Eau Palm Beach, ho­tel mag­nate re­solve con­fronta­tion

Palm Beach Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - By ELIOT KLEIN­BERG

Welling­ton-based en­tre­pre­neur Bob John­son and the Eau Palm Beach Re­sort & Spa have made up af­ter a con­fronta­tion last month at the Manala­pan ocean­front ho­tel.

John­son, who founded Black En­ter­tain­ment Tele­vi­sion and whose as­set-man­age­ment firm RLJ Com­pa­nies owns more than 150 ho­tels, walked out of the re­sort Aug. 24 af­ter a su­per­vi­sor re­fused to check him in be­cause he would not re­move his pre­scrip­tion sun­glasses.

He’d loaned out his Welling­ton house to friends and planned a stay at the Eau af­ter a day of fish­ing off Jupiter.

John­son said last week the su­per­vi­sor told him the sun­glasses rule is ho­tel pol­icy, prompted by South Florida’s ram­pant fraud and iden­tity theft. John­son said he’s never had such a pol­icy in any of his prop­er­ties. John­son sug­gested last week he was a vic­tim of racial pro­fil­ing and said he never again would pa­tron­ize the Eau.

On Tues­day, the ho­tel and John­son is­sued a joint state­ment say­ing that last Fri­day, the ho­tel hosted John­son for lunch and “re­solved the check-in mis­un­der­stand­ing that took place on Aug. 24. We let Mr. John­son know that we sin­cerely apol­o­gize that he left our prop­erty feel­ing of­fended and un­wel­come.”

“The safety and se­cu­rity of our guests is top pri­or­ity. We learned a valu­able les­son in the de­liv­ery of our check-in pol­icy and will en­sure this sce­nario does not re­oc­cur,” the re­sort said.

John­son added that the ho­tel “ac­knowl­edged my con­cerns with their check-in pol­icy, and I ap­pre­ci­ate their will­ing­ness to re-eval­u­ate this prac­tice mov­ing for­ward. I’m glad they un­der­stand my per­spec­tive on this mat­ter. I look for­ward to re­turn­ing and en­joy­ing the re­sort’s ameni­ties in the fu­ture.”


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