Mt Pleasant News

Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Jun 18, 2018

Iris Motel cleans up their act, reopens doors

Aug 29, 2017
Photo by: Grace King The Iris Motel reopens it’s doors today after several months of ongoing construction. They currently have four rooms available for rent.

By Grace King, Mt. Pleasant News


The Iris Motel at 905 W. Washington St. in Mt. Pleasant is reopening their doors today, Aug. 29, after spending several months under construction.

The motel was forced to close its doors on Feb. 15 when the Lee County Health Department found “imminent dangers” to individual’s health and safety, city building and zoning director Jack Swarm said in March. At the time, Solid Investments of Minnetonka, Minn. had recently become new owners of the motel.

When the Iris Motel closed, the new management decided to “do it right.” “We decided we were going to gut and just redo. We weren’t just going to patch,” said Lisa Biller, public relations representative for the Iris Motel.

Solid Investments took the rooms “down to the studs” and put up new sheet rock, re-carpeted and repainted the rooms and put in a lot of new windows, Biller said.

One of the major complaints facing the Iris Motel before it was shut down in February was guests who had been permanently living in the building, which is a violation of state hotel and motel code, Swarm said. At the time, it was reported that one guest had been living there for over 20 years.

“The state will no longer tolerate permanent occupancy,” Swarm said.

The Iris Motel will comply as Biller said that there will no longer be long-term living in the facility. “There will be a lot of eyes on management to make sure they’re doing things right,” she said.

Biller said the permanent occupancy allowed before ended up “hurting the community and the people there.”

“We’ll be happy to help you in your time of need, but it cannot go beyond the 30-day period,” Biller said.

The Iris is not currently looking to hire new employees. Biller said they are opening a few rooms at a time with four rooms available for rent now. They will “build out” as they complete more rooms, hiring as needed. There is no set time frame for the completion of more rooms.

Swarm thinks that reopening the Iris Motel will fit a need in the community.

“We’re excited to be here,” Biller said.

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