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Glenlaurel Inn - BEWARE

Old Jan 26th, 2006, 01:25 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 9
Glenlaurel Inn - BEWARE

Glenlaurel is horrible. They are a very unethical business. My fiancee reserved their location for a wedding. Early on, we were very impressed. The facility is nice. But be warned. They are under new ownership. They are very unethical. They sent us a letter and attempted to more the double their prices after we already had quotes and a verbal agreement and had reserved the location. They also verbally harassed our caterer, among other things. I filed many complaints, including with the Better Business Bureau. I would highly recommend choosing a different establishment in the Hocking Hills. Below is our story.

My fiancée, Holly and I, decided in September 2005 that we wanted to have our wedding in the Hocking Hills, b/c of the natural beauty, the abundance of lodging, and because we simply love the region and all it has to offer. We began looking into several locations to have our dream outdoor wedding, and when we came across Glenlaurel, we just loved it and wanted to have it there. We discussed renting the entire Glenlaurel estate for 2 nights, having our rehearsal dinner, wedding ceremony, and wedding reception for 200 guests at Glenlaurel. Obviously, we needed to first determine if the pricing at such an elegant Inn would fit within our budget before we could decide to have our event at that location.



We began discussing costs with the Facility Wedding Planner at Glenlaurel. The intention of this meeting was to lay out the costs and based on this discussion, we were either going to reserve the entire estate for our wedding, OR, if the costs were too much, we would have to pass on this site and consider the other 3 locations we had visited. We had the discussions with the Glenlaurel Event Planner, Connie Crist, at which time detailed pricing was discussed and quotes were provided for our 200 guest wedding. The pricing included a $20 per guest event/facility fee for a total of $4000. Also agreed to was a guest room discount rate of 50% for a total of $5537 for all accommodations on the facility, with a stipulation that we needed to fill all rooms, or pay the room rate for empty rooms even if we did not fill them. Another stipulation of the 50% room rate was that we had the rehearsal dinner at their facility for 40 - 50 guests. The price quoted was $3056 including tax for 50 guests, or $61.12 per guest for a 5 course dinner. Another condition of receiving the 50% room rate was that Glenlaurel got a 10% fee for the dollar amounts of outside contracts, such as catering, tent rental, etc. Based on these discussions and a rate sheet provided to us for the facility fee and the various other fees, we reserved 9/22/2006 and 9/23/2006 for our DREAM wedding at Glenlaurel. We also booked a weekend at Glenlaurel for 12/9 and 12/10, in which myself and my fiancée would be guests at a Glenlaurel cottage to experience the atmosphere, dine in the Manor House, and become familiar with the facilities and location. The 50% wedding lodging rate was offered to us for this weekend as well (i.e. "We will give you the same rate for this weekend as you and your guests will have for the wedding" -----volume discount). We also announced our wedding location, sent out save the dates to our guests, reserved a DJ, Flautists, Minister, Horse and Carriage, Caterer, Photographer, etc. for 9/23/2006 at Glenlaurel.



We visited Glen Laurel on 12/9 and 12/10, dined at the Manor House, relaxed in the hot tub at our cottage, hiked through the on-site Gorge with beautiful waterfalls, and had a wonderful weekend. The staff was wonderful and treated us (and all other guests for that matter) wonderfully. We saw the Event Planner Connie Crist on Sunday, the day of our departure, and commented on our wonderful experience and how we knew we had chosen the right place for our dream wedding. We scheduled Jan 8th with the wedding planner to come out and put all the contracts together based on our written and verbal agreements and refine all of the details on guest numbers, menus, etc. We then paid our bill, which as promised, had the 50% discount itemized for each night of our stay, and we left with smiles on our faces content with our weekend and looking quite forward to our weekend in September 2006.



