Family Who Cancelled Wedding Due To Covid Restrictions Sues Aspen Skico

Family Who Cancelled Wedding Due To Covid Restrictions Sues Aspen Skico

Aspen

Family Who Cancelled Wedding Due To Covid Restrictions Sues Aspen Skico

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Covid-19 continues to be a contentious thorn in the ski industry. The Aspen Times reports that a lawsuit is currently ongoing between a couple and Aspen Snowmass over a canceled wedding.

In September of 2021, the Baxter family scheduled a wedding for June 3rd, 2022. In October, Aspen Snowmass announced new covid restrictions, mandating that anyone twelve or older that used their indoor facilities needed to be vaccinated against Covid-19. This included at Little Nell Hotel, where the wedding was planned. In addition, Pitkin County announced in November that masks need to be worn in public places and set indoor capacity at 50%. The Baker family thought these restrictions would remain in place through the summer of 2022, and they decided to cancel their wedding on December 13th.

They wanted a nearly $60,000 refund that they spent to secure the wedding date. Aspen Snowmass refused, and added a penalty fee of $87,386, as wedding cancellations there face a fine of 75% of the expected revenue that Aspen expects to receive if they’re canceled between 120-180 days of the event.

The Baxter family decided to sue Aspen Snowmass on numerous counts: breach of contract and unjust enrichment, civil fraud, not acting in good faith, and negligent misrepresentation.

Here are some of the major points that the Baxter family made in the lawsuit:

“Although the parties entered the Contract after the COVID-19 epidemic began, the Contract did not state that the events, which were the subject of the Contract and its participants and guests, would be required to be vaccinated against the virus, or that they would have to wear facemasks in order to participate and attend the wedding and related activities.

Some guests, including the groom’s family, are and were opposed to being vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. (Skico’s) policies and/or the Public Health Order would have made it illegal for these participants and guests to participate in the wedding ceremony, reception, and related activities as contemplated by the contract.”

Aspen Skico recently filed a defense pleading with the Pitkin County District Court. Here’s Aspen’s side of the story:

“Now, in an attempt to recoup their deposit — which (Skico) was contractually permitted to keep — Plaintiffs allege that they canceled based on COVID-19 restrictions, which made the wedding ‘impossible.’

[Skico] had no contractual obligation to work with (the Baxters) to rebook the Event following their decision to cancel and had no obligation to refund or apply any portion of the Deposit to a new date.”

This last detail is important to this story. Aspen Snowmass actually would have allowed a refund if they rebooked their wedding up until June of 2023. The Baxter’s canceled outright, which made Aspen refuse to refund the amount.

My take on it is getting the vaccine would have saved them a lot of money compared to the logistical mess that this situation has become. I do believe that Aspen should’ve dropped the exorbitant cancellation fee though, as it seems a bit harsh based on the circumstances. It’s not like they had trouble finding a replacement wedding for that date, as it’s freaking Aspen.

Image Credits: Aspen Snowmass, Litle Nell

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