- Associated Press - Monday, December 12, 2016

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - The new manager of the historic Bergmann Hotel in Juneau is working to clean up the tenement building.

When Charles Cotten Jr. took over managing the 46-room building four months ago, he says it was almost at capacity, with many of the people living there as squatters, The Juneau Empire reported (https://bit.ly/2hfy2AF). He says now the building has 20 residents who are all paying rent.

“I come in and started getting the riffraff out, started getting the thieves and the drugs out,” Cotten said. “I run ‘em the hell off, and I’d do it any day of the week.”

The Bergmann Hotel, owned by James Barrett, opened in 1913. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Though it was once a hotel and bar catering to miners, it recently has gained a reputation for crime and housing addicts.

Cotten said he is OK with having rough tenants in the building, he just hopes he can help them. He runs an addiction program in hopes of helping some of the hotel’s residents overcome their demons.

“I want to show the community that things can change as well as people because a lot of people gave up on this place,” he said. “If a person wants to kick a habit, they can do it right here in one of these rooms with one hell of a support group.”

Barrett, who bought the hotel 15 years ago and hasn’t been a part of day-to-day operations for years due to illness, said he hopes Cotton will help improve the building.

“It’s not going to be the Ritz Carlton; it’s just not,” Barrett said. “But my hope is that it can be a safe, clean space.”

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Information from: Juneau (Alaska) Empire, https://www.juneauempire.com


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