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Motel allegedly turns away customer for using a wheelchair

Scott East said he started recording the exchange because he couldn't believe what was happening.

CENTRE, Ala. — A family from Villa Rica said their vacation was ruined after they were denied service at a motel. 

Scott East said he was told they don't allow wheelchairs at the Weiss Lake Lodge in Centre, Alabama - even though their website advertises that it's accessible. 

He started recording the exchange because he couldn't believe what the worker was saying. East said he was embarrassed. 

He said did he research, read the reviews, and thought he found a motel that was wheelchair accessible in Centre. However, he said as soon as his wife got his wheelchair off their lift, the woman at the front desk started shaking her head no - that's when he started recording. 

East kept recording as he said he was turned away from the Weiss Lake Lodge.

"I was furious, but I was embarrassed, the kids are in the car and they're screaming. And it made me feel hurt, I guess, my feelings were hurt. And I'm pretty tough, I don't get my feelings hurt often," he said. 

East said he looked at a couple different places for his family vacation to visit the water park in the town, but decided the Weiss Lake Lodge was the best fit for their family. He said he called on the way over. 

"The guy said everything is fine, joked with me, he said come on, see you in a few minutes, super nice," he said.

East said he called ahead instead of just showing up because he wanted to make sure they could accommodate his wheelchair. 

"Everywhere we go, we have to call and make sure they are handicap accessible, we have to ask about the bathrooms," he said. 

That's why he said he was shocked when he was turned away. 

"The first thing out of her mouth was we do not like wheelchairs," he said. 

On a phone call with 11Alive, a man identifying himself as a manager called the whole thing a misunderstanding. He said the motel did not have an accessible room that was clean to accommodate the family. 

East said the manager called him Wednesday night to say the same thing. However, he said the recording he took on his phone says different. 

"I told him, I said, 'you had all day Monday, all day Tuesday, all day today,' it was like 5 p.m. before I heard from him. If I did something wrong as a business owner, I am the first to call and say, 'hey, I'm sorry,'" he said. 

The motel shut down their website after East's post about the exchange went viral. 

He said he got a call from an Americans with Disabilities Act attorney and he's considering what he wants to do next. 

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