INDEPENDENCE, Ohio — William Eads found himself at the Ramada Inn in Independence out of necessity.
“My wife fell and broke her femur,” he said.
The West Virginia native needed a place to stay last week while his wife underwent surgery at the Cleveland Clinic and he thought a hotel was the least of his worries.
“I wasn’t really, overly, concerned. I was exhausted. I just wanted to crash,” he said.
His wife, who was already in Cleveland and prepping for surgery, prepaid for his stay at the hotel on a credit card through a third-party website, but Eads got in a night early since doctors pushed up her surgery a day.
“I went straight to the hotel, figured that I would check in, pay cash for my night, I’d get a few hours of sleep before I was to report to the hospital around 6:00 a.m. I paid $128 in cash,” he said.
He said the first room he checked into wasn’t exactly clean.
“I went to the bathroom and found that the sewer had backed up into the tub,” he said.
He said he gathered his things and went to the front desk, where he found the concierge asleep, but got a new room.
“That room was the room that had a half-eaten box of doughnuts, a half a gallon of milk was on the back of the countertop. There were no sheets on the two mattresses in the room,” he said.
He also said there was mold on the bed and other furniture.
“I was appalled. I left and went back to the front desk,” he said.
He said in his third room the problems persisted.
“I found a dirty washcloth on the side of the bathtub and the indent in the mattress of a body,” he said.
He ended up sleeping in his car instead of the hotel.
“I informed him there was absolutely no way that I was staying inside this facility,” he said.
In the morning, he drove to the hospital to be with his wife. Upon his return to the hotel, he asked for a refund. He said he didn’t get it but that staff said they’d discount the rest of his stay that he had already paid for. Eads said he figured he’d be at the hospital for most of his trip and would just stay at the hotel the rest of the time. He slept in a new room for a couple more nights and said during his last night’s stay, he noticed there was mold on the walls.
“I knew the guy downstairs couldn't do anything for me. I think it would’ve been to move me to yet another dirty room, so I just gave up,” he said.
When he checked out, he asked the owner of the inn, Sharif Omara, for some type of refund for his nearly $500 stay, but said Omara refused.
“I wasn't expecting to stay for free, but I expected to get something back from pain and suffering, staying in this horrible place. It is hard to describe the things that you see.”
He is not alone. Wilbur Cofer brought his wife and two children to the hotel for a one-night stay last week. They were visiting Cleveland from Cincinnati.
Cofer said the room was filthy.
“I pulled the bed back, it looked as if someone urinated a million times on the bed. It was just horrible. It was mold. It was a bad smell in there. It was just horrible,” he said.
He, too, asked Omara for a refund, but never got it. Instead, his wife’s credit card was charged for three nights instead of one.
“We are out of this money, So that's what it looks like,” he said. “Avoid the Ramada Inn.”
News 5 spoke to Omara in July when we first reported on the hotel’s problems.
We called Omara and a hotel manager for comment several times Thursday, but never received a call back. The hotel line does not seem to be in service.
A spokesperson for the Cuyahoga County Board of Health said a sanitarian did inspect the hotel Tuesday after complaints came into the health department. He said the sanitarian contacted the city of Independence and will be conducting another inspection next week. He said if both the city and the health department’s inspectors believe it necessary, they will then contact the state fire marshal which is the agency that oversees hotels.
Eads said it is not enough.
“Everything needs to be scrubbed within this structure to make it healthy for people to stay in,” he said.