April 9, 2024
1 year ago

Presque Isle Inn & Convention Center “Closed Indefinitely”

WAGM | by Brian Bouchard | January 12, 2023

New developments in the story of the “indefinite closure” of the Presque Isle Inn and Convention Center. The City of Presque Isle has condemned the building, but there are former employees still living there. NewsSource8′s Brian Bouchard spoke with some of those people who are facing homelessness come Friday.

“The bar was supposed to get inspected on Monday morning to reopen. Timeout was reopening Monday morning. So what do we get? Instead of the inspector coming in and opening the bar, we get the notice that we don’t have a job anymore.” – Maurice Womack – Former Head of Maintenance

Shocked, confused and devastated. Just a few of the emotions the former employees of the Presque Isle Inn and Convention Center are feeling after being told Monday morning the Hotel would be closing indefinitely due to unresolved code violations.

“A lot of people who worked here with staff were people who lived here with ACAP who were good pillars of the community and were given another chance by getting housing and now we have nothing.” – Kammie Ferguson – Former Asst. General Manager

After learning of the hotels closure, WAGM reached out to the owner, Cang Quach, who has not responded to requests for comment via email, or attempts to reach him via telephone.

“I personally never met Cang, I’ve spoken to him on the phone. The promises that he made were lies. When we got hired, it was an established job with a place to live and he promised us that we’d never be homeless again.” – Tina Whiddecombe – Former Night Desk Manager

“No one has gotten any kind of communication from him, he doesn’t respond to emails, he doesn’t respond to texts.” says Womack.

According to the City of Presque Isle, an in-person inspection was conducted, and it was determined that the structure was “dangerous” and was “being condemned”. Letters were distributed to those still residing on the property ordering everyone to vacate the premises and find alternative living arrangements by 3 PM Friday afternoon, or face possible arrest. The soon to be homeless former employees say, the city has not given them enough time.

“Who does that to families? People with special needs kids, toddlers, where are you going to go in the middle of winter?” says Womack.

“Were all going to end up at the shelter, or some form of that probably and the ones that cant, cars, trucks, suburbans, whatever you got. Especially the ones with animals and young kids…where do you go?” – Floyd Bolstridge – Frmr Maintenance Worker

“We didn’t ask for this, and just like homeless people don’t ask to be homeless, but we worked here under the assumption that we had a job and had a roof over our heads.” says Whiddecombe.

The city has coordinated with ACAP and other community partners in an attempt to assist the former employees with navigating through this difficult situation.

“The moment we found out that the Presque Isle Inn was shutting it’s doors there was a rapid response team that was deployed which included our agency with housing navigators, and community partners, Presque isle Housing Authority was there, department of labor was there and the PATH organization was there to offer each individualized service, knowing that this was going to be multiple needs for the employees that were and have been affected due to the closure of this facility. I do know that all of the employees were asked to vacate the premises as of Friday so that is leaving the current employees that are housed there 2 days to be able to kind of create a plan and options of what they can do both for employment and housing, so that’s a lot of change in somebodies life. It’s dramatic, it’s a lot of emotions, not only to lose an employment opportunity but to tackle on housing.” – Heidi Racklife – Director of Programs, ACAP

Source: Former Employees of Presque Isle Inn and Convention Center Ordered to Vacate Premises (wagmtv.com)

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