The Salt Lake City Council probably isn't taking any reservations these days from the Hotel-Motel Association members, tabling Tuesday an ordinance allowing the Double Tree Hotel to stock 3.2 beer in hotel room refrigerators.
The hotel association, of which the Double Tree is a member, backed a bill in the Legislature this session to eliminate the city's 1 percent hotel room tax.But the Double Tree was not well received at Tuesday's council meeting when the council unanimously voted to table the hotel's proposed ordinance allowing beer distribution inside hotel room refrigerators.
Salt Lake police vice squad detectives would be forced to make numerous costly responses to hotels because city liquor ordinances require police to inspect places where liquor is distributed.
Councilman Tom Godfrey, recalling the city could have lost $675,000 if the Legislature eliminated its 1 percent hotel room tax, moved to table the ordinance until the financial effect of enforcing the law could be studied.
Late Wednesday the bill to eliminate the city's room tax died in committee, much to the city's relief.
Roger Swadish, general manager of the Double Tree Hotel, called the council vote a political move. "We're working on an ordinance for our individual hotel, it has nothing to do with what's going on at the Legislature."
Godfrey denied the vote was a political move, saying "it's a question of financial survival."
Councilwoman Sydney Fonnesbeck said, however, she voted against the ordinance. "They're asking everything and giving us nothing in return," she said, complaining that unlike the state, which has a budget surplus, "there's no such thing in our budget."