Noah’s Event Eenue: A wedding event franchise that filed for bankruptcy protection in May, has abruptly closed, leaving couples rushing to locate alternative locations.
According to a court document, the Utah-based company, legally known as Noah Corp., had 42 event venues in 25 states and more than 500 employees when it filed for bankruptcy.
The company’s attorney, Kenneth Cannon of Durham, Jones & Pinegar in Salt Lake City, told an Arkansas television station that the closures may affect up to 7,500 individuals and that refunds were doubtful.
Weddings Chain, Noah’s Event Eenue
In an interview with the USA TODAY Network’s Des Moines Register, Cannon said, “Noah legally owes (refunds) to everyone, there’s no argument about that.” “The difficulty is that I don’t know of anything, and there isn’t much, with which I can repay people.”
Investors put millions of dollars into a planned Noah’s Event Eenue Venue in Indiana that was never built, and the company struggled to negotiate down unaffordable leases. In April 2019, a lawsuit was filed alleging fraud after investors put millions of dollars into a planned Noah’s Event Venue in Indiana that was never built.
William Bowser started Noah’s, and he was still the company’s president when it filed for bankruptcy. Poor business judgments, he said, were to blame for the company’s demise.
In short, we simply grew too fast and lost our ability to react swiftly to an ever-changing market by focusing too heavily on additional sites rather than ensuring the fledgling locations had all the necessary support,” he wrote in a court filing on May 31.
He also blamed a “unmitigated failure” of a property purchase venture named Duo to attract weddings, “which exacerbated the core business’s already brewing financial difficulties.”
Smaller wedding guest lists, excessive expenses, growing renting rates, and increased property taxes were all criticised by Bowser.
Investors who sued, on the other hand, accused Bowser of running a Ponzi scheme, alleging that he misappropriated funds intended for one project to pay for other projects and operations.
In June, a federal judge issued a writ of attachment compelling founder Bowser to pay the investors $845,000 from the sale of his $2.4 million property in Park City, Utah. Cannon, Noah’s lawyer, was unavailable for comment on Wednesday regarding Bowser’s charges.
Brides and grooms are scrambling to locate alternate locations.
Redman and her fiancé, Mike Evans, are among the couples scrambling across the country after stores abruptly shuttered.
Redman had planned a quiet destination wedding in Hawaii this month, followed by a 200-person celebration in March in the Columbus, Ohio, area. They spent around $17,000 on the venue, bar tab, lighting renovations, and linens at Noah’s.
However, the night before the couple planned to leave for Hawaii, Redman learned that their reception venue, Noah’s Event Venue in New Albany, Ohio, was closing for good.
“We were caught off guard,” said Dublin resident Redman, 25.
When Redman and Evans met with their organiser late last week to go over last-minute details and make their final payment, everything appeared to be in order, according to Redman. When a friend informed Redman on Saturday that Noah’s Event Eenue was closing, she immediately emailed her coordinator.
She stated that it was correct. “I told her I needed to go to corporate, but the corporate lines were disconnected,” Redman explained. “I’m not sure we’ll be able to talk to anyone about getting our money back.”
Redman has called over 60 suppliers searching for a new location since arriving in Hawaii on Monday morning.
Alan Gudio and Alicia Champagne were likewise caught off guard by the abrupt closure.
When the Ankeny, Iowa, couple, both 25, discovered Friday that the West Des Moines venue they had spent thousands of dollars to book for their Aug. 15 wedding had shut down, they had already mailed save-the-date cards to relatives and friends.
They are now planning to exchange vows at a nearby courthouse.
“We spent over $7,000 (at Noah’s) and we don’t have any more money to find a location,” Gudio explained.
Gudio and Champagne claimed they learned of the closure through news reports on Friday. Noah’s did not contact them until Monday afternoon, when it emailed them a statement alerting them that the company had gone bankrupt and would no longer be holding events.
Clients “shall be eligible to file for an administrative claim” to recoup the money they’ve spent, according to the statement, although it doesn’t explain how that process works. The venue’s phone number and other contact details have been taken off from its website.
Gudio and Champagne said they contacted the West Des Moines Noah’s site after hearing that other Noah’s shops had shuttered.
She called them a month ago and they promised her that they were still open and wouldn’t close,” Gudio said.
Deals were promptly given by venues in Ohio, Iowa, and other states to assist trapped couples.
The “Those Affected by Noah’s Event Venue Closing & Venue’s Willing to Help Out” Facebook group, which was started on Sunday, grew to nearly 1,500 members on Tuesday.
Joe Gatto, owner of Baratta’s and the Forte event space in Des Moines, gave couples who spent $5,000 on food through Baratta’s a free use of Forte. Gatto said he expects to use his connections with other Des Moines event facilities to assist couples who have lost their Noah’s space.
“We don’t want them to have a negative day,” said the group. “I want to be able to assist them, and I believe we can,” Gatto, a Des Moines city councillor, said. “In the Des Moines region, we have the resources to do it.”
When Josh Staley learned of Noah’s closure, he immediately informed his wife, Michelle, that they needed to assist. The Staleys, who produce the Columbus Wedding Podcast, purchased the Postmark, a Chillicothe event facility, in November.
The Postmark was supposed to open on March 29, but the Staleys decided to open earlier to accommodate any former Noah’s customers who needed a place to stay. For those clients, they’re also waiving the rental charge.
“Our wedding wasn’t flawless,” Josh Staley said, “and we had certain situations that we don’t want anyone else to go through.” “Our hearts are more important than our business sense or our ability to make money.”
The Annex at 801, the Estate at New Albany, Magnolia Hill Farm, Via Vecchia Winery, and the Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks are among the other central Ohio wedding venues offering discounts to couples affected by Noah’s shutdown.
Courtney Heibel, an event designer with her Columbus-based company Rooted Together, said she’s volunteering to assist organise the weddings of three former Noah’s couples for free, with any extra couples getting half off.
Couples should contact their bank or credit card company to see if they can get part of their money back, according to Heibel. She also advised notifying all vendors and seeking advice on how to proceed.
“It’s both wild and amazing to watch how the Columbus wedding businesses are banding together to assist,” she remarked.
For her part, Redman said she’s still looking for a site in Columbus for her March 14 celebration.