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Fiesta Americana - planning help needed!


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#1 fogdog

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    Posted 02 May 2007 - 01:24 PM

    Hi-
    I am trying to sign the contract for Fiesta Americana but am feeling a bit nervous as Ibonhe, who I am working with, wants me to commit to the room block including the Imperial Suite (at $1800/night!) before I have any information related to any other details (food, beverage, set-up, etc). As I ask, she is sending me various pieces, but sometimes without prices and sometimes with conflicting info and I can tell it bothers her to do so.
    So, a few questions:
    1. Is it standard to commit to the room block before working out other details?
    2. Has anyone else worked with Ibonhe and has it been this challenging?
    3. Any recommendations on how to get this done clearly and efficiently over email?
    I'm already frustrated and haven't even made any decisions yet
    I appreciate all your help/advice!
    Thanks!
    Bridget and Brian
    Los Cabos 11/17/07

    #2 TammyB

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      Posted 02 May 2007 - 02:15 PM

      If I were you I would try contacting Tammy (host of forum) she will be able to guide you. I wouldn't book a room block until you are happy with the contract that you sign. I'm assuming you would be required to put money down for the room block, would you get that money back if you aren't happy with the resort and decide to go else where?

      Cabo is usaually very slow in responding, I give at least a few days between emails and up to a week or so during busy wedding season.

      #3 NABUMBAH

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        Posted 02 May 2007 - 02:17 PM

        I would not commit to anything until you have your pricing squared away for the actual event. You definitely don't want to get locked into a location if you can't afford to have the wedding that you want there. I think that Jak27 (?) is getting married at the FA - maybe you can ask her?

        #4 jak27

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          Posted 02 May 2007 - 02:27 PM

          Fogdof, first of all, congratulations on your upcoming wedding! I am getting married at the Fiesta Americana as well, November 17, 2007.

          For your convenience, I have attached every document I have been given by FA, except for Open Bar menus, Corkage Fees, and Lunch/Brunch menues, which are in my car, and I'll add later!

          I have no problem sending you my contract, if you haven't seen yours yet, for your review if you want.

          The contract is interesting (I went to law school, and my fiance is a lawyer, so we find these things interesting in a dorky way), in that it just blocks rooms - I am not making a committment to the hotel that all of those rooms will be occupied, instead, they use a minimum Food & Beverage cost that is for attrition purposes. Compared to the room block, my F&B minimm is miniscule (like $3,000 total for the entire weekend, for 150 guests).

          In comparison, many of the resorts we looked at require you to committ to X number of room nights, and if you don't hit 90% of them, you pay rack rate, or a percentage as a penalty. Our attrition clause only applies to the F&B and those rooms we blocked can be cancelled a month in advance. Works out perfectly for us, since it's a DW and you never know who is really coming until they land! Also, it still gives us plenty of time to plan and adjust food numbers as necessary.

          I have also already altered my room block twice, as our plans and needs have changed accoridingly. They have been very helpful, and didn't mind a bit.

          Also, if you can, I would negotiate ahead of time your F&B maximums...I wish I would have done that. For example, instead of committing to host your wedding at the FA and then negotiating price (like we're now doing, big mistake), tell them you are willing to spend $X per person maximum including beverages, and that in no event will they deprive menu options or beverage options because of it.

          I just got back from my site inspection at FA (see Site Forum, new thread I started) and have no problem sending you some of the pictures of the Imperial Suite (from the outside) that I took. It is a beautiful, secluded location. How many guests are you expecting?

          My contact at FA is Daniela, and she has been fabulous. Sometimes it takes a day or two for a response, but she has been very professional.

          Feel free to PM me or ask more questions! I'm sort of in that zone right now with the beginning planning (menus, etc) so I'm ready to chat if you need it!

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

          Attached Files



          #5 MikkiStreak

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          • 2,347 posts

            Posted 02 May 2007 - 02:30 PM

            Quote:
            Originally Posted by NABUMBAH
            I would not commit to anything until you have your pricing squared away for the actual event. You definitely don't want to get locked into a location if you can't afford to have the wedding that you want there. I think that Jak27 (?) is getting married at the FA - maybe you can ask her?
            I totally agree---- plus, I would think the room block can also be a negotiating tool. I know a lot of resorts treat the reservations side of their business completely separate from the wedding side of their business, but if you WC is the one pushing for the room block, it sounds to me like it's something to help you negotiate the wedding stuff....

