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One Night at the Ascot

Behind closed doors at Charlotte's infamous no-tell motel

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When asked about the discrepancy, Brian Dominick says he'll have his people check into the matter. "But I bet you the same, in a couple of years, it [the Ascot Inn] is going to look totally different than it does now," says Dominick.

Gandhi also blames the bad impression locals may have of the Ascot on the Budget Inn that used to stand across the street at 1022 S. Tryon St., where crime was prevalent.

"Since the time we've been here, we've changed the image of the property," Jessica says. "People got a bad impression because Budget Inn was across the street -- drug activity, too much crime, everything. We do not allow any kind of mishaps over here."

The Budget Inn was closed in 1999 due to being "a public nuisance," according to an article published June 16, 2000, in the Charlotte Business Journal.

Gandhi adds: "We try to rent more to out-of-town people; that way, we can change our reputation. We cannot change everybody's mind, but we are trying to change people's impression so that we can stand with the franchises. Local people might still have a bad impression of the place because of the past."

Most of the business the Ascot Inn -- which is listed on sites like Metrotravelguide.com, TripAdvisor.com, AOL and Yahoo -- receives is from online reservations.

"We have people come from Germany, England, China, Japan, Russia -- all over the place," Gandhi says. "A lot of people come for the conventions. People are looking for a very decent price downtown, and they don't want to pay high, they stay here."

As surprising as some people might find this, many folks stay at the Ascot Inn and return back for multiple visits. "They come back because they like the services, price, location," Gandhi says. "Some have been coming so many years, even before we were here. We had a guest who just passed away last year. He'd been coming here for the last 17 years."

*** 

Sweat was pouring down our bodies. While I'd love to attribute the perspiration to awesome drunken sex, I couldn't. The air conditioner was simply broken. And it wasn't that the unit didn't blow out air at all; no, the air was just warm ... like a man's morning breath.

After the first round, where I'm kind of embarrassed to admit I was mesmerized by the mirror overhead, we decided to check out what kind of adult channels we could access on our room's TV. We had a choice of two channels: one for those who enjoy watching white people fuck, and one for those who enjoy watching black people fuck. But for all we knew, we could have been watching footage of amateurs from another room in the motel.

By 1 a.m., we were ready to go. We showered quickly, got dressed and left without checking out. He had paid cash upfront anyway. On the way to the car, I reached into the icemaker that was beneath the stairs and grabbed some ice to cool myself.

"I hope there aren't any roaches in there," Anthony said. I threw an ice cube at him.

Part of me wishes we had used the Jacuzzi, but this had not been a romantic getaway for two people in love. No. This had been a passionate embrace between two people for one night.

But at the very least -- for good or ill -- we'll always have the Ascot.

Kim Lawson also contributed reporting to this story.

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