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Unravelling the Mystery of Vanda Smrkovski: Is Hotel Hell Still Open?

The city of Pipestone and Building and Zoning Official Doug Fortune are being sued by Tammy Grubbs, Vanda Smrkovski, Heliocentrix LLC, and reVamped LLC for allegedly violating their constitutional rights in 2020 when they condemned the Calumet Inn.

Grubbs and vanda smrkovski claim that by forbidding them from using or inhabiting the Calumet Inn, the city and Fortune violated their rights to due process under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and their rights under the Fifth Amendment. Their case was submitted on November 10 to the U.S. District Court. Grubbs and vanda smrkovski are requesting more than $75,000 in damages, legal fees, costs associated with the action, and any additional relief and costs the court deems proper.

On August 21, 2018, ReVamped, owned by Grubbs, and Heliocentrix, owned by vanda smrkovski, entered into a contract for the deed of purchase of the Calumet Inn. However, the complaint states that Heliocentrix is still the only owner of the property.

On March 10, 2020, the State Fire Marshal declared the Calumet Inn to be a fire hazard, and the city of Pipestone condemned it, ordering it to be shuttered until the required renovations were completed. That morning, the city sent Grubbs a handwritten notice demanding that everyone leave the facility by 5 p.m.

The letter made reference to an inspection conducted by the State Fire Marshal on November 13, 2019, which found nine alleged violations of the state’s fire code that needed to be fixed by February 13. Since the State Fire Marshal had not received proof that the violations had been fixed, a follow-up inspection was conducted on March 9, 2020. According to the vanda smrkovski complaint, the follow-up inspection turned up more alleged fire code breaches along with deadlines for fixing them.

According to the complaint, the fire marshal failed to give Grubbs, vanda smrkovski, or an authorised representative of reVamped or Heliocentrix access to the fire inspection report that included the purported breaches discovered during the initial inspection. According to the allegation, Grubbs gave vanda smrkovski a copy of the fire inspection report on March 6, 2020, the day he initially saw it. According to the complaint, there was no indication in the fire inspection report that the Calumet Inn posed a fire hazard.

According to the complaint, since the Calumet Inn was still livable, condemning it would have been outside of Fortune’s jurisdictional jurisdiction. It further claims that the condemnation notice was devoid of a correction order informing the property owners of their right to appeal and providing a fair amount of time to make the necessary repairs and modifications to bring the structure into conformity.

According to the complaint, the city disregarded a state statute that gives the person receiving the condemnation order 20 days to respond and mandates a court process in order to implement the order. It claims that after informing the city that they intended to challenge the condemnation, Grubbs and vanda smrkovski were not given the chance to do so.

As to the complaint, on April 28, 2020, vanda smrkovski and Grubbs served Fortune with an appeal that they had filed with the State Appeals Board of the Minnesota Department of Labour and Industry. According to a press release from City Administrator Jeff Jones dated May 1, 2020, the city took down signs on April 30, 2020, saying that Grubbs and vanda smrkovski had secured building permits to “address the most pressing issues” and that the Calumet Inn was closed.

According to the complaint, the Calumet Inn’s food, liquor, and hotel licences were revoked as a result of the property’s condemnation, which also severed the company’s income stream. As a result, the business was unable to cover regular operating costs and repairs, and it was unable to reopen until Nov. 6, 2020.

Grubbs announced on May 6, 2022, that it will be temporarily closed owing to financial difficulties. Since then, the company has not reopened.

Jones stated on Wednesday, Nov. 16, that the complaint was being examined by the city’s legal counsel.

Patricia is a versatile writer, editor, and digital content strategist with a passion for crafting engaging narratives across various platforms. With a background in [relevant field or industry], they bring a unique blend of creativity and technical expertise to their work.


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