Here's a run down of what has occurred these past three weeks: this all started when manager Stefanie Wilcott called me and said the June 2nd show is cancelled because another group needs the room. I responded that I contracted for that room in November of 2017 and I am a lawyer and will file a lawsuit for breach of contract. Ms. Wilcott was unfazed. She offered to move the show to the Best Western which is also owned by the Sheraton. I responded that I have been promoting the show as occurring on June 2 at the Four Points Sheraton. I spent money on advertising and have listed it all over the internet and have given out hundreds of flyers. I said I cannot move the show to the Best Western because people are going to show up at the Sheraton, not the Best Western.
She again said I cannot hold the show at the Sheraton. I suggested we move the show into the restaurant at the Sheraton. She said they will not move the show into the restaurant because they need to serve breakfast. Now I have been at that hotel every month for the last four years and have never observed more than five people in that restaurant and informed Ms. Wilcott of my observation. She again said the restaurant is not available. She suggested we move the show into the bar. No go. In November, we set my June show in the Mitchell room and I was planning on 34 8-foot tables. Well, you can fit maybe 10 tables in the bar. I told her the bar would not work. She suggested we could put additional tables in a back hallway. I responded that I wanted the Mitchell Room as originally contracted back in November. She said no.
Well, now I was pissed off. I have been running shows at the hotel for four years. When it was under the Clarion management, I never had a problem. These Sheraton people, the new owners, have been nothing but a problem.
So after litigating another case in court all day. I went home and drafted a breach of contract complaint that I was going to file in the Lake County, Illinois, circuit court. I sent Ms. Wilcott a copy of my draft complaint. She was unfazed. No response.
A few days later, another manager calls, leaves a message stating he wants to chat about alternatives for my June 2nd show. I called back, got his voicemail, left a message stating there is nothing to chat about, I want my show to go on in the Mitchell Room as is written in our contract. He sent an email asking me to call. I did not respond to the email because I did not believe he would offer a viable alternative.
I did not hear from the hotel again. So I started posting on Facebook and various sports collectible websites that the May 5 show will be my last at the Four Points Sheraton, fully believing this was the last show.
On May 4, I drafted a press release, outlining the above and warning others to avoid the Four Points Sheraton. On the morning of May 5, as I am setting up the room at the Sheraton for the show, I placed a stack of my press releases in the entry way to the room. Ms. Wilcott swiped my press releases. She asked to discuss the situation. I met with her and another manager in a conference room. She said I cannot have my press releases in the room. I told her I will add that as another count to my lawsuit, knowing she cannot legally come into my room and take anything out of there. We argue. Eventually, she tells me she has a solution and suggests I move the show into the restaurant on June 2nd -- which is not HER solution, this was MY solution I suggested three weeks ago. She says she just has to confirm with higher management that the restaurant is available.
An hour or so goes by, she comes back, we go back to the conference room with the other manager, who was silent the whole time. She gets the regional manager on speaker phone. He started in on me with all sorts of BS, trying to save face and claim they never cancelled my show. I told him he is going to need to make that statement under oath in a court of law.
He then tells me we can move the show into the restaurant. I agree. Problem solved... or so I thought. An hour or so later, Ms. Wilcott brings me a new contract which basically states that I am liable for anything and everything that could go wrong in the hotel on the day of my shows, including the parking lot, and that the hotel has the authority to cancel my show at any time. I did not sign the new contract and have not spoken to Ms. Wilcott since.
At this point, I believe the show is back on. We will be in the restaurant on June 2nd as I await for Ms. Wilcott to put up new obstacles. There is something very, very wrong with these folks. I don't understand how the show could go so smoothly for three years with the old management and now have nothing but problems with this new group. Obviously, they don't want my show at the hotel. My guess is that I don't spend enough money with them. They want events that will spend tens of thousands of dollars. I get that but at the same time, as I've said, I've been at that hotel every month for nearly four years and rarely has there been another event running in any of the other five banquet rooms at the same time as my sports card show. I'm the only thing happening at that hotel, why treat me so poorly?
I've gotten the message loud and clear -- I need to move the show to a new venue. I have already started the search for a new venue. In the meantime, we will still be at the Four Points Sheraton on the first Saturday of every month through December of 2018. So come on out! It is still an excellent show despite the hotel's efforts to the contrary. The continued success of the show will piss off the folks at the Four Points Sheraton. Come on out June 2nd and piss these people off!!