Troubled motel on Martin Way sold, may be demolished

Staff writerMay 22, 2013 

In this 2008 file photo, Olympia Police officer Rick Smith guards the doorway as officers perform a room-by-room search of the Bailey's Motor Inn for a murder suspect who shot and killed a man behind the Bailey's Restaurant. (Tony Overman/staff file)

The future of Bailey’s Motor Inn on Martin Way in Olympia is in doubt after its former owner Tony Kim confirmed Wednesday that he has sold the property and will shut down lodging operations there on May 31.

The Thurston County Assessor’s Office confirmed Wednesday that Kim sold Bailey’s Motor Inn to Circadia Management LLC of Seattle on April 26 for $850,000. Kim purchased the property at 3333 Martin Way E. in 2006 for $2.3 million, according to records filed with the Assessor’s Office.

Bailey’s Motor Inn was constructed in the late 1940s. A bar formerly located at the property has been closed for at least two years. The location also formerly had a restaurant. Olympia Police Lt. Jim Costa said that he remembers the location used to have a swimming pool.

“The only thing that’s left right now are the rooms,” Costa said. “And inexpensive rooms have a tendency to attract problematic people. It got to a point where the motel kind of started to attract people who are drug users.”

Bailey’s was the location of a narcotics bust Tuesday.

Lacey Police Lt. Phil Comstock confirmed Wednesday that Lacey police do sometimes seek suspects at Bailey’s. Comstock added that when he was on the drug task force on the 1980s, he and other detectives would sometimes serve search warrants for narcotics at Bailey’s.

Comstock said that as a local resident, he hopes that the Bailey’s property is refurbished, or becomes the site of some kind of business that continues to contribute to the county’s tax base.

A phone number for Circadia Management in Seattle could not be located Wednesday. Kim said he believes there is a “50-50” chance the new ownership might continue to rent rooms as a motel. But, he added, it’s also possible the new owners could tear it down.

When asked why he decided to sell the motel, Kim said, “I couldn’t make any money.”

The inn has a history of more than drug cases. Notorious serial killer Michael “Cowboy” Braae met one of his victims, Lori Jones of Lacey, at the bar at Bailey’s Motor Inn in 2001. Braae was a frequent customer of the bar and wooed women there with his guitar playing. Jones was last seen alive leaving the bar with Braae the night of July 6, 2001. Braae was later convicted in connection with the homicide and was sentenced to a lengthy prison sentence.

Bailey’s also has been the location of a number of drug overdose deaths in recent years, Thurston County Coroner Gary Warnock said.

In 2004, Austin Hardison was shot to death outside the restaurant, Warnock added. A former Bailey’s manager, Michael J. Reise, was later sentenced to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in connection with Hardison’s death.

Bailey’s was subsequently closed and sold to Gary and Hoak Oak of Elma.

On Tuesday, detectives with the Thurston County Narcotics Task Force arrested a Mexican national and his girlfriend at Bailey’s on suspicion of drug-related charges after they were found in a room with methamphetamine and heroin, court papers state.

In addition to the narcotics seized from the room, detectives also located a loaded Sig Sauer handgun that was reported stolen out of Lakewood, according to court papers. The stolen handgun was found in a car belonging to the male suspect.

Both suspects were being held Wednesday at the Thurston County Jail.

The male suspect, 26, was being held on suspicion of possession of a stolen firearm, being a felon in possession of a firearm, two counts of possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver and two counts of possession of heroin with intent to deliver. The female suspect, 23, was being held on suspicion of two counts of possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver and two counts of possession of heroin with intent to deliver.

The male suspect additionally had an Immigration and Customs Enforcement hold placed on him for being in the country without documentation, according to court staff.

Detectives with the task force had developed a information that a couple was dealing “weight” out of Bailey’s Motor Inn on Martin Way, and that the Hispanic man who was selling narcotics “was really into guns,” according to court papers.

Also according to court papers:

A task force detective went to the Bailey’s Motor Inn based on the information about a couple dealing drugs out of a room there. The couple were already known to detectives, task force Commander Capt. Dave Johnson said Wednesday.

The detective spoke to the owner, Kim, and he said the occupants the detective was inquiring about “often stay at the inn and only stay for one or two nights,” court papers state.

During a “knock and talk” investigation, detectives recognized the couple staying as members of “an upper-level methamphetamine distribution network in the Olympia area.” Detectives obtained search warrants and found the drugs and the stolen firearm.

Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5465

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