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Businessman says someone left racist note inside his family’s hotel room during recent trip

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 understand and share the concerns of our Sarasota community and our guests regarding recent events. We sincerely apologize for the family’s experience and have shared our apologies directly with them. Due to the concerning nature of the situation, we immediately launched a thorough internal investigation – including checking the electronic memory of the guest room locks. Our investigation has found no evidence that any associate of the hotel was involved in this incident.   Additional findings have indicated that the offensive note appears to have already been in the room, likely left by a previous occupant, when the guests checked in and was not directed at the guests in any way.

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.”
[Feature Photo: Instagram]