Hotel Denies Volunteer Refund Despite In-Person Sundance Cancellation

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PARK CITY, Utah – With the number of COVID cases breaking records in Utah and reaching unprecedented levels across the country, the Sundance Film Festival has made the decision to cancel all in-person screenings.

It’s a huge disappointment for the moviegoers and volunteers who wanted to work at the festival, and for some people, a loss of hotel room deposit that will not be refunded.

Niska Encalade, a film student from Atlanta, applied to volunteer at Sundance last year to learn about how the festival works.

“All of my family invested money to help me get there, you know, so I was really looking forward to the event, to network and show off my skills as a film student, someone who wants to be in the industry, ”says Encalade.

She booked rooms at the St. Regis Hotel in Park City, which required a deposit of $ 1,900. But when she called the hotel for a refund, she was shocked by their response.

“I reached out to them on Twitter, by email and directly at the hotel and just felt the response extremely rude and cold. More than that, I hold Marriott status, I am a platinum member, I stay almost exclusively at Marriott hotels so I was really disappointed to see how they reacted to the situation.

Encalade finally received an email saying: We are certainly disappointed that the Sundance Film Festival has made this decision. The St. Regis Deer Valley does not refund deposits for reservations made beyond these dates. We encourage guests to continue to visit the resort on their scheduled dates.

“The big snow of the winter season has opened up the ski resorts and some of the best conditions for many years. Park City area activities and restaurants throughout the community are still operating and are happy to welcome guests.

But she was amazed that the St. Regis is encouraging travel to Utah when COVID cases increase and health officials warn people of the increased risk of contracting the virus.

READ: Salt Lake County issues advisory as omicron cases rise after vacation

“And you, the state of Utah, Salt Lake City in particular, have announced the increase in hospitals and people taking beds, so why would I want to come down there to ski? It was not a pleasure trip, ”said Encalade.

Hotel officials eventually emailed her offering her a voucher that must be used by mid-April, but she won’t be traveling anytime soon due to COVID.

Encalade added that Delta Airlines reimbursed the full cost of its ticket to Utah.


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