NEW ALBANY, Ohio (WCMH) — A nationwide chain of event and wedding venues has unexpectedly closed down, leaving local couples scrambling to find a new place to take their nuptials.
A light is on inside the local NOAH’S Event Venue, but the doors are locked. A “for sale” sign is also planted in front of the building.
The company, based in Utah, operated venues in 20 states, including one in New Albany. Other Ohio locations included Blue Ash, Toledo, and Mentor.
NOAH’S filed for Chapter 11 reorganization bankruptcy in May of last year, but on Thursday, a judge and a U.S. Bankruptcy trustee overseeing the case changed it to a Chapter 7 liquidation, according to attorney Kenneth L. Cannon II, who represents the company.
Court files state the venue couldn’t accept any more payments or book additional gigs after their filing.
Cannon said the likelihood of customers receiving a refund from NOAH’S was unlikely due to the liquidation.
In an email, Cannon said all venues will be closed as of Monday. He also said he is doubtful much of the money owed to creditors, which includes the wedding couples, will be repaid.
Tiffany Wolf, who planned to be married at NOAH’s in September, said she was never told about the company’s financial troubles.
“I’m very upset,” she said. “It was never disclosed to me and I could’ve gone somewhere else.”
Wolf is now scrambling to find another location to host her wedding, while also hoping she will be able to recoup the nearly $9,000 she paid for her special day.
“I don’t know anybody that can just throw away $9,000 and not blink twice,” she said. “I have looked at venues and hope that I can afford something, anything.”
Laura Nesbitt is a central Ohio bankruptcy attorney. While she says it will be difficult for customers to get their money back from NOAH’S, due to the Chapter 7 filing, she suggests they try to get their money back through another method.
“If you paid for your event space with a credit card, certainly contact your credit card company that issued the charge and see if you can dispute that charge,” she said.
Wolf told NBC4 that she has already disputed her charge.
Several attempts to reach someone at NOAH’S New Albany location, as well as the corporate location, went unanswered.
According to the Better Business Bureau, people with a monetary claim against NOAH’S, which includes couples who booked the venue, are advised to obtain a proof of claim form from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court and submit it to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Utah, 350 Main Street #301, Salt Lake City, Utah, 84101. Case number 19-23840 should be included on the form.
All customers, including brides-to-be, will be sent notifications as soon as possible. Employees were also notified of the closure through a letter.
Several local venues have contacted NBC4, offering specials for couples impacted by NOAH’S closure. Those include:
- New Albany United Methodist
- Strongwater Food and Spirits
- Columbus Metro Parks
- Wigwam Event Center
- Granville Inn
- Grand Event Center
- Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center