UPDATE: The organizer of the OKC Balloon Festival, Ricky Lyons, contacted News 9. In his response he has said he is currently working on refunding all of the advanced ticket holders and vendors for the canceled event. He released several documents proving his claims.
Brandi Mosley did receive her refund of more than $400 around 2 AM Saturday. Lyons said for those who have not received a refund yet, you can can contact him directly at 918-442-4860.
“That's a bucket list thing to get a hot air balloon ride,” said Brandi Mosley, who bought tickets in advance. “I was very disappointed, it was a birthday present.”
Mosley and her husband bought two tickets to take a ride on a hot air balloon during the Oklahoma City Balloon Festival. In a statement, Chisholm Creek stated it “terminated the land lease agreement with the event organizer OKC Balloon Festival, LLC for failure to meet the necessary requirements.” It's unclear what those requirements were, but what should happen next is crystal clear to Brandi.
“You lost your lease with the company, I understand that but you refund the money,” she said. “People bought tickets to your event.”
She spent just over $400 for the tickets and has waited more than a week for a refund but all she's getting is a bunch of hot air.
“I've contacted this Richard, Ricky, whichever one he goes by and he proceeds to tell me, just talk to your credit card vendor, its ok, they'll give you your money back,” Mosley said. “It's not fraud, I paid for an event, and the event got canceled.”
Event organizer Ricky Lyons has promised timely refunds but when Mosley didn't receive hers, she took the matter to Facebook and found out she wasn't alone. Several people, including vendors started posting the same thing that they were waiting for their refunds. Even vendors that paid up to $700 for a spot are so far, out of luck.
“We paid for a vendor spot for the balloon fest and they won't contact us about a refund,” said Janet Davidson via Facebook.
Turns out this isn't the organizer’s first issue with an event. This week, Kansas City Aerosports, a hot air balloon vendor at the Tulsa Balloon Festival, filed a lawsuit for breach of contract. Court documents show the company was never paid the $10,000 dollars owed for services. Now Brandi hopes she's not among a growing list of those who feel like they’ve been taken for a ride.
“Don't set up an event and then cancel it and not come true,” Mosley said. “You were providing a service you didn't provide, just do the right thing.”
The event has not been rescheduled. As for the organizer, Ricky Lyons, News 9 tried several times to contact him at the number listed to request a refund, but only got his voicemail. He has yet to return our phone calls. All inquiries regarding refunds to OKC Balloon Festival, LLC are being referred to firstname.lastname@example.org or (918) 442-4860.