An abandoned motel on the Esplanade in Chico has been attracting illegal activity for years. The Regal Inn has been an eyesore, and a problem for nearby business owners. But the situation could soon change. Chico Police were called to the motel March 11 for a possible stabbing. Both the victim and the alleged assailant were gone when they arrived. Chico's code enforcement agents hang signs all over the property warning trespassers that they would be arrested, and called the property's owner for a status update. They were told there were several potential buyers interested in the property, and a sale was imminent.
Meanwhile, Paul Vance, owner of Bob's Tire Center, says the motel has been a problem for his business, and for the street, for years. He has made several calls to the city to complain, and says he had to pressure the owner to help clear out trees between the two properties. The Regal Inn has been the location of several fires since it closed, and squatters routinely take up residence in the empty rooms. Trash, mattresses, dismantled bicycles, and signs are drug-use can be spotted throughout the building.