Calgary couple loses wedding hotel reservation to curling event

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A Calgary couple is angry after they say they were deceived over why their wedding hotel reservation was cancelled. Carolyn Kury de Castillo reports – Apr 24, 2021

A Calgary couple is angry after they say they were deceived over why their wedding hotel reservation was cancelled.

Sue McIntosh and her fiancé Blaine Gray were planning to get married this summer. She booked the presidential suite at the Four Points Sheraton in July 2020 for the first weekend in May 2021.

But in March 2021, McIntosh got an email from the front desk supervisor saying the hotel was now fully booked for May 7.

“I was confused, and I was shocked because it didn’t make any sense,” McIntosh said.

Read more: Calgary couple involved in international adoption pleads for exemption from quarantine hotel stay

McIntosh replied saying she failed to see how this could happen considering she made the reservation eight months prior.

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That was followed by an email from the general manager of the hotel saying: “We can’t host any other guests until May 10.”

The manager offered a presidential suite at another Calgary hotel at a discounted rate.

McIntosh responded saying she didn’t want a room at the other hotel and asked for an explanation as to what happened.

She received an email from the hotel, stating: “The hotel is being closed to the public for health measures as we were instructed by Alberta Health Services not to accept any reservations or allow any public access. All current occupants are being tested upon arrival, then after 24 hours, then every three days after that until May 10.”

“Including the staff being tested also. We have a medical team residing inside the property right now. We can’t allow any access until May 10 for health measures,” it said.

Read more: COVID-19: Calgary hotel association worried about ‘wrath’ from quarantined guests

But something still didn’t seem right to the couple.

“It still didn’t make sense because I couldn’t reconcile how on March 21 they would know all of a sudden that on May 10 everything would be fine,” McIntosh said.

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‘Skirting the real issue’

On Friday, they drove to the hotel where they said a security guard told them the hotel was booked for Curling Canada.

Curling events are being held now at WinSport, across the road from the hotel. Players remain in the Calgary bubble.

McIntosh said she understands that a hotel would want to jump on the opportunity to book an entire hotel but what makes her angry is what they were told.

“Be honest and upfront with us. I am still going to be upset, and I’m still going to be angry but don’t give me the runaround. Don’t make it sound like it’s because of the pandemic that they can’t have anybody in the hotel,” McIntosh said.

Read more: Pandemic hits Alberta’s hospitality industry harder than any other sector: CFIB

The hotel’s manager sent McIntosh an email on Friday saying he stated the facts “honestly, clearly and truly without any sort of misleading” information but doesn’t mention anything about Curling Canada. There was an apology for the inconvenience and an offer of two nights free at the hotel after May 10.

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“He doesn’t mention Curling Canada at all, so as far as I’m concerned, he’s just skirting the real issue,” McIntosh said.

Read more: Southern Alberta wedding industry coping amid COVID-19: ‘I wish I knew what was in the cards’

A statement from hotel management to Global News said: “There is a team of international travellers staying at the Four Points by Sheraton, and we are trying our best to comply with Health Canada’s advice on the importance of distance and separation for such travellers.”

“Our priority remains protecting the health and safety of all of our guests, and during these unprecedented times, often that means we have to choose health and safety over business,” it said.

The couple has since postponed their wedding for another year and said they are not interested in the new offer from the hotel.

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