Students will have to wait for prom
May 1, 2009
Park City students may have gotten an unexpected five-day weekend due to the swine flu scare, but not all students are cheering the disruption. Along with the cancellation of classes and several highly anticipated Park City athletic competitions, the prom was rescheduled.
Following the announcement of schools closing on Thursday morning, Park City High School Principal Hilary Hays confirmed that the junior prom, scheduled for May 2, would be cancelled as well.
The message sent shock waves through the student body. As of Wednesday afternoon, the student council had sold tickets for 520 guests. Girls across Park City cancelled their hair and nail appointments, boys rescinded their tux, corsage and limo arrangements, and everyone who paid for a ticket — $150 for a couple, $80 for a single — wondered if they’d get their money back.
The event was expected to be one of the highlights of the school year. The student council rented out La Caille, an acclaimed French restaurant and chateau located in Little Cottonwood Canyon, for an evening of dinner, dancing and memories. Bus transportation from Park City was also included in the ticket price.
Jess Morrison, the Park City High School student council advisor, described this year’s prom as a "seminal" event.
"We were offering an evening that’s unparalleled in the history of prom at Park City High School," he said Thursday.
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Student council members, parents and administrators met Thursday afternoon to consider their options. One concern was the number of conflicts over the next few weekends, including state competitions, Memorial Day and Advanced Placement testing, said Morrison.
The involved parties were able to come to an agreement to reschedule prom for May 30. Morrison commends the administration and the staff at La Caille for their willingness to work things out.
"La Caille is very accommodating. They’re very nimble, they make good judgments on the fly — things like bad weather and cancellations and what not – they’ve seen it all before," he said.
"We were able to finally discern that we would be able to reschedule prom in its original format and the way we originally envisioned it," Morrison said. "It’s a very doable situation for our circumstances."
Marilyn Brumfield, who co-owns Silver Cricket Floral Atelier in Park City, said the shop had received more than 150 orders for corsages and boutonnieres by Wednesday afternoon. She found out early Thursday morning that prom would be cancelled.
"It was a bit of a blow because we have a perishable product," she said, explaining that they had already received all of the fresh flowers needed for the busy days ahead.
"I don’t want to complain for minute, though," she said. "I certainly support the superintendent’s decision — I think it’s better safe than sorry. I don’t think you can take a risk with your children or with the community at large." Brumfield said that everyone who had ordered floral decorations for prom will be able to postpone their orders until the week of the rescheduled event.
Another conundrum for students in the midst of prom preparations was what to do with their rented tuxedos. Many students received a coupon for $20 off tuxedos rented from Men’s Wearhouse. Once news broke of the cancellation, Men’s Wearhouse agreed to allow students to return their tuxedos at no charge and reserve them for the weekend of May 30. The coupons will still be valid.
"It’s just one of those things we have to work around," said Danielle Jones, a customer service representative at the Men’s Warehouse store on Highland Drive in Salt Lake City.
Other businesses are also helping. Park City Transportation allowed students to reschedule limousines for the later date.
Scott Cowdrey, manager and partner at Vie Nouveau Salon & Day Spa, said that they had numerous appointments scheduled for Saturday that had to be rescheduled.
The salon opted to forego the usual cancellation charge for students who had to move their appointments. "We had a huge block of updos, makeup, manis and pedis," he said. "Our day was full."