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Thursday, June 23, 2005



Turtle Bay to
refund charges

The resort billed guests at an event
$600 apiece over a money dispute
with the event's organizer

Turtle Bay Resort announced yesterday that it will refund any money collected from guests who were billed an additional $602.66 apiece in connection with the hotel's dispute with the sponsor of the Aloha Marlin and Golf Tournament.

The guests had already paid $5,000 per couple to the sponsor, Aloha Productions, for air fare, accommodations and a chance to play golf with celebrities in April.

One of the guests, Alison Gyves, an Orange County, Calif., assistant district attorney, had complained after the charge appear on her credit card, calling it "appalling" and illegal. The Star-Bulletin first reported the dispute last week.

An estimated 15 to 20 others also were charged the same $602.66, according to Aloha Productions, which is disputing a nearly $46,000 bill from the hotel. The company said it owed only $31,000 to the resort, which is located on the North Shore of Oahu.


"Despite the fact that the amounts owed remain outstanding, in an effort to combat the ill will created by Aloha Productions, the resort has decided to refund the moneys collected from the guests."

Abid Butt,
Turtle Bay general manager

Gyves was told by the resort that guests had signed a form that holds them personally liable if the company sponsoring the event failed to pay all charges.

"Aloha Productions owes the resort a significant sum of money, and we have repeatedly attempted to resolve the dispute with the event producer. To date, we have not been successful," said Abid Butt, the resort's vice president and general manager.

"Despite the fact that the amounts owed remain outstanding, in an effort to combat the ill will created by Aloha Productions, the resort has decided to refund the moneys collected from the guests."

"This refund does not in any way change our position with respect to Aloha Productions," Butt said.

If necessary, the resort will pursue legal action against Aloha Productions, Butt said.

John Herkenrath, owner of Aloha Productions, has said the resort was trying to intimidate him into paying more than he owed by angering his guests. A message left with Aloha Productions last night wasn't immediately returned.

The state Office of Consumer Protection has said it is investigating the matter based on a tip from Gyves.



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