US Motels To Require $750 Cash Deposit After In-Room Party Epidemic Gets Messy

Too much of a good thing...

US Motels To Require $750 Cash Deposit After In-Room Party Epidemic Gets Messy

Image: Matador

Hotel industry backlash against room-destroying parties has led to the introduction of massive cash deposits.

With one man living rent free in a Manhattan hotel for five years and a plethora of hacks for scoring free room upgrades popping up all over the internet, you can well understand why hotelliers feel the need to protect themselves from wayward customers. However, the scores of parties taking place in American motels may have just taken things up a notch…

Renting out motel rooms to throw a quick, convenient, and low-risk party is a tale as old as time. Partygoers see it as a way of getting themselves a space that they can treat with fairly reckless abandon, leaving the next day for someone else to clear up the mess. Hotel staff, however, feel they’ve gone too far.

With reports of rooms not just being left messy but often destroyed to the point of unusability, this may be a low-risk proposition for the partiers but for owners and staff, it certainly is not. That’s why some of the biggest chains in the country are looking to introduce cash-on-arrival deposits of $500 USD (c. $750 AUD).

Image: Reddit

Don’t just take our word for it regarding these party-pooping reports. In the Reddit thread where the above image emerged, many hospitality workers reported similar instances:

“Unfortunately in Residence Inn hotels, especially in the weekend, we’ve seen a huge rise in local guests renting rooms, throwing huge parties and/or doing lots of drugs in them and at the end of the day the hotel is left fitting the repairs… Not that I agree $500 cash is the right amount, definitely high.”

This isn’t just happening at cut-and-dried hotel chains, either. AirBnB hosts are feeling the pain too:

“Yep, same thing that has happened to AirBNB, large hotel rooms become a cheap place to rent for a night to throw a party and leave trashed.”

Many commenters quickly clapped back with an obvious but important question: “Who the f*ck carries $500 in cash?” Well, the point here is to understand that it doesn’t really matter, it’s not actually a deposit the hotel is after: “This is a ‘go away’ notice. They’re not expecting anyone to go out and get $500, they’re expecting them to leave.”

Cash or Card?

One other commenter raised a smart point, why specifically cash and not a card payment, which would be a lot easier and more accessible for most customers while still providing a level of security for the hotel: “wouldn’t a credit card hold be more effective here as a way to recover costs for a damaged room?”

Those in the know, however, have learned the hard way that recovering funds from a card payment is a lot harder — surprisingly so, for this writer — than you might have expected:

“You would think but no, we charge a first damages on their credit card, they dispute with the bank, the bank reverses it. We then challenge the chargeback but even with photographs of the damage we lose [9 out of 10 times] as the bank would rather keep their customer than upset them.”

So, if you had big ambitions for a motel party this weekend, it might be time to think again… or at least have a little whip around the gang prior to arrival.