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Weddings chain Noah’s Event Venue closes, stranding couples

COLUMBUS — Wedding event chain Noah’s Event Venue has closed abruptly after filing for bankruptcy protection in May, sending couples scrambling to find alternative venues.

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, according to a court filing.

Kenneth Cannon, an attorney with Durham, Jones & Pinegar in Salt Lake City who is representing the company, told an Arkansas TV station that there could be as many as 7,500 people affected by Noah’s closures and refunds were unlikely.

“Noah legally owes (refunds) to everyone, there’s no dispute about that,” Cannon told the USA TODAY Network’s Des Moines Register in an interview. “The problem is that there’s nothing that I know of, there’s not very much, to be able to repay people with.” 

Noah's Event Venue closed suddenly last week and now many Des Moines couples are without a wedding venue. The empty building is seen on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020, in West Des Moines.

The company had struggled to negotiate down unaffordable leases and faced a lawsuit, filed in April 2019, alleging fraud after investors put millions of dollars in a planned Noah’s Event Venue in Indiana that was never built.

Noah’s was founded by William Bowser, who was still serving as president when the company filed for bankruptcy. He blamed the company’s failure on poor business decisions.

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