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Madison event venue abruptly closes, families lose thousands


MADISON (WKOW) -- People across the country are scrambling, after a popular event venue company abruptly went out of business Friday.

"We paid up front, we paid in full and now we're out $6,000," Jennifer Downey said.

She and her fiance were looking forward to their wedding next month at Noah's Event Venue on American Family Drive in Madison.

They had just received the bar contract Thursday.

Now they have nowhere to host it.

"We heard from third party sources that Noah's was permanently closing," Downey said. "We haven't heard directly from them, so now we're scrambling to find a new venue for our wedding in about six weeks."

Court documents show the company has been under Chapter 11 bankruptcy since May 2019.

In an email sent out to employees Friday, the company announced it was entering Chapter 7 bankruptcy and had to cease all operations across its 34 locations in the US, immediately.

Since then, customers have found it impossible to speak with anyone from the company.

"I can't get ahold of anyone, I've tried emailing, calling, their social media is deleted," Alisa Sleep said.

She was planning on hosting an event for new and expecting moms there in April, like she had done for the past two years.

Now she's down $1,500 as she tries to find another venue for her event.

Downey said she spent all of Saturday afternoon looking at new venues and wasn't able to find anything yet.

"We're starting from basically scratch two months before our wedding so what was the point of us planning a year ago," she said.

The Madison Masonic Center is one of many places in town trying to help, posting on their twitter account Saturday morning that anyone affected by this should call them.

Downey says she's now trying to find a way to get her money back.

"I talked to a lawyer, she's directed me to a bankruptcy lawyer and talk with him to see where we can get our money back," she said.

The company's bankruptcy lawyer declined to comment over the phone this weekend.

27 News called the Madison location multiple times over the past few days and haven't been able to speak with anyone.

The bankruptcy lawyer told a Cleveland ABC affiliate around $7 million worth of events are expected to be canceled.