Three Mackinaw City Hotels Accused of Tricking Guests Reach Settlement With Michigan
Three hotels in Mackinaw City accused of tricking guests into booking rooms at closed establishments have reached a settlement with the Michigan Attorney General's office.
Classic Bait and Switch
In February of this year, the Lieghio family, which owns several hotel properties in Northern Michigan, was accused of pulling a basic bait and switch maneuver. Patrons were essentially tricked into booking rooms at hotels that were advertised online, but then upon arrival were forced into rooms at other hotels, sometimes with fewer amenities.
The state attorney general's office reached a settlement with the Lieghio family who has agreed to change their business practices and pay thousands of dollars in fines.
According to Interlochen Public Radio, the business owners deny that they violated Michigan's Consumer Protection Act, but have agreed to pay a $5,000 fine to the state and donate $35,000 to promote tourism via Pure Michigan.
The agreement with the AG's office also states that the business owners will be transparent about their ownership of the website Mackinaw City Chamber of Tourism. In the past, the website - which was primarily an advertising vehicle for the hotels - may have been misleading, bearing the words "Official Seal" in the logo. The owners have agreed to replace that text with the words "100% locally owned."
Customers who booked rooms between 2017 and 2022 and were redirected to other hotels will also be eligible for refunds. The attorney general's office invites patrons who meet that criteria to file an official complaint with the state.