TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — An iconic Tuscaloosa motel has been shut down for several code violations.
City Council President Kip Tyner says the Moon Winx Lodge on East University Boulevard in Alberta was closed on March 13. He says the motel’s poor condition made it a public safety concern.
“Operating without a license, roach and rodent infestation, alleged prostitution. It was deplorable,” Tyner said. “But this is an opportunity we have right now to shut down a dredge that’s been in our community for so long. What happened needed to happen.”
Alongside the issues mentioned by Tyner, the ten code violations included allowing visitors to stay longer than 30 days and citations for failing to keep the hotel guest registry. Tuscaloosa Police also cited the owner for structural problems.
Mickey Pate is the spokesperson for the Patel family, which owns the Moon Winx Lodge. She addressed the closure of the motel and what may have led to its decline over the years.
“It is a real shame this property had to be closed probably because the owners didn’t have enough money right now to fix all of the things that needed to be fixed,” Pate said. “But there were code violations that need to be taken care of, there is no doubt about that, but these are good people and this business is an iconic piece of property.”
Tyner says the motel’s origins can be traced back to the 1920s. In more recent history, Alabama Football legendary Coach Bear Bryant took his players to stay at the Moon Winx Lodge Friday night before a Saturday home game.
“Back in its hay day, Coach Bear Bryant used to bus the players there every Friday night for home games,” Tyner said. “The best restaurant in Tuscaloosa was the Lamp Lighter. They’d get a big steak dinner and all the players would stay in the rooms.”
Pate says the Patels could sell the property or address the code violations and fix the issues and possibly re-open the motel.