Kiwi brides and grooms hoping to recover money from failed West Auckland wedding venue Cassels will have to wait even longer after the property failed to sell at auction.
The large property on Scenic Drive in Swanson today went under the hammer as a mortgagee auction after Cassels collapsed earlier this year, taking with it about $12,000 in fees from couples who had booked the venue for their weddings.
The couples - who all paid $1000 to secure their reservation - had been holding on to hope of a refund after a Disputes Tribunal decision earlier this year ordered business owners Scott Browne and wife Leigh to pay the money back.
But Browne told the Herald there was no money to go round.
He said the business had a mortgage with Westpac, which had taken control of the company bank accounts and land in a bid to recover its money.
He expected the bank would snap up most of the revenue from a sale but was hopeful "some money comes out the other end" so he can cover other costs, like repaying the couples.
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However, that didn't happen today when the property failed to attract a single bid.
This was despite bidding opening at $800,000 - or $700,000 below its council valuation.
The Herald understands an offer was made on the property immediately after the auction but that negotiations were still ongoing.
The 4058sq m property includes a large main building area with bar and kitchen facilities that would be ideal as a restaurant, venue or conference centre, according to its Bayleys listing.
"With a covered courtyard for al fresco dining and entertainment, this caters for all-year-round use," the listing reads.
"A lower garden with separate entrance, previously used for ceremonies, adds to the charm."
The property also includes a three-bedroom home.
Alice Newman and her fiancé Reuben Clark, both 36, were among those who paid $1000 in February to book the venue early next year.
Newman told the Herald in August she had been forced to book another wedding venue after they were told by the Brownes that Cassels was closing down and that the way they lost money had been "really unfair".
"That's 12 thousand bucks right there if they end up selling the place and they don't have the money to pay people back," she said.
"I don't know what their admin costs are, apart from writing our names in their diary."