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Chula Vista Frustrations(Sorry kinda long)

I have a hold on one of the rooms at Chula Vista for next October, but the venue doesn't sign contracts until a year out.  I am trying to make sure that this is truely the venue we want to be at, so I have been attempting to talk about their packages through email with their onsite coordinator.  The problem is it seems to be damn near impossible to get a hold of her! The first problem I've had was a little over a month back when I saw that they came out with new packages than the one I was given, I sent her an email telling her I would like to talk about the differences in the packages/pricing since it has changed, and since I live three hours away email was probably the best option. She never responded to that email.
I then found time to make it up to the Dells and told her three days in advance that I would be there and was hoping to be able to sit down and talk to her about the new packages, didn't get a response back until I was there telling me she was sick and out of the office.
When I got back I told her that I just stopped by and picked up the new packet. She said to let her know if I had any questions.
I responded that I was wondering if the packages were set in stone with what was included. She responded with what did I have in mind.  I told her one idea (which would actually be cheaper for the venue) and that I just wanted to know my options. 
This was now 8 days ago and I have yet to get another response.  Am I just being crazy or is this ridiculous?!?! I don't want to argue with her over a year out, especially before signing a contract, but after talking to my work's onsite coordinator and having her tell me she never takes more than 24 hours to respond to any questions from a bride, I feel I may be entitled to being a little upset.
I don't know what to do, because we were set on Chula Vista and now she's already driving me insane!
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Re: Chula Vista Frustrations(Sorry kinda long)

  • NicnJen01NicnJen01 member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Talk to her boss, if the fire under her butt doesn't make her perky then change it.  EVEN if you change it I'd still tell someone, she could be doing this to everyone and if no one speaks up then the poor behavior isn't recognized she will think that she's doing things perfectly.

    Such a headache, I wish you luck, but I can tell you if I get a weird vibe from someone or they get to me to that point it takes a lot for them to redeem themselves and i probably wouldn't push it.  But that's me.
  • edited December 2011
    I have a bride getting married there in October of this year. She didn't have the best response time either from the planner, but she said the packages are reasonable.
  • edited December 2011
    Some people are easier to get ahold of and respond faster by phone. Is there a number you can call her at? If phone contact doesn't work, I'd talk to her supervisor. Save your emails as proof of how long it takes her to get back to you.  
  • edited December 2011
    I totally feel your pain! Been blown off by 3 vendors in the past 2 months. I would think communication to be a high priority if these companies eventually want our $.
  • edited December 2011
    i just don't understand! you are suppose to be selling me on the place! do you think this tactic works!
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  • edited December 2011
    Lol. Ok, let's try this again - 

    it's a beautiful venue. It is. There are amazing photo ops all around! (sorry, but that's kind of what I think of). The villas are great! You get the feel of the Dells away from all the touristy junk, BUT you still have access to it. If you wanted to - you could even do a dells boat tour for your formals. Seriously, you have amazing options with the dells. Chula Vista is really beautiful. When it comes to the main resorts, it is one of a kind in the Dells.

    As far as your frustrations, they are reasonable. I get that it is wedding season which throws anyone who works with brides into a complete frazzle, but just because you are not this season's bride does not mean that you get second rate treatment. That being said, if the usual approach isn't working - do as everyone said and take it up with her supervisor. Don't give up on a fantastic venue because of one worker there. It is a GREAT place. Just give it a little more patience.
     Smile
  • petru003petru003 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I by no means want to change your mind on your venue but let me share my experiences with Chula Vista...warning it's a little long....

