LANCASTER, Texas - Some North Texas families say they've been left empty-handed after the operators of an event venue seem to have disappeared.
When people called to check up on their event plans at the Cedar Canyon Dude Ranch, they couldn't get through. When clients showed up to the site, they found a padlock on the gate and the events center operators gone.
Stefanie Loera loved the images she saw on the website for Cedar Canyon Events Center near I-20 and I-35. It looked like the perfect place to renew her vows with her husband of 10 years.
“We paid a grand total of close to $20,000,” she said. “They were going to be taking care of everything. I wanted it to be stress-free.”
But with her wedding in just two weeks, it is now anything but stress-free. On Monday, Loera discovered the operators had vanished.
“I was in shock,” she said. “I immediately tried not to panic. I don't know what we're going to do."
The broker who is selling the property for more than $4 million said the event operators were tenants and were $90,000 behind in rent.
An attorney for the owner says the tenants received a formal eviction notice in October. But clients say they continued to have conversations about their events as late as April.
Oscar Garcia says he went to a food tasting just six weeks ago for his daughter's quinceañera that he already paid $5,500 for.
“Quinceañera was supposed to be next month. We got everything ready,” he said. “Now, everything is gone."
“It's emotional because we didn't have a wedding when we first got together,” Loera said. “It was a big deal 10 years being married. Two kids. I wanted them to be a part of something special. To see when you put God first, marriage can work. Wanted to be an example to my family and friends.”
The broker says the owner of the land tried to find a peaceful resolution but was forced to evict the tenants.
Loera is still hoping to renew her vows on June 2. She just does not know where or how she will pay for it after losing $20,000.