One Hilton Hotel Banned Staycations

A couple was having work done on their home so they needed a one night hotel stay and booked the Hampton Inn nearby. When they handed over their ID and credit card at check-in they were told they couldn’t stay a the property. They found themselves another hotel nearby.

The Hampton Inn Bourbonnais Kankakee in Illinois had a policy against staycations by Kankakee residents. The property owner decided not to welcome anyone with a Kankakee address, though after publicity from a recent incident they’ve backed off of the rule.

“She said, ‘I’m sorry, I can’t rent to you guys.’ I said, ‘Why?’ She goes, ‘Because of your address. You have a Kankakee address,'” Anthony Davis said.

They were shocked. The couple say they asked to speak with the owner, but were told the owner himself came up with that policy, no Kankakee guests in his hotel.

“Totally disrespected, “Jeannette Davis said. “I felt let down and I felt puzzled. Kankakee? What’s wrong with Kankakee residents?”

Credit: Hampton Inn Bourbonnais Kankakee

According to the check-in clerk a resident of Kankakee once “pulled out a gun on another guest at the hotel.” I’ve seen some speculation online that hotels don’t like local guests because they often rent rooms to party.

According to Hilton corporate, “Hilton is by nature a hospitable company and we are welcoming of all.”

The Hampton Inn owner didn’t want the story going viral so he reached out to the couple that was turned away “offering them $1,000 and a steak dinner if they stay away from the media.” The couple declined the money, yet the owner maintains that they are “basically using this as a way to extort money from us.”

For its part the town of Bourbonnais wants nothing to do with this hotel, releasing their own statement on the incident,

On behalf of Mayor Paul Schore and the Village of Bourbonnais, we would like to confirm that the Hampton Inn featured in today’s ABC 7 News I-Team story contains a Bourbonnais mailing address; however, it is located within the Village of Bradley. We do not condone this type of discrimination and are welcoming of all within our business community regardless of address.

We received a call from Mr. Davis in late October notifying our office of the situation. While we sympathized with him and his wife, Jeanette, we redirected him to contact the proper authorities within Village of Bradley regarding the matter.

We pride ourselves on being a close-knit, welcoming community that is inclusive of all residents, businesses and visitors. Please advise if you have any questions, and I’ll be happy to assist.

I don’t know for certain what’s really going on here, but I note the demographics of Kankakee could have been on the hotel owner’s mind.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Maybe before trying to bring up race look at the crime rate for that area. They have an extremely high crime rate. Considered among the highest crime areas of the state.

  2. I once stayed at a hotel a block from my apartment, and when I checked in and handed her my license the clerk saw it was from the same state and said “Oh, you’re local!”, and then she looked at the address and looked at me and I said “VERY local!” She knew better than to ask any other questions…

  3. It’s a way out of being accused of discrimination, when you selectively tell the young party kids they can’t rent there, but not everyone else.

  4. I was in the same situation when I needed to visit friends in high crime areas. They let me rent a room as I was out of town, but when asked about it I was told that when locals rent a room they use it for criminal purposes such as making drugs.

  5. Blogger:

    “A couple was having work done on their home so they needed a one night hotel stay and booked the Hampton Inn nearby.”


    “A couple says they were having work done on their home so they needed a one night hotel stay and booked the Hampton Inn nearby.”

  6. If they’re looking for some other place to stay in Kankakee, I hear they have a couple of really nice gazebos….

  7. Maybe bring your passport next time. If they ask for your home address just enter something fake.

  8. Locals are absolutely the WORST people you can rent to….they treat your property like crap!!!

  9. We don’t ban locals from renting vacation homes, but we do require an additional security deposit due to parties and damage from locals on one or two night stays.

  10. What if you’re renting for family coming in from out of town? Or you have renovations? Either seems valid, but the owner was probably covering bases given past experiences. He’s not in the business of turning down profit.

    Also, who would want to staycation at a local Hampton Inn in a high crime area?

  11. A hotel I used to stay at in Asheville, North Carolina, had a similar policy due to people renting rooms for parties. I can’t speak to whether it’s legal, but if it is and it’s prominently disclosed before booking, I guess it’s their decision.

    I’d have taken the $1000 and steak dinner.


  12. Gary, I do not understand your comment. What, precisely, do you mean when you cite the “demographics of Kankakee?” Please help me out.

  13. @BRMM (aka Buttercup):

    I’m sure he meant this:

    “The median income for a household in the city was $30,469, and the median income for a family was $36,428. Males had a median income of $30,894 versus $22,928 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,479. About 18.1% of families and 21.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.3% of those under age 18 and 11.7% of those age 65 or over. ”

    Stop trying to make something out of nothing.

  14. All the Holiday Inn properties in Charlotte NC and Surrounding Areas do not rent to anyone Local i find this very disturbing.But I’m sure they will it just depends on the person.This is totally Discrimination.

  15. He’s suggesting it could be racial, but that’s highly doubtful. Not allowing locals is a very common policy in this industry. The Fairfield by Marriott in Springfield, MO doesn’t welcome locals and that town is mostly white.

  16. I have worked for several different hotel brands in my town for over 30 yrs. Currently at a Hilton property. In all of them there has always been a policy of no rent to anyone under 21 with an address within a 50 mile radius, unless they have a military i.d. I promise, no one will damage a hotel or cause a disturbance quicker, than a guest who is local. I have seen it first hand time and time again.

  17. Checking in with my Global Entry or US Passport cards works well to get around these kind of fuss-making hotels bans on “locals”.

  18. Rich Taylor – maybe it is just you. I live in Charlotte and have stayed at local hotels many times (usually if one of my daughters has a bunch of friends over and I want some peace and quiet). I’ve never been turned down, including at IHG properties. Of course I am top level of Hilton, Marriott and IHG so maybe that helps. Also book and check in on-line. Frankly I can’t remember the last time I was even asked to show ID at check in.

    Maybe just me but never had a problem w local hotels. I can certainly understand not renting a room to people below a certain age but not even sure if it is legal in most jurisdictions (including NC) to discriminate based on address. If anyone ever turned me down I would sue but I’m pretty litigious

  19. Rented a room for visiting family members at a local Lakeway, Texas IHG property. No problem . . . but this is Friendly Texas just outside The Peoples Republic of Austin.

  20. I’m not trying to “make something out of nothing.” I’m genuinely curious about his point. Indeed, perhaps Gary meant what you cite. If so, what does median income have to do with the hotel’s policy about renting to locals? Is the suggestion that a hotel in an area with higher median income would not have such policies?

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