Couples scramble to find new venues after Stone Creek closure

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URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — Some would say it’s a bride’s biggest nightmare: a venue canceling. But it’s a reality several couples in central Illinois are facing tonight. Those couples planned to have their weddings at Stone Creek Golf Course.

“He’s a golfer; my whole family are golfers, so we thought it would just be like a really pretty setting,” said future bride Amy Bova. That’s one of the many reasons Garie Brock and Bova chose Stone Greek for their wedding in September. But to their surprise, it just announced plans to close at the end of this month.

“We saw it on Facebook, and then I got a generic email from Stone Creek, and then I got a call from the coordinator at like 9 p.m. last night,” said Bova. “Can’t have a wedding without a space.”

The Atkins Group says interest in golfing isn’t what it used to be, and it’s no longer financially feasible to stay open. Now it’s crunch time for people who have events booked there.

“8 months is hard… to plan a venue in 8 months, especially in September, that’s like the busiest month of the year,” said Bova.

“I think most people book their venue, like a year in advance,” said Elite Entertainment Owner Ryan Mennenga.

Mennenga helps people plan weddings all over central Illinois, including Stone Creek. He says a whole list of couples who booked that venue are scrambling for a plan B.

“It’s been an interesting day or two, been getting a lot of frantic calls,” said Mennenga.

Even though there’s nothing fun about picking a second spot to exchange vows, Mennenga says, there are still plenty of options.

“Don’t panic and book something right away, because the nice thing about Champaign is there is a lot of venues,” said Mennenga.

Despite their panic, the good news is, the couple has the most important part of their wedding already taken care of.

“I mean, last resort, if we wanna get married, we’re gonna go to the courthouse. I mean, end of story. I wanna marry her,” said future groom Garie Brock.

The couple has four showings coming up. They say Stone Creek employees also helped give suggestions for other venues.

The Atkins Group is planning to redevelop the golf course. They say they’re hoping to have a development solution that will provide natural green open space and walking trails.

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