Brides left stranded after Dayton venue cancels weddings

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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The Davis-Linden building canceled booked weddings due to building renovation issues. Video by Amelia Robinson

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Ryan Beach and his fiance Ali Womach were completely blindsided when they were told their booked venue had canceled their wedding.

With just two months before their wedding date, the couple scrambled in panic to find a new wedding venue. Now, they want to know why the snafu happened in the first place.

This media outlet first report in February the new event center in Dayton, The Davis-Linden building in east Dayton, canceled all weddings and events booked for the space this year due to building renovation issues. The building, located at 400 Linden Ave., was built in the 1890s and has been under renovation by the Dieringer Development Group.

» INITIAL REPORT: Dayton event venue cancels booked weddings

Plans to have the building fully functional for events this spring and summer fell short when the group ran into fire safety inspections issues, among other structural problems. Jason Eckert, a city of Dayton fire prevention specialist, said it was unfortunate that space couldn’t be used, but it did not fulfill some building codes. He said his team met with a building representative back in October about the issues.

“Any major tragic events we’ve seen in history revolve around assemblies — some of them in older building with limited exits, and that’s what we saw here,” Eckert said. “We had a space that would hold somewhere in between 500 and 1,000 people and it had one exit that was in good working order and no fire alarm.”

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Beach, a Kettering resident, wants to know why customers were given no forewarning that the building wasn’t up to par. With the wedding date set for May 14, the couple has around 200 people coming into town from 15 states.

“Flights and hotels have been booked,” he said. “Had we known that, we wouldn’t even have booked the space. There was absolutely no correspondence.”

The couple was able to book a new venue for the same date at Top of the Market Banquet Center on 32 Webster St. The change of venue is costing Beach and his fiance about $2,500, and they still haven’t gotten their deposit back that used to secure the Davis-Linden event space.

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“The biggest thing I want to know is why there was no mention of pending permits or cancellations,” Beach said. “It seems rather irresponsible to book a venue out for the year when all your ducks aren’t in a row. They’re negligence cost us $2,500.”

Billy Bender, building manager, told this news organization earlier this month that the development team met with inspectors continually for the past six months in hopes of getting the building up to code. Nevertheless, the work was too extensive and would cost more than $1 million on the venue space alone to get it ready for use.

“We’re just not going to be able to make it in the time frame to happen,” he said. “We had a plan but it just didn’t pan out that way.”

The company has previously said it will refund all fees paid to rent the space.


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