U.S. Justice Dept. announces consent decree in discrimination case against a Rapid City hotel

The U.S. Justice Department says the owners and operators of the Grand Gateway Hotel and the Cheers Sports Lounge and Casino in Rapid City have entered into a consent decree. This resolves the Department’s lawsuit alleging the defendants discriminated against Native American customers.

The deal must still be approved by the U.S. District Court for South Dakota.

It stipulates that 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 Hotel for four years. The defendants must also issue a public apology.

The agreement also requires that the defendants retain a compliance office, implement and publish an anti-discrimination policy, undergo training, and develop an affirmative marketing plan.

The justice Department says the defendants prevented Native Americans from booking rooms at the hotel and made public statements discouraging Native Americans from setting foot on the property.

Assistant U.S. Attorney General Kristen Clarke says the defendants’ conduct in this case was egregious and amounted to an outright ban on Native American customers.


November 13, 2023