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A large Las Vegas resort is demanding payment of attrition

charges. To date, the...
A large Las Vegas resort is demanding payment of attrition charges. To date, the resort has refused to disclose the number of guest rooms it had available for sale during our event and the number of rooms it actually sold on each night, including any unused rooms from our room block for which we supposedly received credit. All they will give us are occupancy percentages without any real numbers. Does Nevada law support hotels giving occupancy percentages as substantiation of attrition charges?
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Answered in 3 minutes by:
2/1/2012
Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
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Hello and thank you for the opportunity to assist you. Please remember that there might be a delay between your follow up questions and my answers because I may be helping other customers or taking a break.

I am sorry for your situation. There seems to be more to the story than what you tell me - can you please tell me what happened in more detail? The more I know, the better of an answer I can render.
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago

We are a small nonprofit association. In November 2007, the association held an event at a large Las Vegas hotel and subsequently received an invoice in December 2007 showing substantial attrition charges. The charges were disputed timely and in writing per the contract's provisions.

 

The contract states that Upon request, the Hotel will provide suite occupancy data to the Organization to verify the Hotel's suite occupancy during the Organization's Event. The hotel responded to our request for this data by providing occupancy percentages over each night during our event. Repeated requests for actual numbers to support those percentages (number of rooms the hotel had available for sale each night and the number of rooms sold on each night) have been refused.

 

The hotel has also refused to tell us how many unused rooms from our block were re-sold by the resort and applied against attrition. Their response reads, "Re-sold suite recovery is apportioned amongst those groups who have not filled their room blocks based upon percentage of rooms blocked by each group". But the contract makes no mention of this formula, stating that In the event that said Unused Suites are sold, the amount thereby recovered by the Hotel, up to the Organization's group rate and including all collected Room Tax, shall be credited to Organization's Master Account.

 

We asked the hotel at the outset to work with us by negotiating a lesser amount of attrition. They refused. There were a number of other groups holding events at the same time at this hotel. I tracked down two of the other groups (both much larger than ours) and learned they had also been billed for significant attrition. Since the hotel would only give us occupancy percentages and the aggregate dollar amount credited against attrition, we wondered if there was some double-dipping going on and stuck to our demand for real numbers to substantiate our attrition charges and credits.

 

The hotel recently began stepping up the frequency of their demand letters and I suspect they are getting ready to sue. Any advice you can offer will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

As you may know, attrition clauses are a part of standard hotel contracts and are used to ensure that organizations fulfill their contracted obligations. Attrition fees are applied when a conference group cannot fill at least 80%, or an otherwise agreed upon percentage, of the contracted number of rooms.

If you feel that they are defrauding you, then you may sue them. A plaintiff has the burden of proving each element of fraud claim by clear and convincing evidence. These elements are:

1. A false representation made by the defendant;
2. Defendant's knowledge or belief that the representation is false (or insufficient basis for making the representation);
3. Defendant's intention to induce the plaintiff to act or to refrain from acting in reliance upon the misrepresentation;
4. Plaintiff's justifiable reliance upon the misrepresentation; and
5. Damage to the plaintiff resulting from such reliance.

Lubbe v. Barba, 91 Nev. 596, 540 P.2d 115, 117 (1975).

The issue here is that you have no way of legally demanding documentary proof unless you actually file suit, in which case discovery can be executed to get that documentation from them. So you can either threaten to file suit unless they so the documentation, or do so. A demand letter from an attorney may do the trick.

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