Hotel's lawsuit claims 6th St. venue's music makes rooms ‘virtually uninhabitable'

Hotel suing venue over loud music

AUSTIN - After opening a little over a year ago, a hotel on 6th Street is suing a music venue, alleging that its hotel guests are bothered by music the company said is too loud, according to the court document obtained by KVUE.

Wesaus LLC -- the company that oversees the Westin Austin-Downtown at 310 East 5th Street -- filed the lawsuit against The Nook Amphitheater on Dec. 22 for damages in excess of $1 million. Wesaus LLC is also asking for an injunction to prevent the venue from disturbing its guests at night. 

In a statement Thursday, representatives for Westin Austin Downtown told KVUE:

"Our relationships with our neighbors are important. The 110,000+ guests we expect to host over the next year at The Westin Austin Downtown are absolutely going out to spend time and dollars at these venues, and they are choosing the hotel in part because of the proximity to the entertainment districts that the city is known for.
Prior to construction, we did undergo a thorough acoustical review, and there was there was a good faith effort to address noise challenges before we broke ground. Since opening, we have been taking our own measurements of noise levels, from different floors and angles to attempt to understand the noise issues. We’ve also retrofitted all rooms facing 6th Street, adding improvements to help mitigate the noise that comes from our neighbors.

Our current challenge is not with live music, but with one nearby establishment that frequently plays recorded dance music through loudspeakers that consistently exceed the bass decibel ordinance established by the city. We have been working with this venue for more than a year on ways to make sure everybody on 6th Street has a good time. This is the only venue that refuses to follow the city’s ordinance. We have installed special soundproofing materials and taken other measures, including offering to pay for the costs of upgrading this venue’s sound system based on their own specifications. We are not asking the venue to change who they are; we are simply asking that in the wee hours of the morning, they turn the bass down on their DJ music so that all the visitors our city welcomes can enjoy all aspects of their stay."

"I can't believe this is happening in the live music capital of the world," The Nook co-owner JD Dunn said.

The Nook -- which opened in 2011 -- is in a district where outdoor music venues are allowed by the city's law to play amplified music until 2 a.m.

Wesaus LLC claims in the lawsuit that the company spent in excess of $1 million "fortifying the building with additional window and drywall to prevent the intrusion of noise and the physical effect of low-frequency sound waves."

However, the company claims that those additions could not mitigate the "low end 'bass' sound waves that cannot be contained by any reasonable construction technique currently available when they reach certain levels."

The noise, which Wesaus LLC said makes the rooms "virtually uninhabitable," prompted the company to speak with representatives of The Nook prior to the filing of the lawsuit.

"The Nook, although periodically providing lip service to cooperation, has continuously refused to reduce the noise levels so as not to unreasonably impact (the Westin's) use of its property," the lawsuit states.

Wesaus LLC said representatives of The Nook have said that turning down the bass would "negatively affect the atmosphere" of the bar.

The Nook owners JD Dunn and Stephen Condon created an online petition to show support for Nook Amphitheater and encourage Mayor Adler and the City Council to take action. 

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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