Whistleblower investigation reveals bed bug infestation in casino hotel

THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn. (Valley News Live) Thousands have tuned in on Facebook to see a live bedbug nightmare play out in a popular hotel.

After several people contacted the Whistleblower Hotline, Valley News is pulling back the covers to see how widespread the problem is.

“I got three little kids sleeping in this. This is disgusting,” Blake Fitzgerald said in a Facebook Live video while staying at the 7 Clans Hotel and Casino just south of Thief River Falls.

“I’m about to throw up right now. Nothing like laying in bed and having bed bugs crawling in around you,” Fitzgerald said. “I got an 11-year-old awake at two in the morning because he’s got bed bugs crawling around in his bed.”

Blake Fitzgerald is now afraid they might’ve taken an infestation home.

He’s not happy with how he says the 7 clans hotel is handling the problem.

In a press release, the 7 Clans Hotel said they, along with most hotels, have a history of battling bed bugs. But, it’s never gotten worse than a handful of rooms. They said they took immediate action to quarantine the room.

Fitzgerald has a different story.

“Not only was that room infested with bed bugs, but we could have also have transported them across the halls, all the way to the third floor and to the new room we were in,” he said.

An employee who works at the front desk wants to remain anonymous. He said the last three days this place was at capacity. That’s 150 filled rooms, he said they had one bed bug complaint. He said this place gets a bad rap because, “it’s native.”

Fitzgerald said since his live video went viral around a half-dozen people have said they’ve also had bed bug problems at Thief River 7 Clans Hotel.

“It sounds like they’re not held to the same standards and accountability as if they weren’t on the American Indian reservation,” Fitzgerald said.

Officials at the Minnesota Department of health say the 7 Clans Hotel and Casino is governed by the Red Lake Nation and they are in-charge of their public health regulations. Nobody within the Red Lake Nation would answer questions about how they regulate health standards within their hotels.


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