            #6 jak27

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              Posted 02 May 2007 - 02:50 PM

              Ok, you asked for it, here are three more documents for Open Bar pricing, Bar on Consumption pricing and Corkage Fees!

              Can you tell I'm excited to share what I have?!

              The only other things I have are Lunch Menus and Breakfast Menus, both which are really long, and if you need them, I'll scan and attach later! Just let me know!

              Please note, these are the prices as provided by FA - this is not what we've negotiated, nor what we're going to pay, just what they hope we'll pay!

               

               

               

               

               

               

              Attached Files



              #7 fogdog

              fogdog
              • Jr. Member
              • 170 posts

                Posted 02 May 2007 - 04:28 PM

                Thanks, all, for your thoughts!
                Jill, I will contact you privately to ask a few more questions, but thanks for sharing all your documents.
                Our contract is similar to what you describe with the exception that I have to make a deposit for the reservation of the Imperial Suite. Regardless, if I start planning and decide that the prices are outrageous and don't want to do it there I would be liable for the $3000 predicted food/bev plus the room block which adds up to $9k-ish. I would think that she would understand that I wouldn't sign a contract then, until I was sure they could provide everything I wanted.
                The time of her response isn't the issue - it's that she's pushing me to do the block before giving me all the info I need to make the decision.
                ugh...
                Bridget and Brian
                Los Cabos 11/17/07

                #8 tvt

                tvt
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                  Posted 02 May 2007 - 04:31 PM

                  Hi, I'm an event planner by day and deal with hotel contracts all the time. I WOULD NOT sign a contract agreeing to rooms without knowing the other conditions.

                  Quote:
                  Originally Posted by fogdog
                  Hi-
                  I am trying to sign the contract for Fiesta Americana but am feeling a bit nervous as Ibonhe, who I am working with, wants me to commit to the room block including the Imperial Suite (at $1800/night!) before I have any information related to any other details (food, beverage, set-up, etc). As I ask, she is sending me various pieces, but sometimes without prices and sometimes with conflicting info and I can tell it bothers her to do so.
                  So, a few questions:
                  1. Is it standard to commit to the room block before working out other details?
                  2. Has anyone else worked with Ibonhe and has it been this challenging?
                  3. Any recommendations on how to get this done clearly and efficiently over email?
                  I'm already frustrated and haven't even made any decisions yet
                  I appreciate all your help/advice!
                  Thanks!


                  #9 jak27

                  jak27
                  • Member
                  • 715 posts

                    Posted 02 May 2007 - 04:40 PM

                    Quote:
                    Originally Posted by tvt
                    I WOULD NOT sign a contract agreeing to rooms without knowing the other conditions.
                    TVT, do you have any suggestions as to how to negotiate F&B pricing to a reasonable amount. The hotels have to take into account the business an event brings them, along with catering?

                    What do you see is the biggest negotiating tip?

                    #10 tvt

                    tvt
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                      Posted 02 May 2007 - 05:00 PM

                      As a general rule of thumb you will save the most money negotiating room rates. Because food and beverage is so labor intensive most hotels have the hardest time reducing F&B pricing to the point where you'd actually notice a difference.

                      Say you're thinking you'll need 50 rooms. When you sign your contract make sure that you have an attrition clause. In other words, a clause that lets you recude the total room nights up to a certain date. So an example would be you can release 20% of your rooms up to one month prior to your wedding date. You should NEVER have to agree to a room block with out an attrition clause. Also, make sure you understand what the contract says.

                      For F%B there are a few different options. Look to see if your contract has an F&B minimum. Which means that if your food and drinks total $1,000 (just for an example) but your contract states that your F&B min is $3,000 you will pay $3,000. Keep in mind that most F&B min are BEFORE tax and grat! Also, your contract should include a specific date that you will provide the hotel with guarantees. Usually this is 3 business days prior to the event. A guarantee is basically you telling the hotel that you know for a fact that 25 people will eat off the buffet, open bar, etc (not true for plated dinners) then if more than 25 eat you will pay for the additional people on actual number. (ie 33 people show up, you pay for 33. or if 20 show up you still pay for 25)

                      If you want help with figuring this out I'm more than happy to do it. I've seen friends get f'd over on contracts. Just PM me if you want more help.




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