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New York companies say they're owed thousands for 2022 holiday light show at Citi Field

N.Y. companies accuse Artistic Holiday Designs of failing to fully pay for services
N.Y. companies accuse Artistic Holiday Designs of failing to fully pay for services 02:49

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NEW YORK - Three New York companies say their bills are being ignored after lighting up Citi Field for the Amaze Light Festival, billed as the largest holiday lights show in the country.

CBS New York investigative reporter Tim McNicholas has learned they're not the only people who say they're owed thousands of dollars.

Michael Gurl's Petal and Company makes dreams come true, creating massive holiday decorations at their Hoboken, New Jersey workshop, and when the producer of the Amaze Light Festival hired them for a display at Citi Field in 2022, Gurl's own dreams lit up.

"This was everything that I'd worked for, and it was a great opportunity, what I thought was a great opportunity," Gurl said.

"And it turned into?" McNicholas asked.

"A nightmare," Gurl said.

Gurl says his team spent thousands of hours and dollars creating and installing their decorations at Citi Field and two other displays in Illinois and Maryland.

But Petal and Company was not the main organizer; they were contracted by Artistic Holiday Designs, and Gurl says that company only paid them a quarter of what they're owed.

"It's a $450,000 deficit that we still have not recovered from," he said.

He's not alone.

The Tinley Park Police Department outside of Chicago says Artistic Holiday Designs owes them $70,000 for security at the 2022 Illinois festival.

The director of a teenage dance group tells CBS Chicago the company owes them tens of thousands of dollars for their performances at that same festival.

"It's very, very simple. We signed a contract. We were there. We did our job. They need to be paid," said Kim Scerine, director of On Broadway Dancers.

Petal and Company is one of three contractors for the Citi Field display that each sued Artistic Holiday Designs, demanding the company pay up.

Gurl says artistic CEO Derek Norwood texted him, describing financial struggles, but a press release from June of 2022 said an investment group had raised $5 million for the company's upcoming holiday events.

"I just want to be paid," Gurl said.

A spokesperson for the Mets and Citi Field would not tell CBS New York whether they're owed any money or what they do to vet the financial stability of vendors.

"I thought there were some protocols that would be set in place that would not allow this situation to happen," Gurl said.

When McNicholas asked Norwood if he's going to pay back Gurl and the others, and he texted back "no comment" and he didn't answer calls.

Gurl says he knows the feeling, and it doesn't feel much like holiday cheer.

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