RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — The U.S. Justice Department says that the owners of the Grand Gateway Hotel and the Cheers Sports Lounge and Casino in Rapid City have entered into a consent decree in connection with a discrimination lawsuit against Native American customers.
Under the consent decree, Connie Uhre will be barred from serving as an officer or director of the company or from exercising any management duties or being involved in any operations on behalf of the Grand Gateway Hotel for four years. The defendants will also issue a public apology and send it to tribal organizations in South Dakota and throughout the Great Plains region.
Following a shooting in March 2022 near the hotel, one of the owners made several comments on Facebook threatening to ban all Native Americans from the hotel and Cheers Sports Bar.
Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said the defendants prevented Native Americans from booking rooms at the hotel and made public statements discouraging Native Americans from setting foot on the business’s property.
Those comments led to months of protests and boycotts.
The U.S. Justice Department’s lawsuit, filed in October 2022, alleged that the Retsel Corporation and two of its directors, Connie Uhre and Nicholas Uhre, discriminated against Native American customers.
The consent decree must still be approved by the U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota.