ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – There’s now a new contract involving the million-dollar no-bid motel exposed in the Fox Files.
In June, FOX 2 showed you how St. Louis County used federal emergency COVID funds to reserve a Maryland Heights motel for first responders to quarantine. We found you had paid more than a million dollars to reserve the entire complex that almost no one was using.
County leaders responded and just renegotiated the no-bid contract for the Hawthorne Suites by Wyndham.
You were paying nearly $400,000 a month for 120 rooms. Now, under the renegotiated terms, you will pay $130,000 for 50 rooms.
St. Louis County Councilman Mark Harder says he’s keeping track.
“We paid the higher rate for the last six months and your report exposed this a couple months ago or so,” Harder said. “That’s when they should’ve renegotiated it, but they now just renegotiated it.”
What took so long?
“I guess I could just say it’s government,” Harder said.
Harder says more people are staying there now – up to 15 at a time, which is double the occupancy as when we first reported on the location.
“We’re still not even half capacity to what we could have there but we’ll see how the days and months roll out,” he said.
It’s also now opened it up to the entire region. St. Louis County will bill other counties who use it.
“I think it’s just shining a light, you know, some of these things always fall through the cracks if you don’t keep talking about it,” Harder said.