Elk Grove high school band out $23K after canceled trip, hotel unresponsive

Local News

ELK GROVE, Calif. (KTXL) – The booster club for an Elk Grove high school band is trying to get back over $20,000 after a canceled trip to Disney California Adventure Park.  

The Laguna Creek High School band performed at the popular Anaheim theme park in 2018.

“It’s an educational opportunity. It’s a performance opportunity,” Laguna Creek High School co-band director Jeffrey Edom told FOX40 Tuesday. “It’s a bonding opportunity. The kids get to spend time together. They’re rooming together in the hotel.”

On a planned return trip in 2020, no students were able to step foot inside their rooms at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Anaheim North hotel. The pandemic and stay-at-home order by Gov. Gavin Newsom forced the school to cancel the trip.

Now, the booster club that sponsors the band is out tens of thousands of dollars.

“About $23,000 is the amount of money that Embassy Suites is holding onto,” said Edom.

Edom said they have contacted the hotel multiple times but with no response about their refund.

Elk Grove-based attorney Jonathan Stein has been helping the school try to get its money back from the hotel, which is owned by Hilton.

“This is one of those situations where I feel like Hilton is basically ignoring not just myself but the band because we’re not a big corporate travel. I’m not a big corporate law firm,” explains Stein.

FOX40 contacted Hilton’s communications team and after some back and forth, the station received the following response:

As this is an independently owned and operated hotel, the responsibility of any refund would be with ownership. I have confirmed the hotel has currently suspended operations and have reached out to have someone with the ownership group/hotel come back to you to provide information and/or a statement.

Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc.

Being out $23,000 does not just put the band behind for future fundraising but it is also a blow to the students this year who fundraised the trip money themselves, according to Edom.

“So, we love this hotel and we have gone back to it over and over and over again,” said Edom. “This leaves me with a little bit of a bitter taste.”

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