You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Wed, Jun 15, 2011 : 5:10 p.m.

Owner of shuttered wedding hall 'in Cancun on business' as couples seek refunds

By Nathan Bomey

The owner of the Ann Arbor area wedding destination whose banquet hall was recently shuttered due to code violations is now traveling "in Cancun on business," WDIV Channel 4 reported Tuesday night.


The banquet hall at the Barnstormer Entertainment Complex in Green Oak Township has been temporarily closed due to various code violations.

Nathan Bomey |

Rob Cortis, owner of Barnstormer Entertainment Complex in Green Oak Township, told last week that he is notifying couples who have events scheduled at his business that the code violations may disrupt their wedding plans.

But several couples told that they were not told that they would not be able to hold their wedding indoors until a week or two before their event was scheduled. Several couples have also said they have not received full refunds of their deposits.

At least one bride affected by the situation, Kristine Courts, said she was considering filing a lawsuit to retrieve her $2,000 deposit.

One future bride, Kathy Rockwell, whose wedding is scheduled for Aug. 12 at Barnstormer, told this afternoon that Barnstormer had still not informed her of the situation. She said she's contacted Cortis four times to get her $1,000 deposit refunded but hasn't heard back.

"I am not anticipating any recourse for the fact that he stole my money, but I hope his business suffers and his life is inconvenienced like mine is," Rockwell wrote in an email.

Attempts to contact Cortis earlier this week were not successful.

Here are links to recent coverage of the Barnstormer banquet hall closure: Wedding plans disrupted after code violations yield 'potential for catastrophe' in Barnstormer's banquet hall Couples say they haven't been refunded deposits after inspectors shutter Barnstormer wedding hall

WXYZ-TV Channel 7: Popular reception hall forced to close down large part of venue; couples left scrambling

WDIV-TV Channel 4: Closing Banquet Hall Causing Trouble For Weddings

Fox 2 Detroit: Green Oak Township: Barnstormer Not Up to Code

Associated Press: Banquet Hall Shutdown Hits Michigan Weddings

Livingston Daily Press & Argus: Banquet hall shutdown hits Michigan weddings

Contact's Nathan Bomey at (734) 623-2587 or You can also follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's newsletters.


John B.

Thu, Jun 16, 2011 : 11:15 p.m.

Well, this new information certainly doesn't look very good. Hmmmm..... Now, apparently the contracts do state that the (50%?) deposits are non-refundable (which would cause me not to sign one on the first place, but that's just me, I guess), but it sounds like the guy has stopped even trying to work things out with his customers perhaps, which would mean that he is now in violation of his side of the bargain. If that is truly the case, then that's a bad sign, no doubt about it.


Wed, Jun 15, 2011 : 9:48 p.m.

Another criminal businessman on the run, it seems so. With this tough economy, I wonder where he gets the money to travel to Cancun?.....hmmmm, I wonder.


Thu, Jun 16, 2011 : 2:50 a.m.

Yeah, kiss those deposits goodbye, ha. Though, based on their past business ventures, maybe it's a legitimate trip -- someone's gotta judge the bikini contests in Cancun.