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Michigan attorney general settles dispute with Mackinaw City hotel family

Mackinaw_City_Michigan_Hotel_District.jpg
Royalbroil
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Wikimedia Commons
Mackinaw City hotel district

The Michigan attorney general’s office has reached a settlement with the owners of more than two dozen Mackinaw City hotels. They'll pay thousands of dollars and pledge to avoid certain business practices.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel accused the Lieghio family hotel owners of unlawful business practices in February. The settlement, filed Tuesday, applies to more than 25 hotels and two family-operated websites.

The Lieghio businesses deny violating the Michigan Consumer Protection Act, but agree to refrain from unfair or deceptive business practices. Among the terms, they will not advertise or sell rooms that are unavailable, and they agree to allow customer refunds and cancellations under certain circumstances.

The agreement also addressed concerns about the website Mackinaw City Chamber of Tourism, which is owned by the Lieghios and primarily advertises their businesses. They agree to clearly say the website is family owned and remove the words “Official Seal” from the logo, replacing it with “100% Locally Owned.”

Similarly, with their corresponding review site Hotel Jabber, they agree to clearly state all reviews are solely collected by their company. Those updates have been made.

The Lieghio businesses will also pay restitutions and refunds to customers who booked a room at one hotel but were redirected to another. This applies to rooms booked between 2017 and June 2022. The attorney general is inviting other consumers to submit complaints fitting that criteria.

Lieghio businesses have also agreed to pay the State of Michigan $5,000, and donate $35,000 to promote tourism through the Pure Michigan campaign.

Interlochen Public Radio reached out to the Lieghios for comment and has not yet heard back, but the court filing says they agreed to the settlement to “avoid the time, expense and business distractions of litigation, so that they can instead focus their time and efforts on best serving their customers.”

If the hotels or websites are suspected of violating the Michigan Consumer Protection Act in the future, the attorney general reserves the right to “seek all available relief.”

Morgan Springer is a reporter/producer at Interlochen Public Radio. Her stories have also aired on NPR, Michigan Radio and National Native News. Morgan's story "Behind Bars, transformation through poetry" won a first place, national PRNDI award in the soft feature category. She is a 2014 graduate of the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies.
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