This weekend, Salon Meritage will reopen more than a year after it became the site of the largest mass shooting in Orange County history. With a new owner, a new location and a new look, the salon plans to keep its nurturing family atmosphere. Vikki Vargas reports from Seal Beach for the NBC4 News at 5p.m. on Nov. 16, 2012.
It has been a slow, emotional recovery for the city of Seal Beach, but this weekend residents will have a chance to look to the future.
Salon Meritage, the site of a brutal shooting last year, will reopen this weekend.
"We knew that it might be difficult if it looked even similar ... so that's the first step toward change and moving forward and developing new memories here," new owner Irma Acosta said.
Acosta was an employee on Oct. 12, 2011, but was not in the salon when Scott Dekraai – apparently enraged over a bitter custody battle with a stylist at the salon – allegedly gunned down eight people, including his ex-wife.
On Sunday, the salon will host an open house. On Tuesday, customers will return.
The final touches were going into place on Friday. The entire floorplan has been redone.
Former owner Sandy Fannin turned the reigns over to her co-worker, Acosta.
But Fannin will still work as a stylist. She built the original salon with her husband Randy, who was killed in the shooting.
For Fannin, the work will be therapeutic. She considers the community of clients and co-workers her family.
“I know Randy would be really happy about it, but it’s just a little bit hard, the last piece of letting go our relationship in here,” Fannin said.
In October, a judge said he planned to wait until after California voters decided whether to abolish the death penalty to determine whether prosecutors can pursue the punishment for Dekraai. On Nov. 6, voters in California chose to uphold the death penalty.