NEW ALBANY (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.
NOAH’S Event Venue declared bankruptcy and now all their venues are abruptly closing, leaving engaged couples without refunds or a place to say, “I do.”
One of the brides who had a wedding scheduled at the company’s New Albany location said she talked with the venue just a few weeks ago about what the set up inside was going to be, but there was no mention of anything possibly going wrong.
On Sunday, there was a light on inside the venue, but no one answered the door.
Two soon-to-be-married couples and a mother of another bride said they spent their days on the phone, driving around central Ohio trying to find another place for their weddings.
Not only are they out a wedding venue for the time being, but they’re also out the thousands of dollars they paid NOAH’s.
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 bankruptcy in May 2019.
The company’s bankruptcy attorney said in an email 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.
All the people involved in planning their weddings or those of the children said that all throughout their planning process, nothing like this was ever mentioned by anyone at NOAH’s.
One couple, Kaelie Dotter and Stephen Neeley, was supposed to get married at the New Albany venue in less than two weeks.
“Just a ton of unanswered questions and just hope we’ll still be able to get married on the 22nd and all the money we put into his wedding isn’t for nothing,” Dotter said.
“I was really mad and upset, now I’m just kind of stressed and anxious just wanting to get the ball rolling and everything figured out,” said bride-to-be Abbi Zeltman, accompanied by her fiance Bill Giblin.
“We thought we could just coast to it, thought it was all done, but apparently, it’s not now,” Neeley said.
All the couples said they were caught off guard when they found out the venue was closing.
“Beyond the money, just the fact that it’s such a special day, involves so many different aspects and people, to just up and be done, it’s really tough,” said Zeltman.
They had already paid thousands to the company, as had Dotter and Neeley.
“What’s supposed to be the best day of our lives is now turning into a scrambling nightmare,” said Dotter.
Sarah Sundar’s daughter had booked NOAH for her wedding as well.
“Angry and frustration that they didn’t say anything, but I also understand during bankruptcy, the employees may not be privy to the information,” she said.
Several attempts to reach someone at the New Albany location as well as the corporate location went unanswered.
NOAH 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 was unlikely due to the liquidation.
According to the Better Business Bureau, people with a monetary claim against NOAH, 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 central Ohio venues have offered to host weddings and events displaced by the closing of NOAH.
- New Albany United Methodist
- Strongwater Food and Spirits
- Columbus Metro Parks
- Wigwam Event Center
- Granville Inn
- Grand Event Center
- Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center