Popular local wedding venue shuts down, leaving many couples scrambling

ARMSTRONG COUNTY, Pa. — A popular wedding venue and golf course in Armstrong County shut down on Feb. 1, leaving many couples frantically looking for a new place to get married and potentially out thousands of dollars.

“I just want to know how someone can do this?” bride-to-be Megan Kiebler said.

Less than three months away from saying, ‘I do’ at a picturesque wedding venue in Manor Township, Kiebler and her fiancé Michael, got the devastating news.

“I felt like it was a nightmare,” Kiebler said. “I was just in disbelief that this could happen so quickly without any warning to any of us.”

The couple got an email late last week saying their wedding, along with 13 others, was being canceled at The Inn at Lenape Heights Event Center and Golf Resort after its sudden closure.

“We have to do everything again, plan a second wedding,” said Kiebler. “Being 70-something days out, we had invitations on the table ready to go out the next day. They were packed, stamped, ready to go.”

Melissa Harmon, who worked at the resort for four years and now works for the new owners, said they didn’t have much of a warning either before the property was sold on Jan. 31.

“The former owners really only had 10 days’ notice that this is absolutely happening,” she said.

Harmon said employees were told by the management company, Providence Hospitality Partners, the resort would remain as a wedding and event venue after it was sold. As deals fell through, however, a new buyer stepped in with plans to turn it into a high-end, short-term inpatient mental health and wellness center that will be called Lenape Wellness Center.

“The former owners, who really are great guys, they tried very hard to hold off as long as they could to find a buyer that would let this remain the same, but whenever a business begins failing and there’s no profit for four years in a row, there has to come to a point where they draw the line,” said Harmon. “It would be a shame to see the property close, which is something that would’ve happened maybe at the end of this year.”

The new owners, according to Harmon, wanted to keep some of the booked weddings but didn’t have the staff and would’ve set back remodeling plans.

“Everybody feels bad,” Harmon said. “The new owners are not going to invest in something that’s not making money.”

Instead, they offered brides their outside space for free, but brides would need to buy their own tent and caterers.

“We offered them free use of the property,” said Harmon. “We offered them all the equipment, tables, chairs, linens, centerpieces, silverware, anything they needed. Really, all they had to do was get their own catering, their own beverages and a tent.”

For Kiebler, that was not the type of wedding she wanted.

“That’s not what we envisioned for our wedding, so no, that was not an offer we were going to take,” Kiebler said.

Kiebler has since rebooked at a new venue and is looking toward their future.

“Just looking forward to all this stress to be behind us, to enjoy the last couple weeks of wedding planning together and then just coming to that day and just enjoying that day with our friends and family.”

Refund checks for deposits that brides and golfers put down will be mailed out as soon as Tuesday, Feb. 20.

The new property owners hope to have Lenape Wellness Center up and running in about four months.

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