The Department of Justice is getting racist Indian-hater Connie Uhre out of the Rapid City motel business, at least for a little while. According to a consent motion filed last Thursday in the federal discrimination lawsuit DOJ filed against Uhre and her Rapid City businesses, prosecutors and the defendants have agreed that denying service to Indians at the Grand Gateway Hotel and Cheers sports bar is naughty:
The Uhres continue to “deny that they implemented any policy to deprive Native Americans from use of or access to accommodations owned by Defendant Retsel Corporation, and deny that they engaged in, or attempted to engage in, discriminatory conduct.” But to settle this lawsuit, Connie Uhre admits she sent an email on March 19 saying “I really do not want to allow Natives on property…we just have to say no to them!” She admits she posted the Facebook notice flagged by Mayor Steve Allender declaring that the Grand Gateway would “no long[er] allow any Native American on property. Or in Cheers Sports Bar.” As penance for her racism, Uhre agrees to have nothing to do with the motel and bar or being on the premises “in any managerial, operational, or employment capacity.”
The remaining defendants agree not to discriminate against Indians and put up signs at their businesses and pay for ads saying they don’t discriminate. They also agree to publish this apology on the Grand Gateway website and Facebook page and keep it there for at least 60 days:
Apology from the Board of Directors and Owners of Retsel Corporation, Connie Uhre, and Nicholas Uhre Regarding the Grand Gateway Hotel and the Cheers Sports Lounge and Casino
We extend our sincere apology to all for the statements made by Connie Uhre on March 19-20, 2022, regarding Native Americans. Ms. Uhre’s comments were not consistent with the values or polices of our company or of our businesses, the Grand Gateway Hotel and Cheers Sports Lounge. We deeply regret the pain or harm Ms. Uhre’s statements have caused within our Native American community. We want to make clear that we welcome all Native Americans to
the Grand Gateway Hotel and Cheers Sports Lounge.
In acknowledging that Ms. Uhre’s comments were wrong, we also want to acknowledge the remarkable Native American families who live and work within our community. We treasure our many relationships with Tribal members over the years. And we know, based on those relationships, that the Native American community is made up of hardworking individuals who are dedicated to their families and their culture. We are privileged and fortunate to have many friends, employees, and neighbors who are Tribal members. The values of inclusivity, respect, and unity are shared, and we wish to assure our patrons that our businesses are committed to these values.
We have a deep history and relationship with the tribes and their members for over 45 years, and we look forward to continuing that relationship far into the future.
Chad Uhre, Director and Owner
Josh Uhre, Director and Owner
Judd Uhre, Owner
Leslie Sherry, Director and Owner
Nicholas Uhre, Director, Owner, and Manager
Connie Uhre, Former President, former Director, former Owner [Department of Justice, consent decree, Appendix A, USA v. Retsel et al., 2023.11.09].
The defendants must also send this apology for publication to 19 news outlets, including local papers serving each of South Dakota’s recognized reservations.
The defendants must develop and implement a plan to reach out and market to tribal organizations and communities around Rapid City and the state. All owners, directors, partners, and employees of the hotel, bar, and its parent corporation must attend at least two hours of training on federal civil rights law and the provisions of this settlement. The defendants must hire an independent consultant approved by the DOJ to verify that they comply with the conditions of this settlement.
Connie and her codefendants all signed this settlement last Wednesday. It will go into effect upon approval by Judge Lawrence Piersol.