Travel Agency Loses $30k After Buffalo Hotel Cancels Eclipse Reservation For Hundreds Of Tourists | Old North State Wealth News
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Travel agency loses $30k after Buffalo hotel cancels eclipse reservation for hundreds of tourists



BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – A travel agency bringing more than 200 people to Buffalo for the eclipse says they were left scrambling to find a place for their guests to stay after a local hotel canceled their reservation.

“We’ve spent two years preparing for this event to make it a great event,” said Christopher Donnelly, who owns Sugar Tours Inc. “We were in the process of possibly losing it all in one fell swoop.”

Donnelly’s company is based in New Jersey. His agency is planning on bringing 250 people to Buffalo for the total solar eclipse on April 8.

“You guys in Buffalo are in the totality of the eclipse,” he said. “People are coming from all over the world.”

To prepare for this trip, Donnelly set up arrangements for the travelers to stay at several local hotels. He signed a contract with both the Aloft Buffalo Airport and Hampton Inn and Suites Buffalo Airport in 2022 to reserve more than 100 rooms.

In January, as the date of the eclipse neared, Donnelly’s team emailed back and forth with hotel management to go over logistics, including breakfast accommodations. Everything seemed squared away. Then a month ago, Donnelly found out the reservations were all canceled.

Donnelly said he was told over the phone by a hotel staff member that “we’re canceling your contracts and there’s no ands, ifs or buts.”

He said he was given no explanation for the cancelling.

After working with Visit Buffalo Niagara, Sugar Tours Inc. were able to secure hotel rooms elsewhere, but at a higher rate.

“We end up finding space to cover three groups, but of course we’re now paying 150 to 200 dollars a room more, which my company is going to take the hit on it, because I can’t pass it on to my clients,” he said.

Donnelly says he’s losing around $30,000 because of this and is looking into his legal options.

“It’s just bad business. It’s sad. Now we have to go through hiring an attorney and fighting them out to at least recoup the loses,” he said. “At this point we’re taking the hit and I guess we’re going to end up, you know, in court.”

Sarah Minkewicz is an Emmy-nominated reporter and Buffalo native who has been a part of the News 4 team since 2019. Follow Sarah on Twitter @SarahMinkewicz and click here to see more of her work.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to News 4 Buffalo.

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