City officials allow Asam Hotel to remain open – with conditions

Published 8:41 am Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Sam Malik is getting another chance to save the Asam Hotel, formerly known as the Dixiana.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen on Monday approved a recommendation by the city’s Community Development Department that allows Malik to remain open and make repairs to the hotel under two conditions: vacate the 36 rooms of the 53-room hotel that are condemned as uninhabitable by the city and allow weekly inspections by city code officers.

Community Development Director Jeff Richardson also requested that the demolition order stay in place until the buildings are brought up to compliance.

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The recommendation comes after the board met with Malik at its Nov. 7 and Nov. 9 meetings to discuss the hotel and Malik’s apparent failure to bring the hotel up to city building codes.

Richardson said Monday an electrical contractor working for Malik obtained a city permit for work on the property and Malik, who owns the hotel, has a building permit. Electrical work, Richardson said, has started on the building.

“Fire alarms are being hardwired into the electrical system,” he said, adding, “No inspection has been called in for electrical work as of this moment. The property has seen improvements and needs to be maintained in a safe and clean state.”

He said trash and debris on the property need to be removed before it begins to accumulate.

To give Malik more time, Richardson asked that Malik’s electrical contractor set up a schedule for work and set weekly inspections “to ensure actual work is getting accomplished.”

“The safety of its tenants is the issue today. Numerous rooms were found to be dangerous and condemned,” he said. “It’s our opinion that these safety problems be addressed and fixed before the rooms are inhabited again.”

“We’ve been down this road for over a year,” Ward 1 Alderman Michael Mayfield said. “We’ll see what the weekly inspection says and if that tells us that they are moving forward, then we can live with that.”

“We want him to succeed in business,” Richardson said. “But we want him to succeed in business properly and within the letter of the ordinances and the law.”

Built in 1949, the then-Dixiana Motel was a major hotel in the city boasting at the time 29 modern rooms with air conditioning and an adjoining restaurant. It was AAA-recommended and approved, and a member of the United Motor Courts Association.

In later years, the motel fell into disrepair and was the source of complaints from residents about the property and the people who hung around the motel.

The Dixiana was purchased by Malik and renamed Asam Hotel in the last five years.

 

 

 

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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