Local business owner skips town with birthday party deposits - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Local business owner skips town with birthday party deposits

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SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. -

The now closed business Xtreme Arena has left a local family extremely disappointed after they say their son's birthday party was abruptly cancelled and no refund was given. They tried for weeks to reach the owner. They said he never called them back, so they said "Help Me Hayley."

"It's their special day," said Kristy Brazelton of children's birthdays. "It's the one day of the year the whole focus is on them."

Kristy's son Spencer had been counting down the seconds until his birthday. His big party at Xtreme Arena, an indoor Nerf gun facility, was all he could think about.

"I was disappointed and pretty sad," Spencer said.

"He had just gone to a birthday party there 10 days before," Kristy said.

Kristy paid the $50 deposit to secure her son's party without hesitation. She saw no issues with the Spokane Valley business, until the night before Spencer's party.

"(The owner) said he had a flood at the building and that they wouldn't be able to hold the party," Kristy said. "He said we'd get a refund."

But that refund never came, and Kristy said she couldn't find owner James Almond. So she called our Hayley Guenthner. Hayley tracked down almond who agreed to pay back the deposit. When Hayley offered to drive anywhere to meet him, he declined saying he would take care of it online. Almond told Hayley he owes 10 families deposits.

When Hayley asked him why he wasn't returning customer's calls, he said he didn't have an answer for that.

"I hope he understands it's not about me, but about (Spencer) and all the other little kids that didn't get to have their party," Kristy said.

Hayley urged the family to contact their bank to try to get them to refund the charge. They told her they already were in contact with them. The bank did eventually refund that money, but that leaves nine other families still out some cash.

Hayley did question Almond about his criminal history. He hung up on her. According to the Department of Corrections, Almond's record includes identity theft, among other charges.

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