Asbestos concerns stop restoration of century-old hotel

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Restoration work on a century-old former hotel in eastern Washington has been halted after air quality inspectors say they found signs of asbestos.

The Spokesman-Review reports that the state Department of Labor and Industries stopped work on the Otis Hotel in downtown Spokane earlier this month.

But building owner Curtis Rystadt says he hired a company to take care of the asbestos and spent more than $50,000 to dispose of floor tiles, popcorn ceiling and insulated pipes.

Labor and Industries spokeswoman Elaine Fischer says the agency is in the earliest stages of the investigation and couldn’t confirm if Rystadt had hired a certified asbestos abatement company.

Rystadt plans to reopen the 122-room hotel with a restaurant, possibly next year.