SIOUX CITY, Iowa – Discrimination? Or a misunderstanding? A local viral video has members of the Siouxland Native American community frustrated after a woman from the Omaha Tribe was denied a room at a local hotel.
Heather Baxter says it was an ugly experience.
“That’s the first time I’ve ever experienced something like that and it was very ugly. The way they did that is just so wrong, wrong in so many ways I can’t even explain it how I felt.”
She says she was denied a room at the Days Inn on Singing Hills in Sioux City because of her nationality. Leaving initially in shock, Heather returned to the front desk to ask more questions, all while recording the interaction on her cell phone.0
That video has since gone viral with 196,000 views and over 4,000 shares.
Baxter says, “I didn’t know it would go the way it did, I just wanted to share the way she was treating me.”
We reached out to Days Inn and they referred us to a statement they released on Facebook, calling the situation a miscommunication among employees. It reads, in part:
“This incident in no way reflects the standards of service at Days Inn by Wyndham Sioux City, IA. We take full responsibility for miscommunication during the event. Our employees should have been better trained on hotel payment policies. We humbly apologize for any pain or frustration this has caused our local community and visiting guests.”
A Days Inn manager later explained to a member of another local Native American tribe that the hotel no longer accepts payment from the Omaha Tribe, but Heather would have been welcome to stay and pay herself.
That’s a response Baxter just doesn’t buy.
“She was just trying to cover up because… cause they were wrong. They were just wrong in so many ways. I got a call from the owner and he was apologizing to me and I said that’s fine but you’re still going to have to speak to an attorney,” she says.
A protest is being organized in response to what happened.