Best Western in Boone, N.C., cleared to reopen after guest deaths

Observer Staff ReportsJuly 19, 2013 

— Boone planning and inspection officials confirm that the Best Western Plus Blue Ridge Plaza has been cleared to reopen after three guests died from carbon monoxide earlier this spring.

Building inspector Todd Miller said the hotel was issued a limited certificate of occupancy Thursday afternoon, with the limitation that the pool area remain unused by guests.

The certificate did not exclude any rooms from being used, but Miller said his understanding is the hotel will not use Room 225, where the deaths occurred.

As of Friday, the hotel was not yet accepting reservations.

Officials have concluded that a pool heater at the Best Western likely released the carbon monoxide that caused the deaths of a Washington state couple, Daryl and Shirley Jenkins, in April, and 11-year-old Jeffrey Williams of Rock Hill in June. Williams’ mother, Jeannie, was hospitalized and is struggling to recover.

The hotel is for sale, along with four other hotels run by the same management, according to a hotel brokerage firm’s website.

Hotel Assets Group LLC listed the hotels for sale about six weeks ago, said Michael Bernath, a partner at the brokerage firm. He declined to comment further on the hotels in Boone, a mountain town about 100 miles northwest of Charlotte.

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