Grand Gateway Hotel owner responds to outcry over comments

Screenshot 2022 03 23 112626RAPID CITY, S.D. — The owner of a hotel who came under fire for inflammatory racial comments on social media is now breaking her silence.

Connie Uhre owns the Grand Gateway Hotel in Rapid City where a shooting in one of the rooms Saturday morning left one individual in critical condition. Uhre took to Facebook after the incident, making statements about prohibiting “Native Americans on property”.

Screenshot 2022 03 21 160309

Mayor Steve Allender includes a screenshot of Connie Uhre’s Facebook comments calling for a ban on Native Americans at establishments she owns

In a letter addressed Wednesday to the Lakota Nation and also sent to NewsCenter1, Uhre offered an apology while at the same time reiterating many of the claims made in her original comments. Uhre goes on to cite safety as the basis of those claims.

“First I want to sincerely send an Apology to all the Natives for my post on Kelo Land. I really feel for the family who’s Son was critical wounded  from the 6 Gun Shots fired in the Room to be exact” 

Uhre says in her letter that the hotel installed pathways, connecting the hotel to local businesses, but alleges the pathways have only brought crime.

“All these paths brought was empty booze cans and bottles, graffiti on Brick , paper food sacks, Red landscape rock tossed all over the parking lot,  broken car windows, Bikes taken off of Car racks,  screens cut, Room windows broken,  steeling stuff out of rooms, Drunks passed out in the flower beds, sleeping on the parking lot, Graffiti sprayed on the 2 shuttles.” 

In the letter, Uhre doubles down on what she calls “good” and “bad” Natives, and places blame on city leadership and local law enforcement.

“I am not Blaming the Good Natives, it is our Leadership and Criminal Justice That has made our city an unsafe place anyone, any race. And we have plenty of Whites that create Problems, Our City leaders can change all that.”

Uhre’s original comments prompted a joint-response Tuesday from local officials, law enforcement, and the wider community.

Categories: Local News