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Dissed hotel claims TripAdvisor plays dirty

The owner of the “dirtiest hotel in the U.S.” wants TripAdvisor to clean up its act.

On Wednesday, The Mountain Press reported that Kenneth Seaton, owner of the Grand Resort Hotel in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., is suing the leading travel-review site for $10 million after his property topped the site’s list of Dirtiest Hotels in the U.S. earlier this year.

“Being called the dirtiest hotel in America has been pretty devastating to him,” Sidney Gilreath, Seaton’s attorney, told msnbc.com. “He’s looking for compensation for the loss of business as a result of their report.”

The annual list is compiled from traveler ratings for cleanliness and comes out each January. In announcing the list, TripAdvisor quoted one reviewer as saying, “If you are looking for a hotel with chewing tobacco spit oozing down the walls and corridors … and spiders actively making webs in every corner of your room … by all means, stay at The Grand Resort.”

Currently, the hotel’s TripAdvisor listing shows 281 reviews from travelers, 206 of whom rated the hotel “terrible.”

According to The Mountain Press, the lawsuit contends that the site uses “a rating system which is flawed and inconsistent and distorts actual performance and perspective." It further maintains that “TripAdvisor has singled out [Grand Resort] and directly advised customers not to trust them.”

In response, Kevin Carter, TripAdvisor’s manager of business and trade public relations, told msnbc.com the company “does not comment on threatened or pending litigation.”

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Rob Lovitt is a longtime travel writer who still believes the journey is as important as the destination. Follow him at Twitter.