The sign at the hotel bar sent the message loud and clear: "NO LONGER SERVING MILITARY PERSONNEL & THEIR GUEST(S)."
Naturally 600 or so military members and their guests attending a ball Thursday at the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel in Colorado Springs weren't very happy.
Aimee Osbourne, a disabled veteran whose husband is currently serving, posted a photo of the sign on Facebook on Friday but has since removed it due to negative comments, KOAA-TV reported. Hundreds of others, however, posted the same photo and accompanying text on their pages, the station said.
Osbourne told KOAA her group was honoring those who have served, POWs/MIAs, and those lost, as well as partaking in a "grog," a traditional ceremony in which items — some not terribly palatable — are placed in a container and participants drink from it.
She told the station her group wasn't behaving badly but that hotel staff started blocking access to the grog and then the bars were closed and the signs posted at 9 p.m.
Osbourne added to KOAA that the hotel staff made it clear that only hotel guests would be served despite her group having paid tens of thousands of dollars to host the ball at the DoubleTree. It wasn't even the first time such an event was hosted there, she also told the station.
What did the hotel manager have to say?
The hotel bar sign didn't sit well with Daniel Kammerer, DoubleTree's general manager.
In a statement he said two employees "acted without the proper authority to close and exclude military guests from our hotel's bar. This action is inconsistent with our values and we humbly apologize. The two team members are no longer employed at the property."
Kammerer added that the DoubleTree has "attempted to contact the leaders of the group to apologize and confirm that our property is one that welcomes all, especially the men and women who serve our country."
What else did Osbourne have to say?
Osbourne told KOAA there's no ill will toward the hotel and that she's "regretful that anyone had to lose their livelihood." She added to the station that she fully accepted Kammerer's apology.