MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – The state is looking to shut down an oceanfront hotel that police say has a reputation for being the site of too much crime.
Fifteenth circuit solicitor Jimmy Richardson says the Rosen Sea Hotel could be the first “nuisance hotel” on Ocean Boulevard in the city. The state and Horry County filed a petition in court against the hotel Thursday.
They’re asking a judge to close the hotel until the case is resolved.
“We’re not there to close down every hotel,” said Richardson. “What we want to happen is for people to follow the rules.”
The lawsuit says the hotel, which is off South Ocean Boulevard near 21st Avenue South, has a reputation for prostitution, drugs and repeated calls for police.
“We want hotels, businesses and houses not to be a place for lewd and lascivious conduct or constantly having stabbings, cuttings and that sort of thing,” Richardson said.
The legal petition says the Myrtle Beach Police Department has received a “disproportionate number of calls for service” for Rosen Sea, compared to other hotels in the area. Online records show at least 27 MBPD incident reports at the hotel this year.
The petition also claims the hotel complex, including a green cottage in the back, is used for prostitution and selling drugs. Khaled Kassar began operating the hotel on May 14, 2018, according to the petition.
Richardson says there’s room for the owner to take steps to prevent crime from continuing.
“When it comes time to go in front of a judge, it’ll be up to us to prove that it is, in fact, a nuisance,” he said.
News 13 reached out to Kassar, but hasn’t heard back from him yet.