Resident of soon-to-be closed Econo Lodge: 'We have nowhere else - KMOV.com

Resident of soon-to-be closed Econo Lodge: 'We have nowhere else to go'

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(Credit: KMOV) (Credit: KMOV)
SUNSET HILLS (KMOV.com) -

Tuesday, the owner of the Econo Lodge in Sunset Hills begged city council to keep his business license, but they decided to revoke it.

Police say it's been the site of criminal activity, including prostitution and drug use, for years. Today, people are still renting rooms at Econo Lodge. The city says it's operating illegally without a business license but it's not enough to shut them down and a judge still has to rule on it. 

There are about 20 people who live at the motel full-time. They say once the business closes for good, they will have nowhere else to go. 

"We haven't heard anything from the owner as to what's going to happen to us whether one day we're just gonna wake up and be told to get out or what," said Rob Johnson. The 62-year old has lived at the motel for the past eight months. 

The city attorney says police have been called to the Econo Lodge more than 800 times in the past three years. Police say they've written a total of 349 reports from March 2015-March 2016, which is nearly one every day.

While Johnson says he's seen some criminal activity, the owner has tried to improve the place. He says it's better than living on the streets.

"I don't think people realize that we are here and we are good people. Since the city has taken the owners business license a lot of us who do live here full time are gonna be homeless," said Johnson.

The city says they will start ticketing the owner for operating without a business license. That could cost up to $1,000 a day.

News 4 reached out to the business owner and his lawyer for comment, but have yet to hear back.

Copyright 2016 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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