by: Jim Bradley Updated:CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
State alcohol officials are stepping in to make changes at an uptown Charlotte hotel just two days after a shooting sent thousands of guests scrambling for exits.
The North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission suspended the alcohol permit for the Sheraton Hotel on South McDowell Street.
The hotel, which only recently took on the Sheraton brand name, just got the alcohol permit on Friday. But Monday, state agents took that permit away.
In addition to the shooting that left two people injured, agents noticed an “odor of marijuana” in the hotel and reported that another person was cut after being assaulted with a champagne bottle, ABC officials said in a letter sent to the hotel’s owners.
The letter said the Sheraton's permit to serve alcohol is suspended indefinitely.
The impact could be far reaching for the hotel.
Multiple executives in the hospitality industry in Charlotte said running a major hotel without the ability to serve alcohol would cripple current and future business.
None wanted to be quoted publicly.
Richard Spellman, who heads the hospitality management program at Central Piedmont Community College, said as long as the suspension remains in effect, it will be hard for the Sheraton to attract meetings, receptions and other business.
"A hotel without alcohol is called a motel," Sherman said. “If you're looking to sign a contract now for something coming up in the next months or year, you're probably going to hesitate to sign a contract at this moment."
Sheraton's corporate office didn't return multiple requests for comment on the alcohol permit suspension. Charlotte Mecklenburg police continue to investigate the shooting, which happened early Sunday morning.
Cellphone video showed thousands of guests running and stumbling away from the area where witnesses said four to five gunshots were fired.
The shooting took place at an after party at the end of the CIAA tournament. Police have yet to make an arrest in the shooting.
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