Bride loses her hotel rooms and then gets them back | News

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Bride loses her hotel rooms and then gets them back

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Lisa Dolyak lives in Michigan, and she knew she wanted to get married in St. Augustine.

"We've had so many good trips there," she said.

While planning the wedding, Dolyak said, "We blocked the rooms ahead of time in December. That was one of the first things we got out of the way for our out-of-state friends and family."

Dolyak booked 20 rooms at the Howard Johnson Inn on San Marco Avenue in St. Augustine for September, and she signed a contract with the hotel.

Then the Mumford and Sons concert was announced in early February for the same weekend of her wedding in September.

Within two days of the tickets going on sale, all twenty of Dolyak's rooms were sold to other people.  

She quickly called Howard Johnson.

"They just said, 'Sorry. There's nothing available. We overlooked it. There was another wedding party that requested your rooms and they were given to them,'" Dolyak said.

Dolyak doubts the rooms went to another wedding group.

"This all happened in a couple of days after the concert was announced and the rooms online were all so much more," Dolyak said.

Dolyak had booked her rooms for $60 per room per night. The hotel's mistake left her friends and family to compete with the 25,000 concert goers who were also trying to get any room in St. Augustine that weekend.

"We weren't sure our family and friends could make it because they only budgeted for that much, not three times as much," Dolyak noted.

Tuesday when First Coast News spoke to the Howard Johnson manager, she said the issue had been resolved.  In a written statement, she said, "We sincerely apologize to Ms. Dolyak and her fiancé for any confusion or inconvenience that this issue may have caused, which was the result our hotel's reservation system becoming overwhelmed and not by the intentional efforts of anyone on our staff."

"Hopefully everybody will be able to make it now with us getting the rooms back," Dolyak commented.

Dolyak's advice for brides to be: Get a contract like she did, make sure to know the cancellation policy, and have a plan B.

She will keep her rooms at the hotel because "it's a matter of convenience being in the historic district, being able to walk places, and having the free transportation."

The trolley service to her wedding is free for her guests who stay in the historic district.

Even with this hotel hang up, Dolyak looks forward to her day in St. Augustine.

"This isn't going to ruin everything. We're still excited about being there." 


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