Parents who traveled from South Carolina and Clearwater to bring their 11- to 13-year-old daughters to a five-day soccer tournament said they were shocked by the parade of sexually adventurous partygoers who sashayed through the glass-enclosed atrium, sometimes flashing breasts and bare buttocks in front of their children.
They described the dress of some of the swingers at the Crowne Plaza Hotel-Airport in Orlando as "raunchy, despicable and worse than prostitutes."
"We thought we were coming to Orlando, not the Las Vegas Strip," said Mark Gilbert, the father of a 13-year-old who plays on the Clearwater Chargers, a group of 13-and-under players.
One employee said the party was advertised on a swinger Web site, and participants -- some of whom engage in partner-swapping and voyeurism -- came from across the United States.
"We're not prudes by any means," said Rob Young of Greenville, S.C., who said his two daughters, Leah, 13 and Lauren, 11, were asking questions that were difficult to answer. "We would have liked to have been informed when we checked into the hotel so we could have made other arrangements."
Young said he complained to hotel management and to John Hollis, an off-duty Orlando police officer, asking if the swingers could be kept out of the hallways and lobby. He said neither the officer nor the hotel manager acted on his complaints.
Paul Camporini brought his wife, seventh-grade daughter and eighth-grade son from Safety Harbor and said he had to "delicately explain to my Catholic school children that swingers change partners during the evening."
Camporini, 49, said his son initially did not want to travel to watch his sister play soccer but "thought it [the swingers' party] was downright hilarious."
"My biggest gripe is that the hotel had two distinctly different groups under the same roof," he said. "A soccer team and middle-aged swingers should not have been booked together. Even Disney tells guests when they book during Gay Days."
Having stayed at hotels on multiple occasions when there were some sort of youth events going on, I can say that I'd rather have the adult swingers than having some group of prepubescent brats roaming the hallways at all hours of the night. My experience is that there are very few instances where the youths are under control. And no, my complaints were not acted on either. Soccer parents, meet your damn kettle; to that hotel, the swinger's had just as much right to be there as your damn kids. So, neener, neener. :P
I do agree with one of the parents, in that if something like a convention or event is going on at the hotel, I'd really like to know so I can entertain alternate arrangements.