Retirees Can Now Stay at This Military Lodge

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Mountain view from the Edelweiss Lodge and Resort's main entrance. Wikipedia photo
Mountain view from the Edelweiss Lodge and Resort's main entrance. Wikipedia photo

Military retirees and troops stationed outside Europe can soon once again stay at the U.S. military's resort in Germany after a 2015 rule change was overturned late last month.

Through mid-2015, the Edelweiss Lodge and Resort in Garmisch, Germany, was open to all military ID card holders. But a review of an agreement between Germany and the State Department that governs military personnel living in the country, known as the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), resulted in the resort clamping down on who could stay. Starting in June, 2015, retirees or troops who were not stationed in Europe were no longer eligible for the benefit unless they had been visiting Germany for more than 30 days.

Now, Germany has agreed to expand that eligibility, according to an Army news release.

"The Edelweiss recently received approval from U.S. Army Europe and the Federal Republic of Germany to allow military members stationed outside Europe and retirees to visit the resort on a limited, space-available basis," according to the release.

The revised rules kick in June 3.

The rule update doesn't offer unlimited bookings, however, officials noted. Although they didn't specify how many rooms will be open to those not stationed in Europe, they're considered "space available."

"Based on the exception granted, we are limited in the number of rooms that can be reserved by those residing outside of Europe," officials said in a fact sheet. "You are encouraged to reserve well in advance for the best chance to secure your preferred dates."

Tours offered by the lodge are also restricted, but all other amenities, including ski rentals, are available to anyone with access to U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria, the release states.

Unchanged, however, are the rules governing retirees and commissary or exchange shopping on U.S. bases in Germany. Retirees who have been in Europe for more than 30 days may shop in those facilities for non-rationed items if they have the correct form and pay a special tax on each purchase, according to the exchange.

Find Edelweiss reservations on the lodge's website.

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