Sex convention at Turf Valley draws ire from Howard residents

February 25, 2005|By Larry Carson | Larry Carson,SUN STAFF

Word that Turf Valley Resort and Conference Center - located in an upscale, tranquil part of western Ellicott City - is hosting an alternative sex convention this weekend has created a stir among some area residents.

Assurances from hotel management that the weekend's sold-out activities will not bother club members using the indoor pool or the hotel's restaurant hasn't assuaged some fears.

"This hotel is a residential community. Is it appropriate for our community?" said Ingrid Holzman, 42, who lives with her husband and two children in a home on the 800-acre golf course property. "I moved here eight months ago from Massachusetts. I'm not a prude."

But the idea that her family might have gone to dinner at the hotel restaurant without knowing about the "Dark Odyssey - Winter Fire" participants walking the same hallways upset her, she said.

The two-day event is so popular that the hotel's 220 rooms are full, and some participants are renting rooms in other local hotels, according to the event's Web site.

Joe LaVerghetta, general counsel for the hotel, which is owned by Mangione Family Enterprises, said "this is a private event. The management should be given credit for understanding and dealing with it in a proper way. Most people's concerns are unfounded."

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