HILL AIR FORCE BASE -- A lack of money and the inability to secure a room at Ogden's Union Station has 150 airmen from Hill Air Force Base looking for a location for their Christmas party.
Amy Meighan, who works for the 388th Maintenance Squadron at Hill, said the group wanted to book a room at Union Station to hold its annual Christmas party in December, but they were short of money to cover the $800 fee to book the room.
Meighan said she approached the Union Station Foundation on Tuesday, offering to pay somewhere between $100 and $200 for a banquet room.
She said the foundation verbally agreed to accept a lesser payment and told her it would reserve the room for the Air Force group.
"We booked the room and were good for the 10th of December," Meighan said.
"We had a verbal agreement, so we started arranging things like the catering. We thought we were OK to proceed with our plans, but then I got a call the next day informing us the room had been given to someone else."
Roberta Beverly, director of the Union Station Foundation, said the foundation did receive Meighan's request, but made no promises about holding the room.
Beverly said the group originally wanted the room for Dec. 15, which is a Thursday and less busy than the weekends, but later it requested Dec. 10, a Saturday.
"There was no agreement made," Beverly said. "We were looking into some things, and then (the group) changed the date they wanted. In the meantime, we had another customer who wanted to rent the room (on Dec. 10 at the normal rate)."
Beverly said the other customer was given the room because the foundation simply can't afford to give rooms away at such a discount, especially during the busy holiday season.
"We are a nonprofit organization in the truest sense of the word," Beverly said. "And room rentals are how we get the majority of our revenue, so we can't really afford to give up our rooms."
Beverly said Union Station offers a 15 percent discount to military groups renting banquet rooms and offers other free services to active-duty military members in uniform as well.
"We care about the troops, and we try to support them in any way we can," she said, "but in this case, the bottom line is that we have to pay our bills."