Three Mackinaw City hotels are being directed to "immediately cease and desist from engaging in unlawful business practices," according to a press release issued by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel's office on Feb. 9. Nessel issued a Notice of Intended Action to The Beach House Hotel, Crown Choice Inn & Suites and Hamilton Inn Select Beachfront following an investigation into business practices related to customer reservations. The investigation resulted from consumer complaints of bait and switch tactics in which the hotels created appealing but ingenuine offers to sell more rooms, Nessel's office stated. "The complaints allege instances where consumers book rooms at hotels that, while advertised as available and the reservations ultimately confirmed, were in fact closed without notice to the consumer," the Notice of Intended Action stated. "Upon arrival to the closed hotel, the consumer is directed to the Hamilton Inn and given a 'substitute' room with non-comparable amenities. "The complaints also allege consumers who decline to stay at the Hamilton Inn are denied refunds citing a 72-hour cancellation policy," the notice continued. "The refunds are denied even though the consumer was not made aware of the original hotel's closure at any time prior to the consumer arriving in Mackinaw City." The letter also details the evidence gathered by one of the AG Office's special agents during the investigation:\u00a0 On Nov. 4, 2021, one of the department's special agents made a reservation for a "2 Bed Queen Lakeview Balcony Room" at the Crown Choice Inn for Nov. 10 through a website identified as the Official Mackinaw City Chamber of Tourism. The reservation included access to 17 indoor pools and indoor waterpark admission wristbands. Although the agent made the reservation on Nov. 4, he did not receive email confirmation until Nov. 9, the day before his stay, and outside of the 72-hour cancellation window. When the agent arrived at the Crown Choice Inn to check in, he found the hotel entrance locked with a sign on the door directing people to check-in at the Hamilton Inn. At the Hamilton Inn, the agent was advised that the Crown Choice Inn's waterpark was closed for cleaning and his reservation was moved to the Hamilton Inn. When the agent indicated he wanted to use the waterpark, staff advised that it was closed for cleaning, there were no other waterparks in the area, and it was past the point where the reservation could be canceled to receive a refund. "Tourism is part of the life-blood for the economy in northern Michigan," Nessel said in the release.\u202f"My Office will not tolerate actions that threaten our reputation in the tourism industry or harm consumers." The hotels must respond to the notice and "take appropriate steps to address the Department's findings" by Feb. 18, according to the release. For more information, the Notice of Intended Action is available here on the Department of Attorney General's website.