Soon-To-Be Bride And Groom Are Out A Wedding Venue, And Still Waiting For Refund

Weeks before their dream wedding, a couple finds out their wedding venue at a state park is closing down. Now the ceremony is in limbo, and they're out thousands of dollars. CBS 2's Jim Williams now has a story you'll see Only On 2.

Video Transcript

- Weeks before their dream wedding, a couple finds out their wedding venue at a State Park is closing down. Now the ceremony is in limbo and they're out thousands. CBS 2's Jim Williams now with a story you'll only see on 2.

JIM WILLIAMS: 9 years, Patricia Gonzales and Brian Dowling have been together. Parents of two young children, they were to be married.

- Basically, just got down on one knee and disastrously want to be my wife. And she accepted.

JIM WILLIAMS: And found what they thought would be an ideal location for their wedding.

- You know, it's beautiful. So we--

- You're on vacation when you're not so.


- There's that vibe, you know.

JIM WILLIAMS: Here at the Illinois Beach hotel in Zion, an hour North of Chicago nestled in a State Park. It is the only hotel in Illinois directly on Lake Michigan.

- It was actually going to be here on the second week of June in 2020, but it got postponed due to the pandemic with COVID. And then we rescheduled to June 17, 2021.

JIM WILLIAMS: First a pandemic postponement then more disappointing news. Patricia and Ryan learned in April the hotel would close in June. Their wedding could not be here. They had a refund coming, 6,700 they had paid. They showed US Bank statements and a receipt from the hotel. But so far, there's been no refund. What's more? Patricia, a nurse, and Brian, a truck driver tell us no one will even return their emails or phone calls.

- I'm just really upset, like I had to pick up extra shifts at the hospital. You know, he had to pick up extra shifts at for his truck driving job. And it's just like we work so hard for that money and then it's like, they don't they can't even return my phone calls.

JIM WILLIAMS: Enormous frustration as Brian battles cancer.

- Dealing with cancelations and rescheduling and everything else and going in for multiple surgeries to kind of just took a toll on me.

JIM WILLIAMS: Adding to the stress, no response from a hotel in the state of Illinois park.

- We want to get married. Regardless, we're still going to do it. We just want our money back.

JIM WILLIAMS: We reached out to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, which oversees the state parks. A state spokeswoman tells us that a private vendor manages the hotel and that they're responsible for the wedding contract with Patricia and Brian. We reached out to the vendor, have not heard back. But we are going to keep pushing to find out where that refund is. We're live, Jim Williams, CBS 2 News.