July 6th, 2010


Don't book with Morning Glory Inn, Pittsburgh!

Late February or early March, I booked a room with the Morning Glory Inn in the Southside for the night of the wedding. I thought that it might be nice on our wedding night to go to a nice Bed and Breakfast room, and perhaps gather at the Inn with out of town friends for late night chatting.

When I discussed these plans with the Inn owner Nancy Eshelman, she seemed pleased that we would consider her place as our after-wedding location. She went over the rooms with me, and I opted for a two-floor room (the Attic Suite) so that we could have people over for chatting purposes into the late night. We also let her know that we do live in the Southside nearby. She did ask why we did not consider having our reception there, but understood when we told her the number of guests. I did ask if I should make a deposit for our room, and I was told that we didn't need this.

A week or two later, two of our wedding party (one bridesmaid and one groomsman) decided to also book rooms at this location. When our groomsman was trying to book a room for him, his wife, and his dog, we discovered that Morning Glory Inn had reserved two rooms in my name, the room we wanted (which is also the only pet friendly room) and the Wedding Suite! We did get this straightened out, and I opted for a room near the Courtyard, thinking that the late night chatting could occur there instead.

Please note that all of this was discussed with Nancy. She knew very well that we were a wedding party, that we were all together, and that I had been planning to do quiet after-reception gathering at her location.

Time passes. Four months, to be exact. At 11:17 this morning, I get this voicemail:

Voicemail Message mp3

Hi, er, Gwendolyn ... Schmidt. This is Dave at Morning Glory Inn. I regret to let you know that we cannot honor your reservation on October 9th as we have a two night wedding that weekend. The Holiday Inn Express and the new Spring Hill Suites have availability. The Suites is 412 488 8003. Thank you.

I also check my email to find our groomsman had forwarded the email notification he received about same:

Date: Tue, 6 Jul 2010 10:45:53 -0400
From: Dave Eshleman <dave@retractableroofpittsburgh.com>
Reply-To: dave@retractableroofpittsburgh.com

Hello [groomsman],

I am sorry for the inconvenience, but we cannot accommodate your
reservation for October 9, 2010. May we suggest the new Marriott Spring
Hill Suites – 412-488-8003 or the Holiday Inn Express 412-488-1130. Both
are in the neighborhood and both have free shuttles.


Morning Glory Inn


Our groomsman had contacted them and found out that the Inn had been rebooked, yanking out all of our reservations.

I then called the Inn to find out what was going on myself. What I can recollect of the conversation is as follows.

Me: Hello, this is Gwendolyn Schmidt, you left me voicemail?
Dave: Yes, we cannot honor your reservation. We have booked the entire Inn for a two night wedding, and need your rooms.
Me: OK, but I made these reservations before them. You can just pull them?
Dave: The other wedding is giving us $14,000. We need your rooms to fulfill their requests.
Me: But, we're a wedding too. You're cancelling my wedding night?
Dave: That's life.
Me: How can you run a business like this?
Dave: You're right, this is a business. We run it like a business.
Me: I will be contacting the Better Business Bureau about this.
Dave: You do that.

The text in bold I do remember him saying very precisely. It was this attitude that really made me furious; "We're cancelling your wedding night reservations, that's life." Seriously? And he made sure to put extra emphasis on the word "business" when explaining to me what he was.

This is very shoddy business practices though. Why?

1) We live in the Southside, just a few blocks from this Inn, and two of our closest friends had booked rooms there. Had they been wonderful, they would have seen future business from all three of us: our two friends would have loved to stay there again when visiting us, and we would have been happy to recommend the place to other visiting friends.
2) Two of the people kicked out (the groom and the groomsman) are running a small startup company themselves. This place could have been a nice convenient place for potential clients or future conferences for their company. This is lost business for the Morning Glory Inn as well.
3) They knew we had a large wedding; this is a large network to start with, and further it implies that we have a lot of friends. Our word of mouth networking power is mighty, and our friends and guests will learn about this miserable experience. That is also potentially lost revenue.

I am amazed at the whole experience with this place. Honestly, if they had approached us with the attitude of remorse, one where they apologized profusely for the double booking and offered to help us find accomodations elsewhere, I would be much more forgiving. But it scalds me that I am told the other parties' price for their wedding in a way to feel like I should feel inferior for not spending as much at their location, and that I was literally told, "That's life." There is no remorse in this attitude, only snobbery.

In the end, we will have benefitted from this. I have been looking at reviews online for Morning Glory Inn and have discovered that if we had ended up there, we likely would have encountered problems concerning our late night gathering. Dave and Nancy seem to have a habit of micromanaging their guests. I am now sorry for the people who booked their wedding there.

I have managed to get a block of rooms at the Spring Hill Suites. The Spring Hill Suites have already treated me far better, and I have a signed contract. The only downside is that there were only 15 rooms available the night of our wedding; we are likely to need more. I am looking into the Holiday Inn Express for additional support.

I did contact the Better Business Bureau, as I told him I would, and registered a complaint. I forwarded that confirmation to him with a bullet point list of why he probably lost more future profits than the actual profits he made with the wedding he kicked us out for. I told him that I hoped he considered this in the future before displacing another wedding party like my own.

I just hope to get the word out to warn any of my friends (or their friends) of this peril: Don't book at Morning Glory Inn in the Southside, unless you like terrible service with a helping of attitude.
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