Examining Force Majeure

Gathered here are a few tips to help you get the most security out of your hotel contract when it comes to your force majeure clause.

Though it is highly unlikely that something will so negatively impact your meeting location to require a cancellation, this clause is still very important. If you were to read through a standard force majeure clause, at first glance, they may seem quite broad.

An example: 

“Either party may terminate this agreement in the event of acts of God, war, or government regulations making it illegal or impossible to perform.”

In fact, this particular clause declares that unless an act of God, a war on property, or government interference keeps you from holding your meeting, you’re out of luck financially if anything else prevents you from doing so.  This list is finite.

A recommended edit:

“Either party may terminate this agreement in the event of occurrences, including but not limited to, acts of God, war, government regulations, or those making it unsafe or commercially impractical to perform.”

If you are worried about a specific situation, such as the Zika virus or terrorism, consider adding it to the mix.  Make sure you remain broad – you never do know when another disease could come about.

A recommended edit:

“…including but not limited to, a disease or epidemic, acts of terrorism, acts of God…”

Lastly, avoid including any sense of a time limit.  As an example, in the event of terrorist activity, let’s say 3-4 days before your event, air or ground transportation shut-downs surrounding the property could cause logistical problems.

Regardless of your inclusions, know that you may still have a fight on your hands, but clarity within the contract will always help your case.

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