Bonneville Phoenix Network
 KTAR News
 Arizona Sports
92.3 FM KTAR
Updated Aug 23, 2013 - 1:51 pm

Closed Chandler wedding venue sold

CHANDLER, Ariz. — The downtown Chandler space once occupied by failed wedding venue Inspirador has been sold.

Nightwalk LLC bought the space at 63 E. Boston St. on June 24, according to William Creeger, data analyst at Ion Data.

The company intends to continue to operate the space as an event center, said owner Boyd Christensen, who said he was not prepared to discuss further details.

The sale price was $880,000, according to Creeger.

“We’re very excited to see the space occupied again,” said Christine Mackay, Chandler’s economic-development director. “It’s an integral part of what’s made downtown a success.”

Inspirador abruptly closed in April, after BBVA Compass foreclosed on the property. That left at least 60 clients who had contracted with Inspirador for their weddings scrambling for alternatives.

Theresa Tanner-White of Gilbert and her husband, Isaac White, had 30 days to plan a new wedding, she said.

Her family lost $14,000 and spent an additional $10,000 on a new venue, caterer and other accommodations, she said.

Although she received help from a decorator and wedding coordinator, many wedding vendors could not accommodate her date or guests, or offered only small discounts, Tanner-White said.

Clients who were left without a wedding have created a Facebook group called “60 Brides of Inspirador,” where they shared information about other wedding services and their efforts to communicate with or get refunds from Inspirador.

Dilia Wood, who owns Inspirador, could not be reached for comment.

The creator of the Facebook group has also encouraged those affected by the closure to file a complaint with the state Attorney General’s Office, which some brides said they had done.

The AG’s office cannot confirm whether a complaint has been received or if an investigation is being conducted, spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said. Any investigation would take a couple of months, she said.

There have been no small-claims cases filed against Wood or Inspirador in 2013, according to the Maricopa County Justice Court online case search.

A lawsuit filed by Inspirador against BBVA Compass and other financiers in December 2011 still is in litigation. Commerce Bank of Arizona filed a breach of contract suit against Inspirador on June 12.

Paula Mitchell, Tanner-White’s mom, said she suggested that the other clients consider a class-action suit against Inspirador, but the expense of getting legal help is a deterrent after losing so much on the wedding.

Mitchell asked her bank to reverse about $2,000 in charges to Inspirador, but that is being investigated because Wood argued that wedding-planning services had been rendered so the charges should not be reversed, Mitchell said.

Other people posted similar stories on the “60 Brides” Facebook page.

“That really upset me,” Mitchell said. “I thought, not only have you hurt all these brides, but now you’re insinuating that you provided a service that entitled you to keep the little bit of money” they were trying to get back.

When Inspirador closed, Wood told clients that their deposits would not be returned. She called the closure “heartbreaking” and said Inspirador was working to find clients alternatives.

Many other venues, caterers, photographers, deejays and event planners offered their services, often at a discount, to Inspirador clients.

A list compiled by Kristina Celik, director of marketing and promotions at Arizona Weddings Magazine, included 31 venues and another 50 services.

Whitney Thompson, 24, still ended up paying twice for some things, although many vendors worked with them and offered discounts. She and her husband, Brandon, who was stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego during the last-minute scramble, were married May 11. As difficult as it was to change her wedding plans, Thompson said it gave her a new perspective.

“You get so caught up in the details and wanting everything to be perfect,” she said. “It just doesn’t matter. At the end of the day, we get to get married and that’s what matters.”


comments powered by Disqus