ELYRIA, Ohio - Nicole Budzinski and her finance' Nick Naypauer thought they had everything ready for their upcoming June 14 wedding.
But a few weeks ago disaster struck: the couple learned their Elyria reception venue couldn't fulfill its contract due to fire code violations.
"I was hysterical. I could not stop crying, because ever since I was a little kid, you know girls have their princess dream," said Nicole Budzinski. "Now we have to scramble to find a new venue, and I'm still waiting for a refund on my $1,000 security deposit."
The Budzinski family contacted the 5 On Your Side Solutions Center hoping to get their deposit returned and warn other brides-to-be.
Nicole's mother, Virginia Budzinski, told NewsChannel5 she had no warning the Spring Valley Golf and Athletic Club in Elyria was dealing with fire code safety issues.
Budzinski reports club owner Bob Corna never told her his venue was having ongoing problems, and was in the process of working with the Elyria Fire Department to get them resolved.
"I couldn't believe it. I thought, when am I going to wake up from this nightmare?" explained Virginia Budzinski.
"He didn't even contact us, there was no attempt to contact us to say, 'Hey I'm having a problem. There's an issue.' That's all I heard from him. He said, 'Well you had my phone number. You could have called me.' That's not the way it works."
NewsChannel5 confirmed with Elyria Fire Marshall Carl Keith that the Spring Valley Golf and Athletic Club was in the process of solving fire safety violations with the kitchen hood system, fire alarm system, sprinkler system and dry chemical system.
Keith explained the Elyria Fire Department actually assisted the venue in fulfilling three other wedding receptions in 2013 due to ongoing fire code issues. The Elyria Fire Department performed fire watches so the receptions could be held safely.
Keith reported problems with fire code at Spring Valley were nothing new.
"We permitted him to do a fire watch — actually, we did the fire watch for him to allow the event to go on," explained Keith. "But each time we gave a warning that we can't do this again."
NewsChannel5 has made several attempts to reach the owners of the Spring Valley Golf and Athletic Club, but so far our calls have not been returned.
Consumers need to do a full background check, and obtain reviews and feedback on a venue before issuing a deposit and booking an event.
NewsChannel5 will follow up on this developing story.
Virginia Budzinski had a final message for the Spring Valley owner.
"Stop trying to take other's people's money, and break people's hearts," said Budzinski. "I mean you're breaking people's dreams."
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