Improvements being made to Budget Inn after business license revoked

Published: Oct. 3, 2022 at 4:01 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 3, 2022 at 6:33 PM EDT
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VIDALIA, Ga. (WTOC) - If you drive past the Budget Inn in Vidalia, you might be wondering why it looks closed. Well, it is. The city council did make the decision to take away their business license for the time being.

The Budget Inn has been here for decades, but the city says it’s not always had the best reputation. However, both the owner and city say they’re working to flip the script.

“Our police department was always over here, always trying to deal with issues and we knew that something needed to be done,” said City Manager Nick Overstreet.

For the time being, the Budget Inn is closed for business.

“Mayor Roper and the city council decided to revoke the business license of this particular business until they got everything up to par.”

City Manager Nick Overstreet says the shear amount of calls to the Budget Inn was wearing the police department down. He says the issues here were also expressed by residents at council meetings worried about the criminal activity and lack of cleanliness at the property.

“We’re not turning a blind eye. We’re not saying ‘oh, it’ll fix itself.’”

Overstreet says the state fire marshal’s office and local health department have spoken to the owner about what needs to be done to stay in business.

“They’ve been very cooperative in what all we’ve done and how we’ve had to deal with different issues.”

There is no deadline for when the Budget Inn has to get things done, but people are currently there working making improvements.

“Ultimately, it helps our economy when it’s operating the right way. We lose out on hotel/motel tax every day that a room is not rented, so we really want to encourage them to get this property right.”

Overstreet says this is part of the city’s ongoing effort to make sure properties aren’t a blight in the community. Just this year, after buying it, the city tore down the Econo Inn.

This property was also a hotspot for criminal activity. Overstreet says they don’t have any intention to buy the Budget Inn because it has potential to be great for locals and visitors alike.

“If it’s taken care of and things are done the right way then we could really see it produce some good results and ultimately, that’s what we’re hoping for.”

Overstreet says once they get things up to par the city will take a look at the business license again and go from there.

The owner is a relatively new owner, so unfortunately, he says he inherited a lot of these problems. He said they’ve already made significant improvements to clean it up and will continue working with the city to do so.

The owner said criminal activity is not tolerated and that they plan to open again soon as a “great place for future customers.”