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Spirit Ridge Resort property dispute leaves wedding plans in limbo

The resort's restaurant, conference centre and check-in lodge have been closed indefinitely. Brides and grooms-to-be say finding another venue so soon will be 'next to impossible.'

Brides and grooms-to-be say finding another venue so soon 'next to impossible'

Parts of Spirit Ridge Resort have been shut down due to a dispute between suite owners and the property's original developer. (Spirit Ridge at Nk'Mip Resort)

A property dispute between a developer and group of owners at a well-known resort near Osoyoos, B.C. has left dozens of weddings facing the risk of cancellation.

The restaurant, convention center and check-in lodge at Spirit Ridge at Nk'Mip Resort were shut down indefinitely after owners of the resort's suites terminated its contract with its rental management company and developer, Bellstar.

That's left nearly 40 weddings slated to happen at the resort teetering in limbo.

Denver Bissett and his fiancée booked their wedding at Spirit Ridge over a year ago for August, but just this week, they learned their dream ceremony may not happen.

"Finding another venue that isn't already booked is going to be next to impossible," said Bissett, a Kamloops, B.C. resident.

"Hopefully these companies can figure it out because there are people planning the biggest day of their lives and they might possibly ruin that."

Bellstar is both the rental management company and owner of the facilities that make weddings possible at the resort.

In a statement, the Calgary-based company's CEO Dale Hodgson said it's been in negotiations to sell its assets back to the Spirit Ridge Owner Association for the past year.

However, the two groups have not been able to agree on a price and Hodgson said the facilities will be shut down until they are sold.

The association said it's trying to work out a deal to use the facilities.

"It's an absolutely gorgeous place and we're making sure that all those people who love coming there get the news that we are still open for business and that we will get control of those assets so that we can be a full resort again," said Delwen Sander, a representative for the association.

Ian Thorley, a spokesperson for Bellstar, added that thus far, they have only had three groups or weddings cancel their events and all were refunded immediately.

If any individuals are considering cancellations, Thorley recommends they contact Bellstar directly for a refund of any deposits.

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