Little Opry ticketholders to get refunds

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NASHVILLE - Over two years after a fire destroyed the Little Nashville Opry in southern Indiana, 159 ticket holders will finally get their money back.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller made the announcement Friday.

"Little Nashville Opry and the state have reached a consent judgment for $26,500 to be returned to consumers who have waited more than two years to see money that was rightfully owed to them," Zoeller said. "The theater fire was a great loss for the community and undoubtedly a loss for customers who purchased tickets in good faith."

Ticket holders were never refunded their money after they bought tickets to shows that were later cancelled because of the theater fire in September 2009. According to the consent judgment, 159 people claim they are owed from $48 to $2,066 - a total of almost $26,500.

In July 2010, the attorney general's office filed a formal complaint against Little Nashville Enterprises, Inc. and its principals. The complaint said that the company violated Indiana's Deceptive Consumer Sales Act by, among other things, failing to obtain a legally required entertainment permit.

Zoeller said the company has agreed to pay $10,000 immediately toward its obligation to consumers and the full amount within one year. The immediate funds will be distributed on a pro-rata basis to ticketholders.

The Little Nashville Opry will also pay $1,000 in costs to the Attorney General's Office and a $5,000 civil penalty - however, if the deadline to pay consumers in full is met, then the costs and penalties will be waived.

All payments will be made to the Attorney General's Office which will distribute the funds to consumers.

The fire investigation determined the fire was deliberately set, but never found a cause. No arrests have been made.