue contamination of up to 173 times the state standard.

The new owners, Mike and Nita Mungra, bought the property in July 2017 for $726,000.

Mike Mungra said it cost about $150,000 to remove the meth contamination, and about $260,000 was spent to furnish the rooms.

“Nothing is old here,” he said. “It’s all brand-new.”

Brown said the motel is geared more toward travelers, and he won’t be permitting long-term guests as the Sterling Motor Inn did.

He said he wouldn’t turn a blind eye to drug use and prostitution, which was common at the Sterling Motor Inn.

“I have zero tolerance for that,” he said.

In the future, Mike Mungra said he may convert or replace the building at the center of the property into as many as 30 more rooms. The building, which will remain vacant for now, was the former home of China Wok, a Chinese restaurant.

Burlington Mayor Steve Sexton said he’s excited the city is adding a clean, safe, budget hotel for travelers.

He said he isn’t that concerned about possible illegal activity at the motel, partly because of its franchise. If there are violations on the property, he said the city will have someone up the chain with Motel 6 that it can talk to.

The city also passed amendments to its hotel/motel regulations, making it easier for authorities to intervene if there are violations of the kind that shut down the Sterling Motor Inn.

“We’re better-equipped now to deal with properties that aren’t operating as they should be,” he said.

AP RADIO
Update hourly