LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Planning a wedding and finding a location for the reception can be time consuming and stressful.

With just 22 days before their wedding reception at the Mt. Charleston Lodge, Jim Soukup and his finance Diane Popelka must come up with a plan B, and fast. Fire destroyed the lodge in the early morning on Friday, Sept. 17.

Fire officials say the lodge is a "total loss."

“We’re devastated. A lot of other couples, I’m sure, are also devastated. We would have had the inside dining room. We would have had the deck out back. That would have been all our space for us and for our guests. The photo ops would have been incredible,” said Popelka.

“Really kind of devastating. It’s something the whole Las Vegas community has grown up with,” said Soukup said, adding that he has taken his kids up to play in the snow and they’ve always gone to the lodge.

The couple planned to get married at Cathedral Rock and then head to the lodge for the reception on Oct. 9. The wedding plans are still on, as the couple searches for a new reception area.

Diane Popelk says the lodge and surrounding area is quite meaningful to her after the death of her 20-year-old son John. She says he enjoyed hiking in the Mt. Charleston area and she has returned year after year in memory of him.

“Every December around the anniversary of his passing, which happened four years ago, we’d go up there; just kind of give him a toast in memory,” she said.

The fire was reported around 4:45 am on Friday. Fire investigators are still working to determine a cause.


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