Friday, 3 April 2020

Deposits under threat after Waikato wedding venue Coopers Function Centre closes doors |

Deposits under threat after Waikato wedding venue Coopers Function Centre closes doors

The manager of a Waikato wedding event business forced to close is hopeful those who made bookings will see some of their $500 deposit money returned.
Sonya Anderson said she was gutted the Coopers Function Centre she managed for three years had to close after the owners decided to "repurpose" the building.
"It's absolutely heart-breaking in so many ways, not just for me but for all of those brides who booked with me."
Anderson said the owners, Mystery Creek Wines, told her the building was to be closed.

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Events booked at the Coopers Function Centre had to be postponed because of the Covid-19 alert but it's understood the venue is now to be repurposed.

"When I challenged them on it, they said the building was going to be repurposed, even though it is one of Waikato's most beautiful wedding venues, such a unique location.

"And it's not going to be a wedding venue any more."
Mystery Creek Wines is near Cambridge, overlooking the Waikato River.
Anderson said she tried to argue for more time to hold the wedding events already booked but was unsuccessful.
Companies Office records show Mystery Creek Wines has two directors, Lynette Erceg and Darryl Gregory.
Attempts were made to contact representatives of the company.

Anderson said no-one in the event industry has had work real the Covid-19 alert. She took legal advice and said her business was facing liquidation after losing use of the venue.
Anderson hopes there will be some money left over, after the liquidation process, to pay back about 20 couples who had made deposits.
"I've still had to pay my bills and haven't been left in a very good position. If there is something left over to give back to the customers, that's what I would like.
"But I would also ask the people who own the venue to step up and help out too."

Weddings and live events will return to normal when the country moves to Alert Level 1.

Anderson said she had tried to keep in contact with those who had made bookings to make them aware of the situation.
She understood some couples were finding it difficult to retrieve other deposit money made to caterers, for example.
"I've heard on one bride paying a catering company $2500 and the company is refusing to pay it back, even though the wedding is planned for next March."
Anderson was also aware there had been some backlash on social media.
"There were some allegations that I was dishonest, that I knew about the closure for months, but that's not true, it was a surprise to me, a huge shock."
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