Inebriates, Taxis, and Hotels Are A Bad Mix

Mar 15, 2017

Delta Cottages , Bethel Alaska
Credit Dean Swope / KYUK

One of Bethel's hotels wants help from the city council in dealing with people who have been drinking.

Juan Delgado with Delta Cottages stood up and told the council that the owners of the hotel want the city to stop taxi cabs from dropping inebriated customers at their door. He says that the hotel doesn't rent rooms to people who are drinking because they damage the property and threaten the guests. He says that his insurance won't cover all the damage caused by intoxicated hotel patrons.

"The insurance company the hotel has does not include damages from drunk individuals. Get it? Therefore they are a hazard to the people that live there because they pay for a place to be safe. We cover individuals like any other business, but when you have a third party, another business bringing stuff or bringing situations, then who's going to pay for that?"

Delgado wants the Bethel City Council to pass an ordinance stopping cabs from off-loading intoxicated persons at businesses that refuse to serve that type of customer.

"Officially notify from the city or an ordinance to say, 'Taxi driver, this is a list of individuals, churches, businesses that you are not allowed to bring no hazard situation to that business that will be a drunk individual.' The taxi cab drivers can tell who’s drunk or not pretty easy. They can deny service if they wish."

Delgado was clear to explain that he was not complaining about the Bethel Police Department's response to inebriated people. His problem is with the cabbies that deliver such people to the hotel.

The Bethel City Council did not address Delgado's concerns at Tuesday night's meeting.

The council did get a first look at another package store, Liquor Cache. Steve Chung has a proposal to turn his auto shop into a retail space, and has the paperwork to certify that his plans have been approved by the state Fire Marshal. His package store application, along with two other package store proposals, is awaiting conditional use permits from the Bethel Planning Commission. The commission is scheduled to meet March 30. All three are applying for the one remaining package store license that has been allocated to Bethel by the Alcohol Beverage Control Board. That board meets again April 6.