OMAHA (KPTM) – A Merry Occasion has been serving as a chapel for weddings for the last 24 years. On Monday they decided to close the doors. The owner, Merry Johnson blames the new development at the by the Mutual of Omaha Plaza. She tells Fox 42 News when they built the parking garage across the street near 32nd and Harney, business began to fall off and she now hasn't had a wedding since January.
"The streets were closed, constantly around here and there were mounds of dirt and trucks going beep beep beep construction truck and no bride wanted to get married to that mess with dirt going into their face," she said.
Kevin Shwartzer and his wife had their wedding at A Merry Occasion in January. He tells Fox 42 News over the phone that the day meant everything to them. The couple will be the last couple to be wed at the chapel.
"It is sad, just when all the business is booming. She had to close the door because people didn't know that the chapel was there anymore," he said.
Mutual of Omaha Plaza Spokesperson Molly Skold released this statement to Fox 42 News on Monday.
"The original garage (Parking lot A) has been in existence since the early 1980's. Five years ago, we added on to the east. Prior to five years ago, it was a private garage. Now, this structure is a public garage, giving greater access to the public at large. Further, the parking is free to anyone - for the first three hours. After three hours, it is only one dollar per hour making it very affordable.
This is the most affordable paid public parking garage in the state of Nebraska. There are 1800 stalls in Parking garage A.
We have a proven record of working very closely with our neighbors on all sides of the Midtown Crossing development. Continual collaboration and project initiatives with nearby businesses, city leaders, neighborhood associations has proven to be a very positive course of action in rebuilding the midtown area.
Though we're sorry to see any business in the Omaha Community close - particularly in the midtown area - we feel the Midtown Crossing development has greatly added to the revitalization and rebuilding of the midtown area and to the Greater Omaha region.
We remain committed to leading the revival of historic Midtown Omaha with unsurpassed dining, retail and residential offerings and are very proud to host treasured events like Jazz on the Green and Miracle on Farnam."
Merry Johnson is having an Estate Sale to help pay for the cost of closing down the business. She will be selling items through the end of the week. She plans to put the business up for sale on Tuesday.
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