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Days Inn in Branford, Connecticut Shut Down for
 Numerous Fire, Health and Building Code Violations
By Mark Zaretsky, New Haven Register, Conn.McClatchy-Tribune Business News

xMar. 8, 2007 - BRANFORD -- The owners of the Days Inn Branford, which was shut down Tuesday for numerous fire, health and building code violations, met with officials of all three departments Wednesday and agreed to hire a code consultant firm to help resolve the issues so the hotel can reopen.

Meanwhile, a field inspector from the company that franchises Days Inns -- which found the motel in default of its franchise agreement last October -- is expected to visit the property today, said Rich Roberts, a spokesman for the Wyndham Hotel Group of Parsippany, N.J.

Among the many violations were mold problems in some rooms, exposed wiring, a lack of working smoke detectors, missing fire doors and emergency lights, food served without a permit, water system problems that left scalding water in some rooms and no hot water in others and some rooms without heat. In some rooms, spots where heating and air conditioning units had been mounted and then removed were left exposed to the outdoors, officials said.

The motel's management and owners could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

"We met with the owners. They've agreed to fully cooperate as well as to keep the hotel unoccupied until they're in compliance with the fire, building and health code," said Jim Monopoli, director of the East Shore Health District, Branford's health department.

"Unfortunately, it had to come to the closure for us to be sitting at the table." Town Building Official Anthony Cinicola and Fire Marshal Shaun Heffernan said the hotel's owners have agreed at their expense to put up three longterm tenants of the motel at the Branford Motel 6 until the Days Inn Branford is ready to reopen.

The town put the tenants, at least one of which was a family, up Tuesday night in the Advanced Motel. Cinicola said the owners of the Days Inn Branford obtained four rooms at the Motel 6 even though there were only three long-term tenants because one tenant turned out to be a family of six. According to Cincicola, the motel's owners are cleaning out some rooms while using others for stockpiling. "Their main goal right now is going to be to get the office open and the main building open," he said.

Cincicola said the owners "kind of claimed and identified the problem as poor property management" and said they had recently replaced the person or persons responsible.

Roberts previously said Wyndham found the motel to be in default of its franchisee agreement last October "because of quality control issues" and had been working with management to try to correct the problems. He said putting the motel in default triggered a "cure period," during which the owners were supposed to correct the problems. That cure period was originally 90 days, but was extended in order to give the owners more time to do the necessary work, he said. If it turns out the motel has not corrected the problems, Wyndham could take action that, depending on state law, could be up to and including termination of the motel's affiliation with Days Inn, Roberts said.

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Copyright (c) 2007, New Haven Register, Conn.

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