Civil Suit Follows Criminal Charges
In the wake of the criminal charges brought against three students for the damages done at the Treetops ski resort in Gaylord, the resort has decided to pursue a civil suit. In a statement released to the press recently, the resort said that it’s legal advisors had recommended legal action beyond the criminal charges.
According to the resort, it is possible that the extensive damages done by the fraternity and sorority students had something to do with retaliation. Apparently the student’s loud and disruptive partying had caused other guests to complain. Treetops ski resort management approached the students and addressed the issue with them.
In a statement released to the media, the resort explained their actions as follows: “Treetop’s management secured verbal commitments from the group’s president that the group would be more careful with respect to the resorts’ property and other guests. The resort management’s trust in the Michigan students proved ill-founded when the students caused massive damage during the second night of the groups’ stay that was far in excess of what had been seen the previous day.”
In addition, Treetops ski resort claims that they did not receive prepayment from the students for the 50 rooms that were booked ahead of time. More than 200 students from University of Michigan’s Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity and Sigma Delta Tau sorority stayed the weekend. According to the resort, the damages totaled $430,000.
According to the resort’s general manager, it is not unusual for a large group to cause a small amount of damage to a room. Which is why the resort prefers to secure upfront payment for large groups. But in the case of Sigma Alpha Mu and Sigma Delta Tau, there was no prepayment forthcoming. And there is a distinct difference between knocking over a lamp or dropping a drinking glass, and tearing the doors off the cabinets and ripping the tiles down off the ceiling.
The statement specifies that the resort, while initially encouraged by the letter written by Sigma Alpha Mu after the event, has realized that these were no more than empty promises. At first the fraternity was very apologetic, promising to pay for all of the damages. However, so far the resort has received only a token payment and no more money seems forthcoming.
This, in addition to the fact that charges have only been brought against three individuals, has encouraged the resort to seek their own settlement. Also mentioned in the statement is the fact that the Treetops resort no longer rents to large student bodies.