With the venue closed, clients and distributors are going through issues »Albuquerque Journal

Kelly Cano (23) and her fiancé Marcus Martinez (25) shortly after their engagement. You are among those affected by the closure of Noah’s venue. (Courtesy Kelly Cano)

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

The sudden closure of a popular Albuquerque venue following a recent bankruptcy ruling has left couples planning their weddings to find new venues unsure of whether their deposits will be refunded.

Noah’s Event Venue, a Utah-based company with offices in multiple states, filed for bankruptcy in late May, according to court records. Last week, the company was ordered to immediately cease all activities following a decision on this matter – including at its Albuquerque location near Paseo Del Norte and Eagle Ridge. A total of 48 locations across the country were affected by the sudden decision.

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Attempts to contact employees at the Albuquerque site were unsuccessful on Monday.

The closure came as a shock to many who had booked events with the company or worked with staff at the venue.

Daniel Molina and Brooke Hansen don’t expect to get back the money they spent booking their wedding. (Courtesy Brooke Hansen)

High school darlings Brooke Hansen and Daniel Molina had made reservations for their upcoming wedding in Noah’s Albuquerque back in May, shortly before the company’s bankruptcy proceedings began. After Chapter 11 filing was announced, the couple attempted a refund of their deposit.

According to Hansen, Noah’s staff informed the couple that they were not entitled to a refund, but assured them that no cancellation was required.

In an email sent to Hansen on July 31st and made available to the Journal, a Noah representative wrote, “I want to assure you that Albuquerque is not closing Noah. … I can assure you that your reservation is secure and that Albuquerque will not be affected by the company changes. “

In the email, Hansen event insurance was offered through the company for an additional fee. It’s not clear if those who purchased event insurance through Noah will receive a refund.

Hansen said she was still uncomfortable after the email but kept her reservation as so much money had already been invested.

“A large part of our family told us to just cancel it,” said Hansen.

In the months since the email, Hansen said she still had suspicions about the company.

She and Molina made their US $ 1,300 deposit on a credit card. However, they were later told that the company was having problems processing their cards and that they should make their monthly payments by checks instead.

Hansen found out about the closings from a bridesmaid and didn’t hear from Noahs until Monday.

She said she was shocked as she had been repeatedly assured that her event was safe.

Now, Hansen and Molina have lost $ 5,000 and are trying to find a venue for their scheduled October 3rd wedding date.

Despite the problems caused by the shutdown, Hansen said other local event firms have stepped up and reached out to affected brides.

“Lots of people are being evicted so it’s really nice to see other sites try to help,” she said.

Kelly Cano and her fiancé Marcus Martinez, both from Albuquerque, were also affected by the bankruptcy. The couple got engaged last May and immediately planned a wedding in September 2020. By June, Cano and Martinez had booked the place with Noah.

Cano said she was not notified of Noah’s apparent financial troubles while booking – the company filed Chapter 11 in late May.

“You haven’t told us anything,” she said.

Cano said she learned of the couple’s wedding anniversary closing on Friday.

“Honestly, when I got the call, I couldn’t believe it,” Cano said.

In the days since news of the shutdown broke, Cano has secured a new spot for her wedding, but said she had already seen the effects of the shutdown.

“The few places we went on Saturday said they got calls from left and right,” Cano said.

While Cano said she was lucky enough to secure a second venue so quickly, she said she was “sad” about the process.

Not only has Cano lost a scheduled venue, but he’s also unsure if she and Martinez will get their bail back.

“The chances of getting our money back are pretty slim,” she said.

News of the sudden closings also affected vendors working with Noah.

Jim Schumacher, owner of Cooperage Restaurant, said his restaurant was one of Noah’s main sellers. He said the shutdown came as a shock as around 50 events were already planned at Noah for the remainder of 2020.

“We were booked for the rest of the year and until 2021,” said Schumacher.

Before the shutdown, Schumacher said local operators bragged about how many events had been booked for the rest of the year.

“Not only have all these people been injured, the people who did such a good job have lost their jobs,” he said.

Schumacher said there was no warning of the closure.

“I think everyone studied on Friday,” he said.

Since Friday, Schumacher has been busy calling customers who had booked catering through him. In many cases, these clients learned of Noah’s closure from him.

Schumacher estimates that he will reimburse catering deposits worth “well over USD 100,000.”

There’s no official number on the events to be canceled, but a report for the city on the feasibility of the proposed Route 66 visitor center provided some details on the volume of bookings at Noah, with the Albuquerque location hosting around 280 events per year.

With the Noahs closing, other Albuquerque venues are seeing a surge in interest and bookings.

“We’ve actually seen a huge surge because most of the brides who visit us also visit Noah’s,” said Akshay Patel, owner of The View Event Center.

He said since Friday his staff had offered around 75 tours for couples who had previously booked with Noah. Many of these couples then booked his venue on site, which he described as “surprising”.

He said that many of those who came to his business from Noah told him they had lost money. Those who paid for their wedding in full said they lost about $ 5,000 to $ 6,500, according to Patel.

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