City Councilor reacts to hotel owner surrendering business license before public hearing

Former Tuscaloosa hotel owner arrested for prostitution

TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) - Snehal Panchal turned over his business license to the city of Tuscaloosa ahead of a meeting where city leaders threatened to take it away.

Tuscaloosa police arrested him on charges of promoting prostitution back in 2017. He denied the charges at the time, but the city allowed him to continue operating the Masters Inn on McFarland Boulevard.

Several city council members were ready revoke his business license during a previously scheduled public hearing that was later cancelled. We learned he voluntarily surrendered his license last week ahead of Tuesday night’s city council meeting.

The Masters Inn now has a new owner. City Councilor Sonya McKinstry, whose district includes the hotel, said the new owner can’t allow criminal activity to continue there going forward.

“All that nonsense, underhanded tricks, scandalous, criminal activity, we’re not going to tolerate it,” McKinstry said.

The city attorney’s office identified the new owner as Nirav Patel. People at the Masters Inn wouldn’t comment on the change in ownership.

The city attorney’s office, McKinstry, and others plan to meet with the new owner after Thanksgiving to talk about expectations for the hotel going forward.

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