HUDSON, N.Y., Aug. 4 (UPI) -- Union Street Guest House in Hudson, N.Y., faced a storm of criticism Monday after it was revealed that the hotel charged wedding party guests $500 for negative Yelp reviews.
The New York Post selected the relevant text from its online hotel policy.
"Please know that despite the fact that wedding couples love Hudson and our inn, your friends and families may not," reads the policy. "If you have booked the inn for a wedding or other type of event ... and given us a deposit of any kind ... there will be a $500 fine that will be deducted from your deposit for every negative review ... placed on any internet site by anyone in your party."
The story led to hundreds of negative reviews flooding its Yelp page. Owner and former local politician Chris Wagoner responded to the outrage, saying the policy was tongue-in-cheek.
"The policy regarding wedding fines was put on our site as a tongue-in-cheek response to a wedding many years ago. It was meant to be taken down long ago and certainly was never enforced," he said.
His explanation may be too late. As of Monday afternoon, it was averaging a one-star rating with 704 reviews.