Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Will the Gilmore Collection seriously address their death problem NOW?

Grand Rapids: We have had yet another death associated with the B.O.B. Also known as the Big Old Building, the B.O.B. has become a place that many in our city have learned to avoid. For some, this avoidance started long before the most recent deaths occurred--three happening on the same stairwell, two of which just this year. But with another fatality reportedly associated with a brawl that happened outside of the facility this weekend, the question must be raised again: When will things at one of the douchiest establishments in town change?

Pictures of the three stairwell victims. | Source: Heidi Fenton, MLive
In what seems to be an ArtPrize farce, a group posted fliers that leaned in a similar direction. Instead of asking when things will change though, the fliers were much more direct, telling readers to "Boycott the B.O.B." Two different versions of the postings existed: one showed three outlines of bodies and listed the names of the three men who died; the other included several paragraphs, discussing the cost of fixing the stairwell that the three men fell down, a figure that was less than 10 percent of the settlement paid to the first bereaved family from 2009. Interestingly, the fliers had an ArtPrize voting number that had been used last year by a 96-year-old woman. She passed away in May of this year, the same month that the most recent of the stairwell victims died.

The poster with outlines, accurately calling the B.O.B. a "deathtrap" | Source: Heidi Fenton, MLive
Some residents of West Michigan were upset by the fliers, stating that visitors to the city did not need to see such things without all of the information being present (sounds like an excuse to keep the curtain pulled over our city's flaws, if you ask me). Indeed, some tourists were confused by the fliers, uncertain of what was going on, of what had happened. Even if these fliers somehow give our city a bad rap (which I doubt, considering that they're targeted at one facility and its parent company: the Gilmore Collection), I think that these details need to be heard and the B.O.B. needs to have some sort of internal review.  When there are three deaths within six months of each other, a pattern has formed, and it is likely that there is something to blame. If the Gilmore Collection fails to look into it and fails to change, things could get hairy for the B.O.B., one of the company's biggest endeavors.

Adding in the most recent death, we have three men who died at the age of 21; the other man, Kevin O'Brien, a home restoration/remodeler, was 36 when he passed away. That internal review I mentioned: It may not need to be thorough (it should be, though) but at least get some outside training for your staff.  Getting TiPS certifications for all of your workers could be extremely beneficial--if not for your clientele then for your liability. Certification programs like this could provide the wisdom to know when to cut someone off. I don't know the details of what happened each time, but alcohol was involved in most, if not all, of these deaths and such training could save a patron's life in the future.