by Sarah J.F. Braley | March 11, 2015
According to several news outlets, when the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association held its tournament in Charlotte, N.C., at the end of February, a questionable surcharge showed up on bar tabs in the lobby lounge at the Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte. Spelled out as the "CIAA svc chg," the extra line item added $10.20 to the sample $68 bill. Uproar in the media and social media accused the hotel of adding the line "because CIAA is largely a black event," according to NPR. 

The hotel has asked forgiveness, releasing this statement, "We would like to apologize to any guests we may have offended by the addition of a service charge we implemented at a recent event in our lobby lounge. The service charge was not intended to single out any particular group or organization, and we deeply regret any misunderstanding this may have caused. It is important for all guests to feel welcomed at our hotel and for them to receive the highest level of service, respect and hospitality we strive for every day." 

The charge is being investigated by North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper's office, according to local news station WSOCTV. Tom Murray, CEO of the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, told WFAE, the local NPR station, that the CRVA thoroughly examines big events at their conclusion, which in this case includes the service charge. "Anything that makes our customers feel less than welcome is not something we feel good about, and we're disheartened by that," he told the radio station.