L.E.D.A, Visit Lubbock, and the Hotel Motel Association released the names of the hotels that didn't honor contracts with FFA convention participants last week. They are Courtyard by Marriott, Fairfield Inn, Towne Place Suites by Marriott, Rodeway Inn, and Villa Town.
The FFA convention brought an estimated $4 million into the Lubbock economy - something the city would like to see happen again. But not everything ran smoothly. "We have it contracted through 2011, but they could rescind that if we don't get some of these issues resolved," said L.E.D.A. CEO Gary Lawrence.
Those issues are hotels that didn't honor contracts, leaving 500 convention participants without rooms. Visit Lubbock paid to move these guests to Texas Tech dorm rooms, but it wasn't cheap.
"We're sorry that this happened. There is, in my opinion, there's really no excuse for it, for the hotels to do this. They have computers and they were all contracted with. We have copies of the contracts that they signed," said Lawrence.
Now, three of the hotels have reached an agreement with Visit Lubbock. Theraldson Development owns the Courtyard, Fairfield Inn, and Towne Place Suites. That company offered to pay back the $15,000 Visit Lubbock spent relocating their guests.
As for the other hotels, Marcy Jarrett with Visit Lubbock said, "those two other hotels, we are pursuing compensation from those two hotels as well. It's just taking a little longer with that group because they're not as active with the Texas Hotel Lodging Association as Theraldson."
Villa Town had 50 rooms contracted for the FFA convention. They have not offered any compensation to Visit Lubbock for relocating their guests. Rodeway Inn hasn't offered to pay back Visit Lubbock either. Both hotels say they had changed names and ownership, and were unaware of the contracts with the previous owners.
NewsChannel 11 contacted all of the hotels Friday, but none of them wanted to speak on camera.
Visit Lubbock is hosting a luncheon in Corpus Christi next week for the Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association. The luncheon will cost about $7,000. While there they will apologize for the hotel situation at the FFA convention. They also hope to bring the teachers association to Lubbock for future events
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LEDA Report on FFA Convention