D.C. hotels face backlash in the wake of pro-Trump riot

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The lobby of the Grand Hyatt Washington.
The lobby of the Grand Hyatt Washington.

Following deadly violence at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, a handful of Washington hotels have been forced to counter accusations of providing safe harbor to pro-Trump rioters and anti-mask activists. 

The Grand Hyatt Washington found itself in hot water on social media earlier this week after a video posted on Twitter by Bloomberg reporter William Turton appeared to show numerous Trump supporters gathering inside the hotel's lobby. 

Related report: Travel industry leaders condemn siege on U.S. Capitol
 
Many guests in the video were without masks, despite face coverings being required within the hotel's public spaces.

In response, Hyatt released a statement calling the events in Washington "shocking, horrifying and indefensible."

"The Grand Hyatt Washington team worked to address the situation in an effort to ensure guests were following Covid-19 protocols -- including by offering face coverings or requesting guests to return to guestrooms," Hyatt said. "We can confirm that, as a result of these efforts, individuals ultimately returned to their guestrooms, vacated the premises or complied with these protocols without incident."

The company added that the hotel, along with all Hyatt properties, would "continue to work to enforce protocols so that guests are aware of their responsibility in helping protect the health and safety of our colleagues and their fellow guests."

Likewise, the Line DC hotel has responded to Twitter claims that it had hosted members of the far-right organization Proud Boys, stating that it does "not condone violence or any type of hatred."

In an update on the Line DC website, the property acknowledged that "an altercation had occurred near the hotel property involving Proud Boys and that our guests were involved in the incident." 

However, the hotel emphasized that it cooperated with law enforcement to remove the suspects from the property. The Line DC also temporarily closed its reservations platform in the wake of the incident.

Related report: A Biden bounce for D.C. hotels? Covid may have a say in it

"We take the current situation in D.C. extremely seriously," said the Line DC. "To our knowledge, all Proud Boys have been removed from the property."

Meanwhile, late last month, the city's Hotel Harrington drew public ire after the Washington Post dubbed the property the "unofficial headquarters" of the Proud Boys

Consequently, the Hotel Harrington opted to temporarily suspend operations between Jan. 4 and Jan. 6, granting refunds on all prepaid reservations made for that period. 

"While we cannot control what happens outside of the hotel, we are taking additional steps to protect the safety of our visitors, guests and employees," the hotel said in a statement on its website. "We greatly appreciate the trust our guests have placed in Hotel Harrington over the years and we wish to continue to earn that trust."

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