    My cousin got married there three years ago and it was a great wedding.  I loved the resort and felt like we were on a mini vaca with the water park and all of our family hanging out the whole weekend.  So, because I had such a great time at his wedding my fiance and I checked it out for our own.  We live out of state and set up an appointment when we would be home a few weeks out.  When we arrived for our scheduled appointment, the coordinator was too busy handling other tasks and so she pushed us off on another woman who knew NOTHING about the venue and fees and options that we had.  After we had asked about 10-15 questions that she did not know the answer to she finally decided to grab the woman we were supposed to meet with so that we could get some answers.  She was informative but completely distracted for the 15 minutes we spent with her.  We had a few other venue appointments that day in Madison and were greeted promptly as we walked into the others and had all of our questions answered right away, a totally different experience than Chula Vista.  After our visit I sent several e-mails with follow-up questions and inquiries, I got no response until I would actually call in.  When I was talking to my cousin about the resort he let me know right away that customer service was not their strong point.  He said that while the wedding ended up good from the outside the resort was hard to work with and pretty unfriendly and (this was the deal breaker for me) a month before their wedding they were informed that they were bumped from the main ballroom to a tent on the golf course because a larger event (that would bring in more money) had requested that date.  If you look close at the contract (unless it has changed in the past year) it clearly states that they have the right to move you to a different room if they see fit.  Planning a fall wedding the river/tree view was a main draw to this location.  Even though it is a really affordable option, especially as far as Dells resorts go, we decided that piece of mind and customer service were worth a little extra money in our tight budget and went for a hotel in Madison.  I'm definitely not trying to steer you away from Chula Vista, but just wanted to share my experiences.  Sorry for the lengthy reply!  Hope all goes well for you!
  • edited December 2011
    Thank you for the insight! The woman is impossible to get a hold of, and even when I do she is very short with me.  Because we are from out of state I really am concerned about customer service, and because I do this for a living (which she doesn't know), I don't know if we will be able to put up with this.  We are looking at our other options because we really want to get married in the Dells, we are on a tight budget and its really not THAT cheap to get married there.  I haven't looked at the contract, but she made it seem like they can't take another event over yours, but she didn't mention moving rooms, so, again, thanks for sharing your experience! You aren't the first knottie to let me know about something like this!
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  • edited December 2011
    She doesn't return phone calls either, and according to another knottie it is an ongoing problem that they are aware of, so I will inform them of how upset I am, but we are looking at a new venue....

    Thanks for the support ladies!
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  • kathleenkmmkathleenkmm member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I had a work conference there two years ago and was not impressed at all. I couldn't in good conscience recommend it to anyone.
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  • edited December 2011
    I have been to Chula Vista a few times for various events (only live a few miles from it) and even applied there for a marketing position a year or two back.  

    I was not impressed and found them to be very unprofessional and the place seemed unorganized and untidy.

    I too would not recommend them to anyone.
  • edited December 2011

    I just found this post - sorry its a few days late.

    I hope I dont steer you away from something you truly want as your venue, but, here goes (long but worth reading)...

    My fiance and I booked Chula Vista last year and our wedding is scheduled for 9/17/11.  It has been a complete nightmare since day 1 trying to deal with this place.  When we first started prospecting Chula as a possible venue, they put us in touch with a woman named Justine - I'm assuming from what you've described that this is the same person you were put in touch with.  As far as I'm concerned, I dont really know how she holds a job at the facility.  We had the same EXACT problems you are describing (no responses to repeated emails, phone calls, etc.).  Before we signed our contract we had driven down there to check out the venue and get some questions answered.  She had let us know ahead of time that she wouldnt be there that particular day but she would have another staff member assist us. 
    We made the 3 hour trip down the Dells, and just like in petru003's story, the staff person she set us up with knew nothingShe was basically familiar with the layout of the property and that was about it.  After we asked twice if someone else was available who was knowledgeable with the wedding process, she finally found someone who worked in the same department of Justine, her name was Kim.  Kim was acutally really great.  She answered all of our questions and gave us some peace of mind.  We then mentioned to her Justine's lack of communication/customer service.  She basically said in so many words that we were not the first couple to complain about her and that she agreed with our feelings.  We felt that Kim had our back and that we would be in good hands working with her, so we signed the contract and paid the deposit.  And everything seemed ok for awhile. 
    Fast forward a few months - we had emailed a question to Kim and had not received a response which was very unusual for Kim (she was always very prompt about returning emails), so we called Chula to try and get in touch with her.  Imagine our surprise when they told us Kim was no longer working at Chula Vista and had been gone for 2 months at that point.  We received no communication about her departure, who would be responsible for our account, etc.  So long story short, we were paired with the sales manager of Kim's department, Renata.  I had some comfort knowing she was the sales manager and that she would probably have a good handle on things.  Oh boy, was I wrong.  We basically had to start from square one with her including going over every single detail that we had established with Kim, even though all of our details were worked out and put in our file by Kim. From there, things started going downhill.  Without turning this into a novel, here are a few of the issues we've had to deal with:
    1. My FMIL called to book their room and was told by the front desk person (Andy, I think) that there was no wedding booked under our name and that she must have Chula mixed up with some other resort.  Mind you this is 6 months after we had paid our deposit and signed our contract.  He basically called her a liar and hung up on her.
    2. I've had at least 10 guests call to book a room and were charged the full rate price instead of the discounted room price stated in our contract.  We had to go through the mess and embarrasment of telling our guests they were overcharged and then making sure they all were properly credited. 
    3.  We had to correct her in almost every email correspondence. Huge amount of pricing errors in general and especially in the final invoice we had just received (overcharging us for appetizers and drinks that contradict what we had in our contract, her math was incorrect, she forgot to add things on to the final bill).  I was embarrassed for her.  I would never in my professional life send such an important document without making sure every last item was correct.  I had to go through everything line by line and send it back so she could redo our final invoice. 
    4.  Here's the big one:  We just found out 2 days ago (11 days prior to our wedding) that they double booked our ceremonly area.  Renata called my finace  and mentioned this like it was no big deal.  Her solution was to move our ceremonly to the vacated wave pool area in the back.  Yeah, I know my dream wedding was to get married next to a snack bar and an empty pool, how magical.  When we refused this solution she seemed shocked that we wouldnt want to get married in the wave pool area because it has more room, blah, blah, blah.  So its now 9 days before our wedding and we still dont have an answer to where our ceremony will be held.

