FAIRLAWN, Ohio — Some area brides are scrambling after the country club they booked for their wedding reception closed without warning.
21-year-old Brenna McGovern, an Akron resident whose wedding is scheduled for October, said she's frustrated because she and her fiance, Emanuel, booked Rosemont Country Club in Fairlawn about a year ago and made a $1,000 deposit.
However, over the weekend she learned of the closure while scrolling through a wedding Facebook page and reading a post from another concerned bride who rented the hall for April.
"What do I do? I planned ahead for this reason and now we're nine months out with no venue," McGovern said.
McGovern said she called the country club and left a message, but hasn't heard back. News 5 also left messages on Monday and was awaiting a response as of Monday night. The club's website appears to be down.
Over the weekend, members of the nearly 100-year-old country club were notified by email that it would not reopen in 2020.
According to the email, an offer was submitted to the board to purchase the property for residential development. The information was presented at the shareholders meeting and the result was to accept the purchase agreement to sell the club and all assets.
No information was provided on the name of the company buying the club or how the development could change the look of the upscale neighborhood.
"I know they messaged, they sent an email to all of their members of the country club," McGovern said. "Could they not do the same for people who spent thousands on a wedding?"
Jeff Davis, the managing director of Fairway Advisors LLC out of Texas, said about 100 golf courses have closed across the country each year for the last decade.
"We built too much to begin with and we lost players along the way," Davis said. "Millennials just don't play golf like baby boomers and previous generations."
Amanda Weinstein, an assistant professor of economics at the University of Akron, said the number of golfers between the ages of 18 and 34 have dropped from 9 million to 6 million in recent decades.
Weinstein also said that country clubs need to broaden their appeal to millennials, minorities and moms in order to survive.
"Some country clubs are starting to do more of this, but probably not enough," Weinstein said.
As for McGovern, she has her dress, flowers, baker and other details worked out for her big day, but she's feeling the stress of having to find a different reception hall.
"It makes it 10 times worse," she said. "A lot of places are booked up. October is a pretty popular month for weddings."