Hotel construction delays not known by pre-booked guests

Posted at 5:20 PM, Mar 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-09 19:28:44-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Holiday Inn Express at the corner of 13th and Locust in downtown Kansas City was supposed to open in December 2017, according to the Greater Kansas City Hotel and Lodging Association.

But with construction behind schedule, the opening was pushed back to January 2018.

Back in October, Greg Yarbrough from Little Rock, Arkansas, bought tickets for a show at the Sprint Center in March.

He decided to book his hotel at the same time.

“So we were just looking for a hotel near the arena and we ended up finding the Holiday Inn Express that was basically right across the street. They had really good rates, so we booked it,” Yarbrough said.

Yarbrough said he noticed the hotel hadn’t been completed but saw it was set to open in January.

This week he decided to double check on his reservation. He searched for the hotel on Google, but it showed that the hotel was permanently closed.

Yarbrough called Holiday Inn’s customer service.

“When I gave the address of the property on the confirmation number, she couldn’t find that hotel. Obviously — because it didn’t exist yet,” Yarbrough said.

He told the customer service rep he booked his room back in October through the Holiday Inn website, and that he received a confirmation number via email. He also said he checked his spam folder to see if the hotel had tried to contact him about construction not being complete, but he didn't find anything.

Yarbrough said if he hadn’t called to double check his reservation, he likely would’ve showed up on the curb of the incomplete hotel expecting a room.

“We were honestly just surprised that at some point when they found out that they were not going to be open, that they did not contact us,” Yarbrough said.

In December, 41 Action News spoke to Kirk Goodnight, who was visiting from Iowa for the NCAA Women’s Volleyball Tournament.

Goodnight said he had the same problem. He was left scrambling for a room after booking one at the Holiday Inn Express months in advance, only to find out on his own at the last minute that it wouldn’t be open.

Right now when you pull up the hotel on the Holiday Inn website, the soonest you can book a room is for July. You can also book for that time on other travel websites.

Yarbrough said he was put up in another hotel but after talking to several supervisors, his original rate was not honored and he had to pay more.

41 Action News reached out to Holiday Inn for comment but had not heard back at the time of publication.