March 6, 2018

Passover 2018 Resorts and Programs a Virtual Sell-Out but Some Face Difficulties

New York - With Passover now only weeks ago, several programs were still scrambling to fill rooms while at least two programs were forced to close in what appears to be one of the most successful Passover seasons in memory. The closures are a relatively small number compared to the estimated 125 programs that more than 100,000 American Jews will vacation at this Passover. According to Elan Kornblum, a noted expert on kosher restaurants and resort programs, “some programs sold out faster this year, such as programs in Las Vegas and Ft. Lauderdale by the Faskowitz Family (Majestic Retreats). Flights are getting expensive because it is the Passover/Easter week and Passover begins and ends on the weekends.” Mr. Kornblum, as well as several other experts said that this year’s record participation in special Passover programs is partly due to the 4 days of Chol Hamoed (“interim days”). More than 30,000 Jews will converge on Orlando, many for Chol Hamoed. Although not confirmed, it is believed that the two programs that closed were the Smilow family program in New Mexico and the Socoloff family program in Las Vegas. As was the case in previous years, Passover programs often close for a variety of reasons that may be unrelated to poor registration. In at least two cases in the past, it resulted from a dispute with the host hotel that can even end up in litigation. One operator told Kosher Today: “Going to a new place can be tricky for any operator, even the most seasoned ones, especially if the arrangement is not backed up by an air-tight contract.”