by Jennifer Nicole Dienst | January 01, 2008

Fairmont Turnberry Isle Resort & Club
Bumped for golfers,
a religious group is teed off
at the Fairmont Turnberry
Isle Resort & Club.

Organizers of a Passover holiday event for more than 500 Orthodox Jews filed a lawsuit in November in Miami-Dade County Circuit Court seeking an injunction, as well as damages, against the Fairmont Turnberry Isle Resort & Club in Aventura. The resort had notified organizers in a letter in October that it was canceling the contract for a Passover holiday event, to be held in April, to make room for a Ladies Professional Golf Association tournament.

“They just said point-blank, the owners want to host the LPGA, so we can’t host the group,” said Lynda Clare, owner of Presidential Holidays Southeast. “To find a location with the space that can accommodate a 10-day program and a block of more than 150 rooms is quite difficult at this time.” She added that many attendees already had booked their trips and that various religious requirements also complicated any attempts at rebooking.

Clare charged that Turnberry Associates, which manages the property, was more to blame than Fairmont. “It’s the owners who are calling the shots,” she said. “We have a great relationship with Fairmont.”

David Freeman, attorney for Presidential Holidays, charged in a statement that Turnberry’s president, David Soffer, “desired to attract and establish a long-term relationship with the LPGA, which could result in media coverage and publicity that would showcase the resort.”

Fairmont and the LPGA both told M&C that it is company policy not to comment on any cases in litigation, and at press time Turnberry had not responded to e-mails or phone calls.