This is where the story goes south. On Wednesday 12/14, 3 days after returning from our wonderful weekend at Glenlaurel, we got a letter from the same wedding planner at Glenlaurel, stating the Innkeeper had decided to change the wedding rates. The letter stated that Glenlaurel was changing the facility fee from $20 per person to $50 per person, meaning instead of a $4000 facility fee we would have to pay a $10000 facility fee. Also, the letter states that they would not be able to offer the 50% room discount anymore, but rather a 10% room discount was the most they could offer. This would increase our lodging costs by approximately $5000. Also, a $30 per additional lodging guest was now being charged, when in our original discussion, we were told additional guests could sleep in the fold out sofas, and there would be no additional room charge for those guests, only a $12 breakfast fee for those that ate breakfast. The letter also states that the 10% surcharge for outside contracts (catering, tent rental, etc.) was now going to be 20%. The letter apologized if this "causes any undo stress". So essentially, the letter said the following: I know we agreed to a price of just under $10,000 for the facility fee and the lodging for your wedding, but we, Glenlaurel, have decided to change our mind and more than DOUBLE that price. I called the wedding planner. She states that she knows this is wrong, that this was the innkeepers decision, that she was on our side, etc. but she cannot get the innkeeper to understand. It is the innkeepers right to increase his prices, but those price increases need to apply to future customers, not the ones who have already been offered and agreed to the current prices, who have reserved the date based on those prices, and who have been actively planning and scheduling vendors for that date and location for 2 months based on those prices. The bottom line, we cannot afford to have our wedding at Glenlaurel based on these new prices. We would not have done all the things we have done, including reserving the Glenlaurel location, if we were presented with this type of pricing originally. The Glenlaurel facility needed to stand by the original pricing, and make their new pricing effective to new customers, not those who are already in the middle of the planning based on the earlier agreed to prices.



Obviously, I was outraged. I contacted Glenlaurel and was very nice about my concerns, etc. We have tried to work this out, but have received no cooperation from Greg Leonard, the innkeeper at Glenlaurel. I have also contacted my lawyer (who is also the best man in my wedding) and he has given me legal advice that the law states that if a business represents a service / product and provides pricing (even if 100% verbal) and a person acts on that representation and that causes that person damages (i.e. we passed on other facilities, we have made deposits on vendors for that date and location, we have announced our wedding site to our guests, we spent over $500 at Glenlaurel on our "trial" weekend, etc.) then the business is liable for those damages.



I had hoped to resolve this amicably with Glenlaurel. I met with Greg Leonard, and after he claimed Glenlaurel made a huge mistake, I tried to work out a middle ground with him where I would agree to some increases in prices, but not as much as stated in the letter sent to us. While I felt that Glenlaurel should honor the verbal and written agreements we already had, I did not want to interrupt our wedding planning, and was willing to compromise with Greg Leonard to see this resolved. Greg and I talked and I agreed to increases in room rates, event fees, and other items. Since that meeting, however, Greg has tried to add fees to the catering and other items that were not agreed to, essentially charging us more in other areas to make up for his perceived discounts. Greg Leonard also called and verbally harassed a caterer of ours, whom he did not want to cater our wedding. For some reason, he wants us to use Made From Scratch, even though other outside caterers have been used in the past at Glenlaurel, and Connie Crist had told us that we could use other caterers. Made From Scratch is very expensive, and I assume Greg wants us to use them in order to increase his percentage price.



I am currently considering legal action. At a minimum, I will be communicating with local news agencies, newspapers, and other media outlets to get this story out so other people do not have this same experience with Glenlaurel. I have enough documentation (original quotes and price sheets provided by Glenlaurel, my notes from original meeting, statements on Glenlaurel website, testimony from the above mentioned wedding planner, letter received from Glenlaurel about price increases, receipt from trial weekend with 50% discount, etc.) to prove my case detailed above. I will see this issue through to a proper resolution, as I told Greg Leonard.

jafarris33 is offline  
Old Jan 26th, 2006, 04:57 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 267
This is too hard to read. You need to make it smaller.
El_Swainer is offline  
Old Jan 26th, 2006, 07:41 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 281
What a nightmare! This should never have happened to you, never.

Where exactly is Glenlaurel? I want to know for sure so that when I warn people not to book rooms or events there, I will have all the information to give them.
I understand why you agreed to pay a bit more than the original agreement as your plans were already made, but geez, what a rotten thing for a couple about to be married to have to go through.
Thanks for printing this warning. I will do my best to spread the word. And congratulations on your upcoming wedding. I hope your life together is a joyous one!
dancintomusic is offline  
Old Jan 26th, 2006, 07:57 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 34,738
Good for you! Tell everyone.
I hope you are compensated for this and I hope no one has to deal with something like this when they have a wedding. Or anything else!
Congratulations and Many Happy Years together!
Scarlett is offline  
Old Jan 27th, 2006, 03:37 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,115
Sue them. Get the lawyer to start now. Don't go to local news outlets until you have started legal action. Stay above the fray.
Gretchen is offline  
Old Jan 27th, 2006, 03:55 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 120
So do you have signed contracts? I don't know anything about the law but isn't the Glenlaurel bound by that contract? You shouldn't have to be negotiating with this guy for something you have already signed.
I would be making a very public stink-ie newspaper, tv, anything to let it be know how this place operates.
In the long run you may be better off having your dream wedding elsewhere--because it is already a nightmare!!!
Christine65 is offline  
Old Jan 27th, 2006, 04:00 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 567
Oh, googled it. It's in Ohio.

