Letter to the Editor: Sharplin responds to Chateau St. Denis

letters to the editor295

Oct 28, 2018

Dear Natchitoches Taxpayer:

Upon reading Chateau St Denis responds to Sharplin, I feel it necessary to respond to Warren Reuther, the owner of the Chateau St. Denis Hotel. First, I stand by everything revealed in the letter Dear Natchitoches Taxpayer dated October 15, 2018.

I am pleased to read Chateau St Denis ownership will be paying taxes owed from July 1, 2018 to present. Luckily for the Natchitoches Taxpayer, this failure to collect taxes was exposed and now the Chateau St Denis property management system has been corrected. If not brought to light, this “computer glitch” would have cost our city and CVB thousands of tax dollars over time.

In the letter Chateau St. Denis responds to Sharplin, Reuther proclaims the Chateau St Denis Hotel “has the desire of being a good neighbor and member the of business community.” Mr. Reuther, you want to be a good neighbor? I have a few suggestions…Start by paying the back taxes. Second, drop the resort/value-add fee at Chateau St Denis. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand, a resort/value-add fee annoys guests. For the reader who doesn’t know what a resort fee is, here you go: Why-do-hotels-charge-resort-fees.

In Chateau St. Denis responds to Sharplin, Mr. Reuther is quoted, “Willful and intentional underpayment of taxes is not what happened here. As far as the upcoming opinion from the Louisiana Attorney General, we welcome the opportunity to address with him and the CVB the multiple sales tax audits where this fee was ruled non-taxable. In addition, the Natchitoches Parish Tax Administrator ruled that this tax was prospective in nature; therefore, there are no other monies owed by the Chateau St. Denis Hotel.”

I disagree with Reuther’s statement. Monies are owed by the Chateau St Denis hotel… and according to opinion 18-0098 from the Office of Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, the AG disagrees with Mr. Reuther’s assertions as well. Please see the attached opinion.

I commend the Natchitoches Convention and Visitors Bureau for asking the tough questions that some were not willing to ask in our community. The AG’s opinion validates the CVB asking for the collections that we as hoteliers are all required to collect. This is Natchitoches; Not New Orleans.

I, like most, just want a fair playing field for all businesses in our community. Natchitoches will never attract serious industry if the perception, and hopefully not reality, that some businesses are getting preferential treatment from local government officials.

Residents of Natchitoches, now is time to watch with vigilance on how aggressive local government leadership will pursue this much needed revenue for our cash strapped city/parish. Others may be watching as well…

Thank you my friends,

Jay Sharplin
Sharpco Hotels Group
Natchitoches, LA

READ THE AG OPINION HERE -> AG Opinion Letter 10-22-18

15 thoughts on “Letter to the Editor: Sharplin responds to Chateau St. Denis

  1. we should blow up both bridges and secede East Natchitoches from the West,everyone for themselves.It would be total chaos ! I would stay on West Side … better food and entertainment.

    • Really? What’s on the west side? You mean Texas Street? The east side has the hospital. You westsiders get your own,

      • True, the best restaurants are on the West Side, but the movie theater and Walmart is on the East Side. If you don’t feel like seeing a movie, Walmart offers occasional entertainment.

  2. we need above ground rail systems or Uber,why isn’t uber allowed in town ??
    or we should build an under ground rail system .

    • Have you ever wondered why nobody in Louisiana has a basement? Because it would either be flooded most of the time, or because this “gumbo” soil is so wet, the walls would collapse.
      And you want to put a subway under this town? Bordered on all sides by lakes and the Red River?

      • i don’t know you but I feel like I want to have a “telethon” for you
        Lady Jade.I was so…..joking about under ground rail system.I do not
        now if what you are on is legal or not but I love it !

  3. Mr. Sharplin has two web articles imbedded in this letter. READ THEM. Motels/hotels all of the country and abroad are charging resort/value add fees. They’re sometimes called “amenity fees,” “housekeeping fees,” “concierge fees,” “porterage fees.” The receptionist will tell you the fees are for using the pool or the internet, but the fact is you’re charged even if you don’t use these things. It’s a scam, and you don’t know about it until you arrive because the fees aren’t listed on hotel search engines. Sometimes hotels call these fees a tax, but in most cases they aren’t taxed, so local communities don’t get anything from them. Even though a large number of hotels charge $20 or $25, you can imagine how much profit a hotel with 100 rooms makes every night for each room that’s filled.

    • I think we should arm the bridges with confederate soldiers and when those Yankees come looking for entertainment or our woman,we shoot them dead !

  4. Sorry, but I think we desperately need the hotel downtown. If management is poor, improve it… change it and make it successful. We have festivals almost every weekend and some conventions which works with the hotel, but the hotel desperately needs a restaurant and bar that’s open, maybe a smaller scale of the old Holiday Inn on the Bypass. Make it work, a success – be positive instead of being negative. Downtown needs help, but it seems to be ruled by grandfathers and grandmothers. This is 2018- does anyone realize that the 50’s have passed? Why not have a midsize hotel downtown, should be the question. Why not open up entertainment on Front Street which could be a goldmine. Appears it all shuts down before 10:00 P.M. and on Sunday it is usually dark at 5:00 like a ghost town- not a college town! Visit, make a few stops in college towns in and out of State and what do you see? No wonder most of our students are online; more to do at their hometown! Wake up! Doomed?

    • we need a parking garage the traffic is horrible during festivals and the
      dreaded Xmas festival,we need a wider bridge.The local government never accounted on this town growing in population plus the tourists.And there is entertainment down town,usually music on river bank every weekend,Mamas has a band every weekend and Billy O’con is awesome ! If this Podunk town didn’t have NSU or dreaded Xmas Festival there would be nada.!!

      • True dat. Lack of parking means a lot of people have to walk, sometimes a long distance, in Louisiana summertime heat or winter rain, something that keeps people from making the trip for our festivals. Parish and City Police do a great job directing extra traffic, but the city has failed to make changes to keep up with larger crowds over the years. Both bridges should be wider, especially Kyser because most of the in-town restaurants are on South Drive and Kyser Avenue. Maybe we should make side streets wider and put in more stoplights to encourage people to use alternate routes during festivals.

  5. According to President Ronald Reagan the Democrats position on taxes was, “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving subsidize it.” I would add, in this case, if there is a tax, COLLECT IT.

  6. I have no clue why this Hotel was built,probably for the stupid hall of fame building which doesn’t even match in a historical are so someone dropped the ball !! I imagine our great city officials taxed others so that this Hotel could be built.Its in s sketchy part of town and service is awful

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