The following is an email my wife sent to me and several trusted friends. It details better her situation. Your recommended guidance would be appreciated. I have her a copy of your reply based on what I sent you but she has not read it yet.
Regards – Greg
Hello Friends & Family,
Well I would like to handle this as a phone call to you personally but I can't stop crying so I am typing because at least you won't have to listen to sniveling for 30 minutes.
You are my most trusted & sage advisors (besides Greg & my lawyer) so I am sharing some info about a rather large & difficult dilemma in the hopes that I can find my way in tough times.
Some background: I entered into a contract
with USA Synchro & the ABQ Convention and Visitors Bureau (ACVB) to host the 2013 Masters Nationals in ABQ at West Mesa pool on Oct 16 - 20. The major tenants of the contract are that the Local Organizing Committee provides 5 duties:
1) Reception for officials at beginning of championships 2) Lunch & beverages for officials during competition 3) complete & final results on disk 4) 10 hotel rooms, free of charge, for staff between Oct 15 - 21 & 5) Volunteers to run the meet.
There are no Synchro clubs in NM. So a Local Meet Host Committee was formed with a rep from ACVB, myself, and three former synchro athletes that live here. I was elected chair, mostly because Duke City Aquatics could bear the brunt of financial burdens & volunteer work.
In negotiating thru the ACVB with the local hotels for 50 free rooms, three bids were submitted to the committee: Embassy Suites (Hilton hotel), Crowne Plaza (former Hilton, now Fairfield) and MGM Elegante (former Holiday Inn). The Embassy Suites wanted us to sign a contract for 500 room nights at $119 per night and jerked us around during negotiations so we dropped their bid. The Crowne offered $109 per night and 380 nights. The MGM $89 per night & 380.
We went with Crowne Plaza because it has a quintisential ABQ experience that ladies in the 19 - 90 age group should appreciate over Holiday Inn. The 380 room nights was requested by the ACVB based on three previous years of attendance
USA Synchro basically made it impossible to get to 380 room nights, and they made it impossible for us to cancel rooms in a timely manner (90 days & 60 days). They did not release their meet announcement until late July (after 90 day deadline), they advertised (via link) for Hilton hotels for over 6 months, they did not open online registration until Aug 29th (after 60 day deadline to drop rooms) and did not ask their members to stay at the host hotel until Sept 24.
The deadline for meet registration & hotel bookings was Sept 25. There are 141 room nights booked, and attrition rate of 85% so "we" were supposed to fill 322 rooms. We are 181 short. That costs $19,620 at $109 per night (not including tax).
Since Sept 16 I have begged the hotel to drop 50 room nights per night (150) and make them available to public. They did release rooms to the public but did not release any from the contract. Last Friday they finally let go of half of the "debt/loss" of revenue and the hotel obligation stands at $9,800 (not including $5000 for food).
I begged USA Synchro to intervene again with the hotel and with their registrants. My request was finally "handled" late last week with another email blast to synchro members and a phone call to the hotel. No more rooms booked.
I have asked USA Synchro to pay for their "free" room nights. They have 37 room nights for their staff & it would lower the debt by $4000-4500. They have refused because it's not in their budget.
I have a lawyer looking at this. Duke City Aquatics Inc (DCA) seemed to be on the hook for all of this but it is not named in either contract (Synchro lists me as Meet Director; Crowne Plaza lists me as Synchro contact). So I am may be personally liable. There is more money & assets to take from Greg & myself than DCA.
There are between 250 - 300 volunteer hours required to man this meet. DCA parents have signed up to do most of it. I don't know if we should do any of it. The woman elected Treasurer does not want to sign her name on anything at the bank, I don't either & I don't want to use DCA tax ID number. Synchro won't provide their tax ID number either.
Four days ago, Synchro was supposed to give us a small start up fee of $1875. Don't have that yet.
It's difficult to be so excited to host this fun event in ABQ (I truly love all Olympic water sports) & make money for DCA and now it's a nightmare. The people from USA Synchro & Crowne Plaza are allowing DCA or myself to take a huge financial hit and possibly go out of business.
My lawyers says I should ask the hotel who they are going to sue for damages if I resign. Synchro certainly isn't compensating us for any of the cost so they may sue for lack of fulfillment. We still stand to lose $9800 on hotel & a little bit more on an Athlete Social at the hotel.
Just to cap it all off, there are other Synchro staff members that are staying at other hotels in ABQ. Not the host hotel. Interesting, maddening. Frustrating.
Some input would be greatly appreciated. I have a hard time abandoning the "right" thing to do: show up with volunteers or nothing.