Last month, I got married at Canyon River Ranch. The way they work that is you have to rent out the entire facility for 48 hours at a price of $11,000 ($6000 for the 10 suites for 2 nights, and $5000 for the facility). In our case, we were supposed to have the place completely reserved from 1pm Friday through 1pm Sunday, as specified in the signed, written contract.
When we arrived on Friday and finished unloading our vehicles, it was close to 2pm. It was about 90 degrees and it would have been nice to hang out at the pool and relax for a little while (since we paid $5k to have the whole place to ourselves), but there wasn't a single pool chair available. I guess the lodge is so hard up for money now that they've started selling "lodge memberships" for $150/month plus a hefty initiation fee, so the pool was full of people we didn't know who hadn't been informed that the lodge was reserved for a private event. My fiance approached the lodge manager at least 3 or 4 times over the course of several hours before he finally rolled his eyes and begrudgingly agreed to clear the pool. Granted, those people did nothing wrong by being there, but that wasn't my problem. Communication fail for the manager.
Two of the suites, including mine, had problems with the door hardware sticking and failing to latch. This meant if you didn't remember to either check the latch or deadbolt the door, it would swing open in the slightest breeze. In the other suite, they had the safety chain secured, but hadn't deadbolted the door and also hadn't noticed the latch problem, and a gust of wind caught the door and pulled the door trim off the wall. Two people saw it happen and I know for a fact that it wasn't a story to cover up some sort of drunken shenanigans. The safety chain had only been screwed into the trim, not the door frame. Construction fail. We informed both the manager and one of the owners about this incident the next morning and were told not to worry and they would take care of it. More on that later...
So Sunday rolls around and we're supposed to be checked out of the rooms by noon, but we still have the facility until 1pm and we had already cleaned up the grounds, so a few of us decide to hang out at the pool for a while until it's time to leave. What seemed odd was that other people started showing up at the lodge well before that time. It turns out they had another event scheduled that actually overlapped with ours. One of their "Tight Lines and Fine Wines" events was taking place Sunday-Monday. Here's a schedule for that event taken from their website:
11 AM: Arrive at CRR Lodge
12 PM: Lunch at CRR
1 - 4 PM: Introduction to Fly Fishing and Fly Casting Lessons
5:00 PM: - Wine tasting and appetizers
6:30 PM: - Fabulous Wine Dinner (bring several of your favorite bottles of wine!)
8 AM: Breakfast Served at CRR
9 AM - 3 PM: Guided Drift Boat Fishing on the Yakima River
So we're paying thousands of dollars for reserved use of the common areas of the lodge and they're double-booking events!
Anyway, we didn't make a big deal about any of that stuff and instead spent the next 2 weeks on our honeymoon in the Caribbean. About a week into it, the manager sends an email to my wife that outlines the final invoice summary. The tone of the email was completely condescending, mentioning how "We were delayed by 3 hours in turning the Suites and Lodge over to the next event" and "some your guests did not see the value in this amazing facility". How he thought he could turn over the facility to the next event on time when he had them overlapping by 2 hours, I have no idea. In addition, without providing any specific details, he levied $720 in additional charges for cleaning and damages. Some of those were legitimate, as a few wine glasses were broken and someone smoked in one of the suites, but others were not. He charged us $100 for the door trim mentioned above, as well as $25 for a supposed broken outlet cover in the Bride & Groom suite (that we definitely didn't break). I could buy 50 outlet covers at the hardware store for $25, and that trim could have been put back up with 4 or 5 nails. There was also 3 hours of excess cleaning at $50/hour. I know what cleaners are paid and it's nowhere near $50/hour.
When we got back home, my wife emailed the manager asking for details on what exactly the cleaning entailed and why we were charged for the door trim that we had already explained was due to faulty construction rather than any fault of our guests.
Two weeks go by...
Still no response from the manager, so I email one of the owners and explain that after spending around $12k at his facility, I'd expect to at least be provided the courtesy of a response. The next day, the manager emails us back and copies all the owners with another condescending email where he didn't answer any of our questions and just said that the charges were "not only justifiable but fair."
Since he still hadn't answered any of our questions about the specifics, I sent him a very professional response and highlighted the original questions that he still needed to answer. I also pointed out that he had breached our contract by failing to provide the facility for the full 48 hours we had it reserved and that I expected to be reimbursed at a prorated hourly amount. Another week went by with no response, so I contacted the owner again. That was last Thursday and now I'm getting the cold shoulder from both of them.
It's really disappointing because I used to really like that place and wish this could have been settled professionally.