BET founder, Manalapan resort resolve spat over prescription sunglasses

Wellington-based entrepreneur Bob Johnson and the Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa have made up after a confrontation last month at the Manalapan oceanfront hotel.

Johnson, the founder of Black Entertainment Television and whose RLJ Companies own more than 150 hotels, walked out of the resort Aug. 24 after a supervisor refused to check him in because he would not remove his prescription sunglasses.

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He’d loaned out his Wellington house to friends and planned a stay at the Eau after a day of fishing off Jupiter.

Johnson said last week the supervisor told him the sunglasses rule is hotel policy, prompted by South Florida's rampant fraud and identity theft. Johnson said he's never had such a policy in any of his properties.

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Johnson suggested last week he was a victim of racial profiling and said he never again would patronize the Eau, at the east end of the Ocean Avenue Bridge.

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On Tuesday, the hotel and Johnson issued a joint statement saying that last Friday, the hotel hosted Johnson for lunch and “resolved the check-in misunderstanding that took place on August 24. We let Mr. Johnson know that we sincerely apologize that he left our property feeling offended and unwelcome.

“The safety and security of our guests is top priority. We learned a valuable lesson in the delivery of our check-in policy and will ensure this scenario does not reoccur,” the resort said.

Johnson added that the hotel “acknowledged my concerns with their check-in policy, and I appreciate their willingness to re-evaluate this practice moving forward. I’m glad they understand my perspective on this matter. I look forward to returning and enjoying the resort’s amenities in the future.”

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