Several brides-to-be are looking for answers while other organizations have been seeking new venues for their events after the closure of South Creek Wedding and Events last week.
"We're already having issues because we pretty much booked our whole wedding," said Blair resident Morgan Merriman, who had a wedding planned for October. "The photographer, the DJ and everybody for the date we had booked at South Creek … It's really tough right now."
Emails provided to the Enterprise show that South Creek, which was co-owned by Kelly Jo and Nick Yaksich, indicated to brides that the business had new owners and the new owners were planning to continue their events.
Scott Seaton, who owns the building South Creek was in, said that there is currently no new tenant at the building and that South Creek vacated the building.
"They were five months late on rent," Seaton said. "(They) tried to defer (business bookings) over to us … My deal was, I could pass on that information to any new tenants, but as a building owner, we don't operate the building, we don't operate an event space or a restaurant or whatever out of there, so we wouldn't be able to take over any of that stuff."
Nick Yaksich reached out to the Enterprise Friday night indicating he was willing to speak to a reporter. He later emailed and referred back to a post placed on South Creek's Facebook page posted on Jan. 18.
"I have been advised to refer you back to our Facebook post and highlight the screenshots for our intent to give this business to the owners of the building," Yaksich said.
The post included screenshots of emails between Yaksich and Seaton.
Emails sent by Yaksich said that South Creek left contracts for events in the building's office, and also referenced a lawsuit and South Creek's ability to "pay what was due and continue this business."
"We want you to run the business and succeed. We do not wish failure on you," the emails from Yaksich said.
Seaton told Yaksich that business bookings could be discussed if he was given that information.
Seaton told the Enterprise South Creek still owes money on their lease. He also said that he approached a possible tenant who was willing to look at the business bookings, but they have not committed to any terms to hold those events.
The Blair Area Chamber of Commerce had its annual banquet planned for Jan. 31 at South Creek. That event has been moved to Cottonwood Cove Marina and RV Resort.
The Blair Schools Community Foundation had a fundraiser planned for March. 27 at the venue. Ellie Richardson-Vakiner, president of the foundation, said the organization is currently looking for a new site. She said the foundation has found support from other venues which said they could hold the event.
"It's nice to be in a small community where people still care," she said.
Merriman said that she and her fiance are looking for a new venue, but don't want to change the date because they'd have to change those bookings and place more deposits.
Merriman said that she had placed a $1,000 cash deposit with South Creek, but hasn't heard any information about receiving that deposit back.
"I'm only in it for $1,000 … But, we also paid our deposit in cash, so we don't even know if we could ever get it back," she said.
Like Merriman, Bennington resident Suzy Nootz paid a $1,000 deposit for her wedding Aug. 8. She said she also had other things booked for her wedding date.
"I'm flustered trying to figure out what to do because I have my entire wedding planned," Nootz said. "Everything is done, except now I have to find a venue that has that exact date. It's a very popular date."
Missouri Valley, Iowa, resident Becca Clark said she tried to call a number given for new owners of South Creek in the email sent to brides. Clark said the number was disconnected when she called. The phone number included in the emails was South Creek's number.
Clark said she requested her $1,000 deposit back from Yaksich. Screenshots of messages sent between Clark and Yaksich show that Yaksich responded after Clark's request. He said that new owners had Clark's contract, the event was still on the calendar and he was seeking to provide alternative contact information for the new owners to Clark.
"It sucks because we have a special needs son and a 10-month old," Clark said. "A thousand dollars may not seem a lot to some people, but for our family, that's our son's medicine for a month or one of his doctor visits."
Seaton said he has received calls from brides and people with events that were to be held at South Creek. He said he has advised people to look at finding a new venue.
Seaton said the potential tenant with whom he's discussed looking at South Creek's business bookings doesn't normally do weddings.
"They said they would take a look at those things, but I wouldn't hold my breathe on it," Seaton said.
Blair police are currently investigating, attempting to identify potential victims and establishing a timeline of events.
"I would encourage anyone who believes they have information about the situation, or who may be a victim themselves, to call us. We will investigate," Capt. Aaron Barrow said.