This downtown Myrtle Beach motel has drug deals, prostitution and overdoses, city says

The Lancer Motel in Myrtle Beach.
The Lancer Motel in Myrtle Beach. jbell@thesunnews.com

A downtown Myrtle Beach motel was the site of numerous drug overdoses, prostitution, assault and drug sales calls, and now the city is trying to close the business, calling it a “nuisance.”

The City of Myrtle Beach said the Lancer Motel, at 606 N. Kings Hwy., had 450 calls between January 2017 and February 2018, prompting the city to file a public nuisance complaint against the motel, according to court records.

That decision is now being appealed.

A Myrtle Beach Police Department officer spoke with the motel’s manager, Sachin Patel, in February 2018 to let management know the city was looking at a potential nuisance case, and the motel needed to reduce criminal activity, records show. The Lancer failed to decrease crime after police spoke with Patel, according to court paperwork. Following the conversation, there were 301 calls and complaints of criminal activity from February to December 2018, according to records.

Between January 2015 and December 2018, the Lancer had 13 drug overdoses, and three of those were fatal, records state.

The city then started a legal process to close the “nuisance” hotel and on April 3 Special Hearing Officer Jay Bultz issued an order that the hotel is a problem and must close within 30 days, according to the records.

Patel and his father, Chandrakant Patel, filed for an appeal hearing following the city’s filing to request a circuit court judge to review the case.

During the initial process to close the motel, police officers testified that they have investigated fighting, prostitution, domestic incidents and drug activity, according to documents.

The motel is “known as a place to look for stolen vehicles or wanted persons,” records state. One officer said in his experience the Lancer is a spot drug dealers use to set up shop for a weekend and sell drugs.

The motel is still open.

The Sun News Reporter Hannah Strong is passionate about making the world better through what she reports and writes. Strong, who is a Pawleys Island native, is quick to jump on breaking news, profiles stories about people in the community and obituaries. Strong has won four S.C. Press Association first-place awards, including one for enterprise reporting after riding along with police during a homicide. She earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Winthrop University.