SOUTH JORDAN (ABC4 News) – An abrupt closure of a South Jordan wedding venue left dozens of Utah couples scrambling for answers over the weekend about the status of their deposits and reservations. Conversations between employees at Noah’s Event Center and ABC4 News indicate the venue would not be refunding any deposits or payments already made because of their bankruptcy filing.
One of those couples is Erik Hernandez and his fiancee, Liza, who got engaged in May 2019 and booked their wedding at Noah’s shortly after.
“We were planning on having our wedding last fall, but decided to push it to May of this year so we could take our time, spread out our finances and not be stressed towards the big date,” said Hernandez. “We searched through a couple venues and went with Noah’s because we had been there before for other events, liked the venue, and they gave us a discount if we booked right away.”
Hernandez said he didn’t know at the time of their booking that Noah’s Event Venue had filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The Utah-based company owns 38 locations nationwide, which have been ordered by a judge to cease operations.
“We found out on social media. We were never notified through e-mail or in-person, so now it feels like fraud. We actually had a walk-through with them last month and they didn’t say anything. They were even trying to offer us different packages still for bartenders and whatnot,” he said.
He shared that he had been working overtime to pay for the venue and that they had completed 10 out of 12 monthly payments to Noah’s.
“We thought we were getting the most stressful part of our wedding taken care of. We started booking the DJ, photographer, and all that to get it all out of the way. We thought we just had the little things to deal with now and instead, we feel like we’re back at square one,” said Hernandez. “It was like the rug was being pulled out from under our feet.”
The couple joins others from all over the country who have been impacted by Noah’s Event Venue closures. A Facebook group called, Noah’s Event Venue Damage Control – Nationwide was created Sunday with other venue owners offering discounted rates for clients looking for another place to host their event.
A manager with Noah’s Event Venue in South Jordan spoke to ABC4 News Monday afternoon about a potential solution for this situation, but requested to remain anonymous. They said they planned to start an LLC, work with the building owners to take over as the operator of this location, and honor existing contracts.
But Monday evening, the manager said the acquisition was no longer a possibility because an owner backed out. When asked about refunds, employees with Noah’s told ABC4 News no money would be returned because there are no remaining assets from the bankruptcy filing.
A bankruptcy attorney told ABC4 News there’s not a lot that clients can do because there has not been a criminal action. She said a Chapter 11 bankruptcy allows a business to restructure its debts under the supervision of a trustee to allow them to maintain operations.
Unfortunately, in some situations, the restructuring fails and the business has to shut down.
“The customers’ remedies are to file Proofs of Claims with the Bankruptcy Court so that they get a portion of their money back, if the court liquidates the businesses’ assets and pays back creditors. Anyone that does not file a proof of claim will not get paid. These clients need to contact the court to get the case number quickly to be listed as a creditor in this case,” the attorney said.
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