BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Nine Western New York couples are scrambling to rearrange their wedding plans -- in the final weeks, no less -- after a new downtown venue was forced to delay its grand opening until the fall.
As a part of a $51.6 million redevelopment project, "The Admiral Room" at the Marin had booked nine couples for weddings this spring and summer, starting as early as next month. However, the redevelopment of the Marin, a 17-story tower at the corner of Main and Seneca, hinges on the approval of Historic Tax Credits by state and federal agencies.
Those tax credits haven't been approved just yet, meaning the Admiral Room can't open this spring after all.
And that's a huge problem for the nine couples who were planning to have their weddings at the Admiral Room.
Kayla Gurbacki and Joe Stocking got the bad news three weeks ago. Back in January, they'd already been canceled on once by the Connecticut Street Armory, which had to eliminate all events due to lead dust issues. So two days later, Kayla and Joe booked the Admiral Room, before learning on March 29 it would no longer be available.
Years from now, they'll have quite the story to tell -- incredibly, they've already had to send out "Save the Date" cards for the Armory and invitations for the Admiral Room -- but it's not so funny right now.
"It's a very stressful thing," Kayla said, "and I think they really need to do a reality check, and know that this is very difficult for some people to go through."
Kevin Keenan, a spokesperson for the Admiral Room, said they did not at all anticipate a delay in regulatory approval of the tax credits. They have offered to refund deposits and pay for printing of new invitations, and they've also personally helped search for replacement venues for their customers.
Plus, Keenan said the Admiral Room's executive chef will be available to the customers at their new venues.
"Obviously, (we) really regret that this happened," Keenan said. "We had every intention of having this room ready for the first event in May, but that didn't happen because of the delay in these regulatory approvals."
The Admiral Room eventually offered $6,000 to Joe and Kayla, who have since booked the Saturn Club on Delaware Avenue in Buffalo. However, they insist it's still not enough to cover the increased costs of the new venue. The Admiral Room's delay has cost them thousands of dollars-- and they say they never would have taken the risk on the venue, had they known the tax credits were awaiting approval.
"It seems incredibly wrong, and they're trying to get away with cheating people," Joe said. "They're essentially selling a product they did not have."
Keenan said the Admiral Room worked with 18 different venues in the Western New York area to help make new arrangements for their customers.
"It's very disappointing," Keenan said. "We're equally as disappointed as they are."