Thousands of dollars gone and a time-honored family tradition canceled. One Splendora family reached out to KPRC 2 Investigates for help after they discovered the party venue where they planned to hold a Quinceañera closed down. Our team tracked down the property owners for answers. Plus, what we found while digging for information might surprise you.
Celebration years in the works
Many families start planning years in advance for their daughter’s big Quinceañera celebration. From finding a location, arranging caterers, and even choreographing a special dance, it’s a big production. But for one family, it’s just been a big disappointment. Now, a beautiful purple dress is now just a reminder of a party that is not happening.
“It’s very disappointing that I’m gonna have to disappoint her again, it’s very hard,” said mom Erica Shavira.
Covid canceled Quinceañera plans last year for Desiree Shavira and the family adjusted their plans.
“We went ahead and redid everything for the following year of December 4, 2021, sweet 16,” explains Erica.
The party was booked and paid for in full at “The Overlook” in Humble.
“We paid a total of $7,000,” Erica explains. “It was supposed to be paid in full a couple of months in advance.”
Because the event was originally going to be in 2020, the family did already pay off the entire balance. The contract said someone would contact her 100 days before the event to help arrange caterers, decorations, and other details. But mom Erica was having a hard time getting in touch with anyone. At one point, one employee was talking to her but then that employee started avoiding her calls.
Family discovers party venue property is closed
After trying everything else, the family decided to drive by the property to talk to someone in person. What they saw was not good.
“We saw that the location is going under renovations. The office where we sat and signed everything and talk to someone about everything was empty. We started to just feel the dread,” explains Erica.
The Overlook was closed.
Erica discovered on social media The Overlook now has a new name and new owners.
“Hidden Pines Lake Houston” is now owned by Walters Wedding Estates, a company that runs 25 other wedding venue locations around the state.
“I’ve never been in this situation where someone just basically ran off with my money,” said Erica.
Does the new venue company have to honor contracts from the old company?
KPRC 2 Investigates talked to an attorney from Walters Wedding Estates who told us they bought The Overlook property from the bank and they don’t have to honor contracts.
Legally - she’s right.
“It sounds like the business, which is its own separate entity has folded. And since that entity has folded, and a new business has purchased, possibly just the assets of that old business, that doesn’t mean that they assume any of the previous liabilities, as well,” explains University of Houston Law Center attorney Ryan Marquez.
We also know the previous owners of The Overlook “K-San, LLC” were sued last year by Humble ISD for $59,000 they owed in back taxes.
But in May 2020, Federalpay.org shows K-San, LLC got $44,000 from a Covid related PPP loan. No word on where that money went since K-San no longer owns this property.
“I know that they bought this company and they feel that they don’t have any obligation to me, but I am a client of the company, you know, and I’m just very disappointed in all of it,” explains Erica.
New venue company makes an offer to family
Walters Wedding Events did finally offer Erica a “discount” on another property for her event. The discounted price they offered is $10,000. And that doesn’t include the $7,000 she already paid. Erica says they don’t have $10,000 to start over with planning. (Scroll down to see the full statement from Walters Wedding Estates.)
The attorney we spoke to says Erica could take the previous owners to small claims court, but even then, it might be tough to get them to payout.
UPDATE: After this story aired, the former owners of The Outlook contacted Erica and paid her back the entire $7,000 she was owed. (We did contact the former owners before this story ran, to ask questions about Erica’s case. At that time they didn’t offer to pay her back.)
Party event insurance option for customer protection
For other consumers who may be booking an event, you can purchase insurance to help cover your costs in case something happens. Special event or wedding insurance can cover you for a variety of circumstances.
Here are a few top companies that offer Event Insurance: