The state filed a lawsuit on November 28 against the Extended Stay America hotel at 3450 Route 1 in West Windsor for allegedly price gouging during the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
The hotel was one of 10 additional businesses — mainly hotels and gas stations — targeted by the state in a second round of price gouging lawsuits, according to a release by N.J. Attorney General Jeff Chiesa.
Totaled, the businesses engaged in more than 1,000 instances of price gouging — illegally overcharging consumers. The first group of lawsuits was filed against eight businesses on November 9.
Extended Stay America, which has been at the location since 1999, allegedly raised its room rates by varying excessive amounts, up to 59.8 percent, according to the state. The hotel allegedly charged as much as $154.99 for double rooms during the state of emergency, compared with its highest pre-storm rate for double rooms of $96.99. The hotel allegedly engaged in price gouging on 107 instances during the state of emergency.
New Jersey’s law against price gouging prohibits excessive price increases during a declared state of emergency or for 30 days after the end of the state of emergency is declared. An excessive price increases is defined as charges that are more than 10 percent higher than the price for which merchandise was sold during the normal course of business prior to the state of emergency.
Each business charged in the lawsuit faces fines up to $10,000 for the first offense, or up to $20,000 for each subsequent offense.
Extended Stay America, 3450 Route 1 North, Princeton 08540; 609-919-9000; fax, 609-919-1000. Paul Rosen, general manager. www.extstay.com.