In a recent review of A.K. Sandoval-Strausz' Hotels: A History, I discussed the moral panic hotels provoked in the 19th century, catering as they did to rootless transients and licentious women. I thought we were kind of over it, but the Falls Church New-Press informs me otherwise:
Parents and supporters of the St. James Catholic middle school packed the Falls Church City Council chambers at City Hall Monday night to plead to the F.C. Planning Commission that it not approve a proposed Hilton Garden Inn hotel adjacent the school in the block of W. Broad St.
Strident speakers Monday warned the Planning Commission of "the likelihood of inappropriate conduct between adults and children" due to the "transient nature" of hotel patrons. They also cited traffic congestion issues, noting that "car crashes are the number one killer of children under 14." One said that N. Oak St. would become "a mini-mixing bowl."
Concerns were expressed of "hotel rooms being used in crimes against children," and laws cited in some jurisdictions across the U.S. prohibiting registered sex offenders from living near a school.
Judy Meehan, a victim's rights advocate, said it was "disgraceful" that the City did not begin consideration of the project "with a concept of risk." The City has been "negligent," she said.
"The connection between crime and hotels is well known," Meehan said, suggesting the heightened instances of prostitution and rape "in and around hotels."
[Many thanks to reader Brian Nichols for the link.]