With the PGA Championship in Town, Top Hotel Canceled Guests’ Reservations (Thousands of Dollar Reservations)

a city skyline with lights and a body of water
Written by Charlie

For the PGA Championship, a top hotel ended up cancelled guests’ reservations booked months ahead, due to “delays”.

My hometown, Rochester, NY, is home to some cool and beautiful things. While it was once known for being the headquarters of Eastman Kodak and home to tens of thousands of jobs, it now has other companies and universities that call it home and are well-known throughout their industries. It is also the location of the Oak Hill Country Club, which was the site of the PGA Championship this past week.

Top Hotel Canceled Guests’ Reservations with PGA Championship in Town

The Oak Hill Country Club is no stranger to hosting big events, having hosted other PGA Championships and the Ryder Cup. With such a large and rich event coming to town, it was no surprise that even the cheapest of hotels were charging way over their normal rates – and booking up very fast.

This is a big deal for any city, but especially a middle sized one like Rochester. It meant a lot of money coming into town and should have guaranteed booked-out hotels for up to 30-45 miles all around. In the Rochester area, one of the best-known hotels for luxury in the city is the Woodcliff Hotel & Spa. This hotel is known for its location and spa. People that wanted to be in town for the PGA Championship and have a great stay booked this hotel months in advance – with rates even being over $1,000 per night.

However, in the weeks leading up to the PGA Championship and even not long before it, some guests heard from the hotel that they needed to cancel the reservation and wanted to move the guests to the Holiday Inn or Holiday Inn Express. The problem is that the people that booked the Woodcliff did it knowing they were paying a lot more than other hotels would charge and they obviously didn’t want to stay at a Holiday Inn Express for this stay.

According to local news, one such customer turned it down and asked them to find another guest that might be willing. However, they cancelled her reservation anyway and didn’t even follow up on that, according to the customer. I also heard from others that this happened to other guests as well.

This does happen sometimes and it is referred to as “walking” – when a hotel cannot accommodate a guest and they “walk” that guest to another hotel. While it can be unpleasant, it can also be something that may work out better for the guest. Some chains may give free nights or credit/cash in addition to the new accommodations (and sometimes the new accommodations may be even nicer). But, it still can be difficult, especially during a major event like this. In this situation, the hotel did say that they had accommodated any guests who were affected – but, I doubt many of them were happy with the adjusted accommodations.

In this case, the hotel said that their spa renovations (one of the things the property is known for, its spa) had not been completed (huge miss for such a property with a once-in-a-decade event coming to town) and they had to use the guest rooms for “construction purposes” according the statement below, given to NBC News:

“We acknowledge that unforeseen delays in the construction of our spa have resulted in temporary use of guest rooms for construction purposes, leading to oversold rooms for the PGA Championship.  We understand the importance of providing excellent customer service and strive to make every guest’s stay as comfortable as possible. We apologize to any guest who may have been affected by this issue.”

This is definitely something that the hotel should have been dealing with, long before the PGA came to town. I have no idea why they didn’t plan better – in spite of the “unforeseen delays” – to at least make sure the rooms that had been booked months before were ready for their customers.

This was definitely a huge miss for the hotel and, according to the above article, there is at least that guest considering legal action against the hotel.

Yet Another Hotel Miss

They weren’t the only hotel to make a big mistake. There was another hotel, a cheaper brand of Hilton, that had been booked out. But, the week of the PGA, they opened up for reservations again and were charging $399 per night (when you can normally book a night there for around or under $100). Not only that, but they were offering the rooms with points at 35,000 Hilton points per night – an awesome value considering the cash cost!

I spoke with the manager and found out that the sales agent messed up and didn’t book through with the PGA like they were supposed to so it resulted in a lot of rooms going unsold. Fortunately, they were able to sell some last minute to those that needed rooms but that was a huge miss for this property as well.

Since we needed to book a room, I was very happy that had opened up! 🙂

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.