Some US troops and veterans now barred from Garmisch's Edelweiss resort
By MICHAEL S. DARNELL | STARS AND STRIPES Published: July 21, 2015
GRAFENWÖHR, Germany — Some servicemembers and retirees will no longer be able to use an Armed Forces Recreation Center in Garmisch following a recent review of the center’s reservations policies, the military said Tuesday.
The review found that rules on who can stay at the Army’s Installation Management Command-run resort were not being followed and that vacationers who were technically ineligible to stay at the resort were still being allowed to do so. As a result, the Edelweiss Lodge and Resort — a vacation destination popular with U.S. servicemembers — issued an update to its website in June defining eligibility.
Retirees are among the most affected by these guidelines. For example, military retirees not residing in Germany cannot stay at the resort unless they can prove they have spent at least 30 days in Europe. Those retirees living in Germany can stay at the hotel if they have proper tax authorization from a German customs office.
Servicemembers based in the continental United States are also barred from staying at the resort unless they are traveling with a sponsor who lives in Germany or they have been in Europe for longer than a month.
Active-duty personnel serving within U.S. European Command aren’t affected by this update and are still able to use the resort. This eligibility extends to National Guardsmen and reserve troops on active-duty status within EUCOM for more than 30 days.
Resort officials said the change in booking procedures was made in accordance with the Status of Forces Agreement between Germany and U.S. forces stationed here.
“It is an unfortunate development and we’re so sorry this may limit lodging options for servicemembers and retirees visiting Europe,” Clesson D. Allman, general manager of Edelweiss, said in a statement Tuesday. “But we must comply with the SOFA agreement.”
For a detailed breakdown of eligibility, potential vacationers should go to the Edelweiss official website.