Here’s the rest of the story |

Here’s the rest of the story

Jenifer L. Hammond

What a nice advertisement for VR written by Michael Kurz for the Vail Daily and The Arrabelle. An advertisement is what it is as half of the “great customer service story” was incorrect, and only one happier side of the story was told. I would hope that before a story was run, facts would be checked and appropriate people contacted.

My name is Jenifer Hammond and I own I Do Wedding Services (not Jennifer Howard with I Do Events) and the bride and groom involved were Scott and Lauren Payant (not Payand). They had reserved Parker’s Deck, not the wedding deck, and Wildwood Smokehouse not Blue Moon.

The guests were in Centre V because the gondola wasn’t running, they didn’t notice it while enjoying cocktails. When Vail Resort Group Sales effectively canceled their entire wedding by not being able to offer any sort of transportation to the 87 people stranded at the bottom of the hill, the venue’s event manager (Cindy Metzler) and I started calling every restaurant and hotel in town to find an alternate venue.

The Bully Ranch at the Sonnenalp was one option, Hollie Johnson-Hawkins offered to take us in. Alisa Steinberg at Larkspur would have jumped at the event, but was hosting a wedding and had no room. Cindy contacted the Arrabelle and we were so fortunate that they graciously opened their doors and hosted the event. I packed up the linens, candles, flowers and cupcakes and drove them down the hill, while Cindy worked on the chef, food and wait staff.

With the help of the wonderful people at The Arrabelle, the ballroom was set within 45 minutes.

An impromptu ceremony was held amongst the patio furniture, with guests standing on tables and chairs, on the patio outside the VIP room. There was no set-up, no music, just the officiant, the couple and a very optimistic crowd. The reception followed downstairs, with dinner and music (only three hours late, not too bad considering we’d lost our venue entirely). The after-party was held at an iconic Lionshead establishment, Garfinkel’s.

A tremendous thanks are due to Terri, Angela, Neil etc. and everyone at Arrabelle for their excellent customer service, cheerful attitudes and quick action. Vail Resorts has been responsive to our concerns, and promises to re-visit their transportation policies during inclement weather so they don’t find themselves with a large group and no venue in the future.

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