Hyatt Hotels Won’t Contribute to Skywalk Memorial

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Hyatt Hotels Corp., said it will not contribute to the memorial honoring the 114 victims who lost their lives in the 1981 Hyatt Skywalk collapse.

The reason behind their decision, according to a letter from Rusty Macy, who was the general manager of the Hyatt Regency Crown Center at the time of the collapse, is because Hyatt Hotels no longer operate in Kansas City, and the hotel where the collapse occurred is now a Sheraton.

The change in management came on December 1. Hyatt Regency is now the Sheraton Crown Center.

The decision angers some survivors of the tragedy. Frank Freeman, who lost his companion and best friend in the collapse, and who now heads the Skywalk Memorial Foundation, says he has helped raise over $350,000 for a public memorial.

He says that he is angry that Hyatt is refusing to help build the tribute to the victims.

"There's 114 people they have swept under the rug and totally written off.  Some of them were their employees," said Freeman, who says that the decision shows a lack of respect for the city and the victims. "They are disrespected. They are forgotten, and their lives didn't matter."

Hyatt, which has donated $350,000 to other non-profit organizations this year, did not respond to FOX 4's request for comment.

The Skywalk Memorial Foundation board said it needs to raise about $230,000 for the memorial. Visit www.skywalkmemorial.org for more information.

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