ANS founder and chief editor, Dan Wooding, was held this morning (Wednesday, March 2, 2011) by security and threatened with possible arrest when he tried to pay his bill at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel – with cash.
Wooding, 70, explained that “a generous donor” who was attending NRB2011 had “kindly given me enough money to cover my hotel room in one hundred dollar bills.”
But when he came to check out this morning, after several of the staff kept on passing the bills on to other people to examine, a security officer was brought in and Wooding was told to fill out a form saying where he got the bills.
“I was also told that the Nashville Police would probably be called in to talk to me because of this possible crime of trying to pass what they felt were fraudulent one-hundred dollars bills,” he said.
“In the meantime, I paid my bill by credit card and a guard was assigned to me to make sure I didn’t try and escape from the lobby.
“What made this whole affair so sad was the my son, Peter, had come over from the UK to work with me during the convention and this would have been our last time together before I flew back to Southern California and he did to the UK.
“Instead, he had to stand by and watch his father being humiliated as he guarded by a security staff member of the hotel.”
Finally, after nearly an hour, said Wooding, the original security officer who had told Wooding fill out a statement about where he got the bills and had mentioned calling in the local police, came back to him and said they had had finally “done one more check” and found the one-hundred-dollar bills all to be legimate.
“I got a rather weak apology from some of the hotel staff and to make up for my possible arrest and the way they spoiled my time with my son, they gave me a voucher for a free taxi ride to Nashville Airport,’ he said.
Wooding, added, “It was really sad the way I was treated so badly at the end of my stay by this hotel as I had enjoyed my stay with them.
“Of course, compared with today’s tragic murder of Shahbaz Bhatti in Pakistan, this was just a small thing, but still it is still sad when a honest person who is trying to pay his bill with cash is treated as a possible criminal.
“I hope this huge hotel takes a little more care in dealing with similar situations so that others don’t get treated in the way I was.
“I am not very happy with this unfortunate incident and it certainly did much to ruin for me what had been an excellent NRB convention in their hotel.”
He went on to say, “If you don’t want to be threatened with possible arrest at this particular hotel, don’t pay your bill with cash. This whole affairs has left a nasty taste in my mouth and makes me not want to ever stay at their hotel again.”