OAH Settles with Hotels After San Jose Switch

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Seven months after deciding to switch its annual convention from San Francisco to San Jose so its members wouldn't have to cross a picket line, the Organization of American Historians says it has struck a secret deal with the two hotels which lost money as a result of the change in venues.

San Francisco's Hilton Hotel had claimed it was owed $390,000 for booked rooms and meeting halls. The San Jose Doubletree said it was owed $42,000 for rooms that were booked but not rented.

The terms of the agreement are secret. In an email on 11-21-05 Mr. Formwalt clarified that"What will appear in the next treasurer's report is the total cost for Meetings and Conferences in FY 2005 .... We cannot and therefore will not disclose the terms of our settlement with Hilton as it is covered by a confidentiality agreement."

It should be possible, however, for members to determine from the numbers provided approximately what the settlement cost. This is because the OAH has already revealed that the switch to San Jose cost the organization over $100,000. (Members have contributed more $23,000 to a special fund to offset the costs of the move.)

The OAH contract with the Hilton did not include a provision allowing a cancellation in the event of a boycott. The organization says all future agreements will.

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