Pioneer Hotel Residents Complaining of Bedbugs

Cheyenne, WY (KGWN) - A local hotel is battling a bedbug problem and another organization is worried those bugs may be transferring to their building.
NewsChannel 5 received complaints from a couple residents at the Pioneer Hotel that there is a bedbug problem and according to the Cheyenne-Laramie County Health Department, it's not the first time.
"This particular hotel, we've been out there, the Health Department has been out there on numerous occasions," said Gus Lopez, Director of the Cheyenne-Laramie County Health Department.
The Comea Shelter had a massive bedbug outbreak last September and have been mostly free of them since, except for a few isolated incidents.
"It would be fine for a while and then we'd have another report and so that tells us that they have to be being brought in by residents," said Robin Zimmer, Executive Director of Cheyenne Comea Shelter.
Residents aren't allowed to stay at the shelter during the day, so many of them frequent local hotels to visit friends.
"Some of them have said, well I go spend time with a friend at the Pioneer or I go spend time with a friend at this hotel," Zimmer said.
Wherever the bedbug problem is coming from, it's costing Comea $500 a month to keep another outbreak from happening. Tightening an already strained budget.
"Until other facilities or places, hotels, whatever treat for their problems, we're going to keep battling this because we're not going to let Comea Shelter go to another extensive infestation like what happened last year that caught us off guard. We had no idea," Zimmer said.
While we were outside the hotel a woman claiming to be an owner of the hotel approached us, but declined to comment on the situation.
The residents that contacted us also declined to appear on camera for fear of getting in trouble with hotel management.
Gus Lopez says they see about 10 to 15 complaints a year of bedbugs in local hotels, but the law gives them no power to come to the aid of tenants.
"Right now there's no regulations protecting the tenants, nor is there any rules and regulations for health departments to get in there and enforce that," said Lopez.
For the time being, tenants will either have to deal with the problem or find another place to live.

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