Colonie hotel/motel owners decide whether to take sex offenders

Alex Patel owns the Blue Bell, Skylane and Super 8, all of which were sent the notices and asked whether they would be taking sex offenders.

Magguilli said that while the Blue Bell indicated it would be taking sex offenders and Patel has paid the fee, the Skylane has not yet responded to the notice. Those hotels and motels that have not responded are being granted a seven-day extension, Magguilli said, which is being hand-delivered this week by the Colonie Police Department.

Colonie Police Chief Steven Heider said, part of our job will be enforcing this, and that the police department is working closely with the town on this issue.

Patel said that he did not know that he was taking sex offenders at his hotels.

"We have no proof who checked in when they come in," he said. He said that while sometimes he would look at the sex offender registry, the Web sites are not always up-to-date with this information.

"Somebody checks in, they give their drivers license and we can give them a room," he said.

Patel said he will not be taking sex offenders at the Super 8 and will be posting a notice indicating that they do not accept sex offenders.

"[It will say,] 'Make sure if you're a sex offender, you let us know,'" he said. "Leave our liability out."

Some hotel owners also argue that they are at times unaware when a sex offender checks in.

John "Jim" Cocca, owner of Cocca's Inn and Suites, on Route 9 in Latham, said he was unaware that he had two sex offenders staying at his hotel until the Colonie Police Department informed him.

"We really never ever took sex offenders," he said. "They were here until we found out that they were sex offenders. As soon as we found out, we gave them a week to get out."

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