    I could go on and on but I think you get the point. If I had it my way I would pull out of Chula completely and find a new venue.  I know you're looking for honest answers and based on my experience my best advice for you is to look for other options (maybe the Wilderness or the Kalahari?).  Sorry :(

  • edited December 2011
    thank you everyone for your input, its a major help! especially heids, i can't even explain how sorry i am that this is happening to you! long story short, i also posted this on the oct 2012 brides board and i got many of the same responses as on here, even the switching of the rooms, which i don't understand why in the world this is ok to people?!?! as far as your siutation goes can i ask which room you were planning on being in? the room we were looking at is not one of the usual ballrooms, we were going to have the ceremony in room i, and the reception in rooms a-f, its still a big room but what drew us to them is the floor to ceiling windows along the woods against the river. the ceremony rooms have access to a very large patio, i really hope this isn't a room being used and it helps you out, again i can't imagine what i would do in this situation, which is why i am almost 100 percent sure we aren't going there, although i'm not sure where because kalahari is kind of expensive, and the only room we liked at wilderness was too small, we are looking at a restaurant in the area just hoping they decide to stay open year round. but heids i really hope if this doesn't help you figure everything out! please let me know what happens!
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  • edited December 2011
    thanks amthomas :(

    Its now 8 days before and we still dont have an answer.  we finally had to get the general manager involved (Carolyn I believe) after Renata stopped all communication with us.  Carolyn has been helpful so far and is trying to get this mess ironed out.  they finally took some responsibility and admitted this was their mistake and it shouldnt have happened.  nice to hear but still a disaster.  and whats worse is some other couple is going through the same nightmare thanks to them.  i'll let you know what happens when we get more info (they promised by 5:00 tonight but i've heard that before).

    the room you are describing is actually the room we're renting.  its called the riverview north ballroom and we chose it because of the beautiful windows, view of the river, large patio, etc.  the patio area is where we're supposed to be holding our ceremony.  i'm sure everything will work out one way or another, but this is not what i dreamed of when i pictured my wedding planning - especially a week before the wedding.  i'm just really bummed, trying to see the positive side of things but, ugh.

    I hope you"re able to find something in the area. a few other places that come to mind are Buffalo Phils, they have an area called the Crystal Room, photos look very nice but i've never seen in person.  And there is also Springbrook Resort, but i didnt check them out when we were looking. 

    I'll keep you posted on what happens, good luck in the mean time!! :)
  • edited December 2011
    its not the riverview ballroom, its similar, but it doesn't actually have a name, its not techniquelly a ballroom but it look just like one! because we looked at the riverview but we like this conference room better, i really hope this works out for you, and as for me, i'm just glad i found this out before it turned into a "situation," this is ridiculous! like i said you aren't the first to tell me about this happening. coming from someone who does weddings and banquets at a golf club, this is beyond unacceptable!
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  • edited April 2012
    just read all the posts ..... thank you everyone for the input ....  I am the MIB but because of my daughter being out of state I am doing most of the initial contacts  We have an appt to see Chula Vista 4/21 but I have been dealing with "Kelly" and thankfully haven't had any problems ---- does anyone know if she is new and the Customer Service issues have been resolved?
    Thanks
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