Save your money, get married cheap and spend the money on a house.


gb944 is offline  
Old Jan 27th, 2006, 04:03 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 567
Now I realize that jafarris33 has made a total of 6 posts to the forums, all with the same rant.


gb944 is offline  
Old Jan 27th, 2006, 05:43 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 17,226
Move on.

Plan your wedding somewhere else.

Try to put your anger behind you. This should be a happy time of your life. Don't dwell (or, as my mother would say "wallow" in your anger.

Consider yourself lucky you learned that you and the location aren't a good match.

Find another place you will be happy with - and just let this go. Move on.

You don't have signed contracts so it's just your word against theirs. You've noted the problem with the BBB. Move on and have Happy Planning for your big event.
starrsville is offline  
Old Jan 27th, 2006, 06:22 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,285
I would put the whole thing in the hands of your attorney to work out and go back to your original agreement, and DON'T agree to the higher fees.

Good luck with everything.
wantsomesun is offline  
Old Jan 27th, 2006, 06:39 AM
  #11  
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Posts: 9
Thanks for all the responses. Just a few clarifications. I had quotes from the organization, along with other supporting documents. They also "partially performed" on our agreement by inviting us to stay for a "get acquainted" weekend, and giving us the same discount. After we stayed for that weekend, they totally changed their tune.

Yes, I have posted this several times on the Fodor's forum. My goal is to make sure other people are aware of this so they do not get their wedding or other special event ruined by the unethical business practices of Glenlaurel. Pass the word.

I am in the process of pursuing legal action. I also have many other consumer advocacy groups and media outlets working on this with me.

jafarris33 is offline  
Old Jan 27th, 2006, 06:53 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 17,226
Okay. You've posted in on this forum. Do us a favor. Drop it here going forward.

Many thanks.
starrsville is offline  
Old Jan 27th, 2006, 06:59 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 5,545
Why would anyone want to get married in Ohio? Consider yourself lucky and make your arrangements in Hawaii or some place more scenic and with better weather (which is almost anywhere).
RBCal is offline  
Old Jan 27th, 2006, 07:01 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 8,585
I am a musician and work many weddings and aware of a few horror stories. I don't think your post was too long, it was very thorough, answered all questions and was written well. My concern is this is such a cloud on your day. Even if you were to have it there now, how would they treat you and your guests? When my husband and I married, we chose a facility that would house a large band and a big party. We reserved the outdoor patio for people who needed some air or a smoke. Later, the place put a permanent tent over the patio and charged 500 extra for renting it. We, however, were not charged. I know your wedding is in 8 months, but September is actually an off season time for some resorts. I think with your budget you could find some place that would welcome you and your business and make your event stress-free. Trust me, it's a day you need to enjoy and you need professionals to do their jobs and not worry you. There are many suggestions on here about where to have weddings/parties. I pray that you get resolution soon; best of luck and please keep us posted!
LLindaC is offline  
Old Jan 30th, 2006, 07:03 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,759
To RB Cal - Are you trying to insult everyone from Ohio or trying to be funny ? Either way, you failed miserably. Perhaps it would be best if you commented only on things that you know about, which doesn't appear to be much.
SAnParis is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2006, 02:44 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 35
This story is heart breaking because Glenlaurel is one of the most magical places I've visited. It's a Scottish retreat in the middle of 200 acres with beautiful cottages and amazing food. I've visited Glenlaurel 4 times and had an amazing experience each time. With that said, my last visit was with the original owner (must have sold it within the past year). How very sad that this could happen with new ownership. Anyone out there visit Glenlaurel when the previous owner (and founder) was there? An amazing man - Glenlaurel was his dream and he spent several decades building it. Terrible news to me.
PharmGirl is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2006, 03:11 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,963
Ah yes, RBCal, Ohio's own personal travel troll. Everyone should just get married in Hawaii - marriage is all about the weather, who cares about it being convenient for friends & family. Correct me if I'm wrong, but hasn't Hawaii been a bit damp lately? What a louse.
snowrooster is offline  
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