UPDATE: Weds 5:35 PM, Mar 26, 2014
The Wausau Convention and Visitors Bureau will be taking over management of the Patriot Center in the Cedar Creek Mall. The bureau says it's all in an effort to make sure the building remains a part of the community. And events scheduled there go on as planned.
When an interim management group first took over the Cedar Creek Mall late last year--they knew they wouldn't be able to handle operating the entire Cedar Creek Mall. That's why they chose to enlist the help of the convention and visitors bureau to keep things running smoothly. While its a big undertaking, its an opportunity they jumped at.
"It's in our interest. It's a facility that brings people into the community. That is our number one priority. We bring them into the shop, they eat, they stay in our hotels, that sort of thing. That is our number one priority. Losing this facility would be a disaster right now, so it our obligation to make sure we all succeed," Explains bureau member Richard Barrett.
The management of the facility will only be temporary-- until a new owner is found. But in the meantime - the convention and visitor's bureau wants to make it clear that things will stay just the way they are.
"We want to make everybody assured that their event is going on and is planned and is going to take place. The Stoney Rivers Group... [wants to make sure the] community is taken care of,” said Barrett.
Management says that event booking will also continue as usual.
The Cedar Creek Mall in Rothschild is no doubt struggling. By our count Wednesday, there was a grocery store, movie theater and six other stores. But one of those other stores is going out of business and another is only open on Sundays.
Last December, creditors started legal proceedings against the mall's owner, Timblin Enterprises of Kewaskum. Court records show the Washington County based company defaulted on $15 million in loans
In regards to another former Cedar Creek business, NewsChannel 7 has learned a tanning salon in the mall that shut down without warning is issuing an apology, and says it's coming up with plans to offer refunds.
As we first reported Tuesday night on NewsChannel 7 at 10, Sunfully Dark tanning closed abruptly. That had customers wondering what would happen to money they paid in advance for tanning sessions. Our calls to the salon were not answered and Tuesday it appeared the studio's Facebook page was down.
But on its Facebook page Wednesday afternoon, Sunfully Dark apologized for the inconvenience and said it's working to come up with refund plans, which it will post on Facebook or e-mail to customers.
ORIGINAL STORY: Tues 11:19 PM, Mar 25, 2014
The Sunfully Dark Tanning in the Cedar Creek Mall in Rothschild appears to be shut down.
Many customers said they are shocked that they didn't get any notice about the business closing its doors so abruptly, and it's costing them some big money.
Sunfully Dark customers told NewsChannel 7 they've spent hundreds of dollars on tanning packages and were shocked to see the sign posted in the window saying the store was closed.
Now they want answers or their money back.
"I spent a hundred dollars total, and it's gone," Sunfully Dark Tanning Customer Brandy Bargender said.
Sunfully Dark Tanning in Cedar Creek Mall in Rothschild appears to be closed, and Bargender said customers are getting burned.
"I went there yesterday to use my minutes," Bargender said. "I walked in, and they were closed."
She found the sign saying "store closed" with no contact information leaving customers like Bargender wondering what's going to happen to the hundreds of dollars she's spent on lotions and tanning packages.
"Most likely they knew they (Sunfully Dark) were going to shut down," Bargender said. "They knew this, and to me, it seemed like they were trying to get money out of the public before they shut down. I didn't get any warning whatsoever, even when I went there on Friday."
On Tuesday afternoon, other customers like Terra Keliforth and Sam Poeske also tried to tan but found empty shelves and an empty business.
"I'm really confused," Poeske said. "I was planning on tanning today, and now it's not open."
"I'm upset because my husband and I just spent a $100 here," Keliforth said.
Keliforth said when she tanned on Sunday, no one mentioned the shut down.
"I'm hoping they'll come back or send something out with people's money because we spent a lot of money here, and now that's a waste," Keliforth said.
NewChannel 7 called the Cedar Creek Mall and Sunfully Dark Tuesday for information, however calls were not returned.
"I think they manipulated people," Bargender said. "I don't think it's fair. I want to know how much money they got from doing this ... ripping off the public."
Employees said Zona Designer Outlet, Caleb's Menswear and Sunfully Dark Tanning are gone, and the future of the Patriot Center, which is under the same ownership, is unclear.
For help, call the WI Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection at 1-800-422-7128, or visit http://www.privacy.wi.gov.
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