Thursday, December 17, 2009

Clermont Hotel condemned by county (BTW, it has new owners)

Posted By on Thu, Dec 17, 2009 at 12:23 AM


The Clermont Hotel — unfit for human consumption? Hell, I could've told 'em that.

The AJC reports that Fulton County health inspectors have ordered the landmark hotel shut down by the end of the month because, well, it's nasty and gross:

"There are several issues that would have to be addressed," said Kevin Jones, a manager with the Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness. Dirty linen, old bedding and bed bug stains were among them, he said. Inspectors also found mold growing on the walls, black water spilling from faucets and broken toilet fixtures.

Shocking, yes? Well, not to this reporter, who spent a week there a few years back and lived to write a cover story about it.

Surprisingly, the part that most readers seem to remember from the story was this passage:

That night, I throw caution to the wind and decide not to bother using the sheets I brought from home. As I fall asleep to the whoops of lounge-goers making their way down the side staircase and the muted sound of TVs down the hall, I'm convinced that I can feel every individual spring in the mattress.

Over the next day, a small tenderness in my right cheek grows into a grotesque swelling so that I resemble a bad summer-stock version of Quasimodo.

I'm forced to check out early and seek immediate medical attention, putting my undercover activities on hold until I complete a course of powerful antibiotics. Although the cause of my raging facial infection is never pinpointed, I vow to use both sheets and cootie-resistant pillow cases when I'm able to return to unlock the secrets of the Clermont.

Ah, I guess some things never change. As for the fabled Clermont Lounge, it can continue with business as usual for the time being, as the AJC notes in its headline, "Clermont hotel shut down, strippers unaffected."

And we also learned from the AJC story that the long-threatened foreclosure on the Clermont finally went through. The hotel is now in the hands of Fairway Capital, a New York-based investment firm, which says it has no plans to monkey with the downstairs lounge.

That's good news because we can't picture Blondie standing in line to collect unemployment.

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