PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Four Oregon hotels will pay $105,600 in penalties and reimburse at least 100 customers to settle allegations of price gouging during wildfires last year.
The fires burned more than 1 million acres and forced thousands of Oregonians from their homes. Some people reported sharply increased hotel prices and Gov. Kate Brown issued a directive to crack down on price gouging.
Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said Thursday the hotels have agreed to settle price-gouging allegations by paying financial penalties, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.
The Department of Justice says Capital Inn & Suites in Salem typically charged $60 to $80 a night for rooms but was charging as much as $146 during the wildfires. Capital Inn has refunded $1,342 to those customers and has agreed to reimburse others. The hotel will also pay a $38,000 penalty to the state.
Le Chateau Inn in Florence raised rates more than 15% for at least 18 rooms during the wildfires, officials said. The hotel will pay nearly $2,200 to those customers and $21,600 to the state.
The Rodeway Inn Willamette River in Corvallis raised rates more than 15% in 15 rooms, the state said. The Rodeway will pay $918 in refunds to 23 customers and $15,000 in state penalties.
The Days Inn in Roseburg had rooms that typically cost no more than $150 a night going for $200 to $300 a night during the wildfires, state officials said. The hotel will repay $4,860 to 31 customers and pay $31,000 in penalties to the state.
Oregon is investigating other allegations, according to the Justice Department. It’s also looking into hotel price-gouging allegations during last month’s ice storm.
“We also are trying our best to make it clear that Oregon businesses shouldn’t try to take advantage of people during difficult times,” Rosenblum said in a written statement Thursday.