Vacationers upset with Granby Ranch refund policy in wake of COVID-19 closures
A man who spent almost $1,200 planning a family vacation at Granby Ranch asked for a refund when the resort closed, but instead the ski resort offered him a voucher for next season.
He and others don’t think that’s acceptable.
Roy Moomey of Arkansas had skied a few times in Colorado, but he’d never heard of Granby Ranch.
On Feb. 25, more than a week before Colorado would get its first positive case of COVID-19, he was on Granby Ranch’s website. His sister has chosen the ski resort as the place for their family vacation, and he was looking at lift tickets and rentals.
Moomey said that Granby Ranch’s website made it seem like there was a limited number of passes and rentals, so he quickly moved to pre-order and encouraged his sister’s family to do the same. Moomey’s receipts from Granby Ranch show he spent $1,155 on pre-ordered lift tickets and rentals.
The party of 10 would have begun skiing March 21, but the governor suspended all ski resort operations across the state the Sunday before their trip. Moomey reached out that day to ask for a refund and was shocked to find out the resort was not providing any.
“This is just bad practice during a crisis like this,” Moomey said.
Unlike some other ski resorts, Granby Ranch will not be giving any refunds. Instead, the resort is offering vouchers for pre-purchased tickets and rentals next season. For season passes and multi-day discounted tickets, Granby Ranch will not be issuing refunds or vouchers.
Moomey was not the only Granby Ranch visitor planning a trip who expected their money back. The Granby Ranch Facebook post announcing the closure saw a wave of comments from people facing the same dilemma.
“Granby Ranch, like so many businesses, is doing its best to navigate this very difficult situation,” Chief Operations Officer Greg Finch said in an emailed statement. “A situation which is unprecedented, unanticipated and not of our making.”
Finch went on to outline the voucher policy and asked anyone not able to contact a representative via phone to reach out through the Contact Us page at GranbyRanch.com. The resort’s Chief Executive Officer Melissa Cipriani announced six days after the closure that all employees would be laid off.
While Moomey was able to reach a Granby Ranch representative over the phone, he found that the voucher was not sufficient compensation. Working in law enforcement, Moomey said he rarely gets time off and this vacation was a lucky coincidence. He doesn’t think his family will be able to make it out to Granby Ranch for a vacation next season.
“I paid for that service and they’re not able to fulfill that service,” Moomey said. “The resort said they can’t supply the service, but they’re going to keep my money anyway?!”
Moomey said he is reaching out to various agencies, including the Attorney General, to try to recover his money. He said he hoped that Granby Ranch would “do the right thing.”
Other resorts have had a smattering of responses to the closures and possible refunds. Winter Park Resort has been issuing refunds to anyone who requests it, but is also offering credits. Loveland Ski Area is fully refunding any date-specific lift tickets, rentals or lessons, while Steamboat Ski Resort is working with individuals to give them the appropriate refunds or credits.
Moomey and other would-be skiers have expressed their frustrations, but ski resorts like Granby Ranch have been left without a revenue stream during the busiest part of their year.
Moomey and his family were forced to stay home in Arkansas rather than vacation, like many would-be spring breakers this month. But now they are sitting at home, not skiing, with $1,200 less in their pocket for a product they couldn’t use.
“I love Colorado and can’t wait to get my kids up there to ski one day,” Moomey said. “I know this is not how the majority of the resorts handle business. I just picked the wrong one, I guess.”
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Grand County’s real estate transactions Feb. 21-27 were worth more than $11.3 million combined.