Thanks to Prof. Adam Scales for the pointer.
UPDATE: According to CNBC, the hotel now says it was only joking. “‘The policy regarding wedding fines was put on our site as a tongue-in-cheek response to a wedding many years ago. It was meant to be taken down long ago and certainly was never enforced,’ the Union Street Guest House said in an email to CNBC.” At the same time, as Esquire notes, a comment posted Nov. 21, 2013 — well before this controversy erupted — states,
The management of this hotel had the gall to email us twice to threaten us financially about the negative review! Here is an excerpt from their first email:“please note that your recent on-line review of our Inn will cost the wedding party that left us a deposit $500. This money be charged via the deposit they have left us unless/until it is removed. Any other or future reviews will also be charged to the wedding party (bride & groom) from the guarantee they have provided us. ”Disgusting! Instead of taking responsibility and striving to improve their customer service, they instead resort to intimidation!
Now perhaps the Nov. 21, 2013 comment is a fabrication, and the policy was a joke all along — or perhaps not. In any event, I thought I’d note this, and thank commenters Retitled and Joseph Bottum for passing it along.