An African-American businessman staying in an upscale Florida hotel says his family was targeted with a racist note left in their room.
According to the New York Post, Frank Davis was staying with his family, including 27-year-old son Michael, at the Art Ovation Hotel in Sarasota when they returned to the room to find a sticky note that read “You’re a (n-word).”
He told the newspaper that he and Michael Davis were returning to the sixth floor after eating breakfast downstairs and found the note affixed to a lamp next to the bed.
“My first thought was what did we do to deserve this?” the younger Davis recalled. “We tipped well, we were beyond nice to all the staff.”
He said that he was “stone cold for 30 to 40 seconds” after reading the note.
The family called authorities and informed the hotel’s front desk clerk about the apparently threatening note.
Frank Davis, who became a millionaire through his business successes, has dedicated much of his life to giving back to programs that promote diversity. That philanthropy included a $5 million donation to Bucknell University, his alma mater.
“It is critical that we all be champions for diversity and inclusion every day,” the elder Davis said.
His son said the Marriott-owned hotel did not provide sufficient remedy for their situation, as reported by the New York Daily News.
Management reportedly refunded their loyalty points but did not offer a comparable hotel nearby. Michael Davis said he and his parents were fearful for their safety after finding the note.
“Who knows what other kind of actions that individual who clearly knew we were there was capable of, which is why we decided to relocate and find additional lodging for the remainder of our stay,” he said.
Editor’s Note: The Art Ovation Hotel sent CrimeOnline a statement regarding the incident shortly after the story published. Read the full statement below.
We will continue to work closely with the Sarasota Police Department as they pursue this matter.
The safety and security of our guests is of paramount importance to us and we remain committed to providing an environment where all feel welcome. Again, we apologize to all those impacted by this experience and regardless of the source of this note, we deeply regret that any guest of ours had to endure this situation.”