Preview of KELOLAND News investigation into ‘Motel Mystery’


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A California company pledged to put $50 million dollars into the state in 2018.

AG Dakota was buying up little mom and pop motels across South Dakota. But things haven’t gone as planned for the investor.

KELOLAND Investigates began hearing about AG Dakota and the troubles with their motels a couple of months ago.

Alan Gross

A company official tells us that Alan Gross is the sole investor.

He purchased nearly two dozen independent motels across the state through contracts for deed, which basically is a rent to own plan.

But in case after case, taxes, vendors and employees went unpaid; plus supplies dwindled, along with the customers.

“The business model is pretty opaque to me. I have white hair. I’ve been around for a while. And I can’t see how they were planning on making money,” Whitewood building official Chris Chiller said.

AG Dakota bought Tony’s motel sight unseen. Tony’s is off Interstate 90 in Whitewood, which is near Sturgis.

But they never did open it.

Tony’s Motel in Whitewood

Coming up on Sunday on KELOLAND News at ten, we begin with the issues at Tony’s and take you from motel to motel across the state that either went back to its original owner or is now shut down.

You won’t want to miss our full investigation into this “Motel Mystery.” We also have been looking at several different angles of this case and how many South Dakota counties are now left holding the bag in property tax due, in original reports.

Check for those reports on Sunday.

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