VESTAL, New York - The Broome County Sheriff's office and a local association of Hotel Owners are working together to combat a new trend in vandalism. "Raging"--a trend among young concert-goers who follow jam bands--has gotten out of control and is threatening the livelihood of hotel owners across the country. The Binghamton Lodging Association and the Broome County Sheriff's office have started a joint initiative to combat the hazard.
"Today marks a new day in commercial lodging security. No longer will hard-working operators be threatened and shut down by rowdy customers," said Deputy Sheriff Bill Wickman.
Vijay Balasubramanian has owned the Motel 6 on Old Route 17 for eight years. He has come to dread the times when touring bands pass through the area. He paused from buffing the floor in his lobby to say, "When I first come to America, they told me to watch out for the rock bands. There is never a problem with the bands, except when Dave Matthews parked his tour bus in my lot and emptied his toilet tank in the storm drain. It is the young customers who are trouble. All night they are raging and hanging off the balcony like a train in India."
Hotel operators are now collecting a "damage deposit" in advance, a practice which has upset some concert-goers. Chad Willis IV, who prefers to be called "The Rev," complained bitterly about the new practice: "They be profilin' us. I mean, can't we all just unzz out together?"
But hoteliers like Balasubramanian are unsympathetic. "I have been lucky, but my cousin Venkat had big problems. These ragers drove a Chevy Caprice into his lobby. Every time there is a concert, one kid tries to pay for his room in molly. This is not a bazaar, it is a legitimate business."
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