Watch CBS News

Workers, guests and weddings blindsided by sudden closure of Monroeville DoubleTree

Many left scrambling following DoubleTree's sudden closure
Many left scrambling following DoubleTree's sudden closure 02:02

MONROEVILLE (KDKA) - The DoubleTree Hotel next to the Monroeville Convention Center shut its doors Wednesday morning, blindsiding workers, guests, and people with booked events. It all came shortly after learning the center will close in June.

Ayana Holly of Clairton never thought she would be asking a specific question less than two months away from her wedding.

"Now, it's like where are we putting it?" Holly said.

She was shocked to hear that her venue was closing.

"Everybody's calling my phone, like 'The DoubleTree is closing.' I'm like, 'No, the DoubleTree ain't closing, they're closing the convention center next door,'" Holly said.

Holly and countless others learned the news with one day's notice, not even from the hotel itself.

"Nobody's called us. Nobody sent an email," Holly said.

Holly and her fiancé are now out $17,000, on top of other finances for the event.

For Michelle Kriner's granddaughter, it's a $2,000 security deposit, they want back.

"I told her what happened and she said, 'Oh, grandma how could someone mess up my karma,'" Kriner said.

They both showed up ahead of the closing at 10 a.m. to try to get answers.

"I think it's poor communication, I thought they always had to let people know what was happening," Kriner said.

Marice Lunsford was planning to renew her vows with her husband this summer. Seven years ago, her wedding didn't go as planned. 

"My first wedding I had trouble. I had the wedding planner, stole all my stuff. I didn't have a bridal table. She demolished the food," Lunsford said.

So she decided she was going to try it again with a wedding renewal ceremony. Everything was going fine until Wednesday morning when she got a call from someone helping out with the wedding. 

"She was telling me the DoubleTree is closed, you need to try to find out how to get your money back and she was so sorry," Lunsford said.

The Monroeville hotel directed Lunsford to the DoubleTree by Hilton in Green Tree, who initially told her they'll try but couldn't promise anything. "He just kept telling me he was so sorry," she said. 

KDKA-TV called Hilton headquarters in New York to see if anyone could do anything for Lunsford. Scott Parsons, the general manager of Green Tree DoubleTree sent an email saying Lunsford will have a place to have and to hold from June 8 for better or worse.

Parson, whose hotel is independently owned, emailed, "We understand this is a very stressful time for her and everyone else who is being displaced from the DoubleTree Monroeville. We are actively working with the DoubleTree Monroeville sales team to relocate their room blocks, meetings and events, and will be accepting as many as we have space for.

He went on to say while the two hotel properties are independently owned and operated, the Green Tree DoubleTree will not require anyone relocating their event to pay their deposits again.

Brides left without venue after DoubleTree in Monroeville closes 03:04

Also on Wednesday morning, Anthony Bompisiario checked out for the last time from the hotel he's been staying at for nearly 30 years.

"It's just a shame," Bompisiario said.

He's sad for the workers, but said he knows they will land on their feet.

"They're going to be the most sought-after free agents in the hotel business," Bompisiario said.

Monroeville's mayor told KDKA he's heartbroken about the hotel and more determined than ever to save the Convention Center.

As for Holly, she's still figuring out her next steps, but first, she wants her money back to be able to do so.

"People don't just got all this money just hanging around," Holly said.

KDKA reached out to the hotel owner, First Choice Investments, out of New York, for comment, but has not heard back at this time. 

In reaching out to Prospera Hospitality, the management company, it referred us back to the owner. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.