MILTON, WV (WOWK) — One industry hit hard by the onset of the pandemic has been catering and reception which provide large event venues for weddings and other celebrations.
In Milton, one such venue held it’s grand re-opening ribbon cutting ceremony today—another sign of the Mountain Dtate’s economic recovery.
A place meant to allow gatherings of friends and families, the Venetian Estate has finally reopened under new management.
“You know, during a pandemic, it’s been a real challenge to staff it and to get it operational. So we feel like, you know, if we can thrive during this crazy season, then things are only looking better for the future.”Joshua Huffman, manager, the Venetian Estate
For a facility like the Venetian Estate—with it’s large halls and indoor dining areas meant to accommodate hundreds—the pandemic certainly forced a revamp of the business model.
“Weddings have been a real challenge, you know people…have been scared.”Joshua Huffman, manager, the Venetian Estate
The pandemic has also meant one delay after another for this fledgling business.
“So we kicked everything back you know from March to May and we opened just as soon as we could.”Joshua Huffman, manager, the Venetian Estate
This venue was able to adapt to the challenge of operating in the COVID-19 environment because of the layout of it’s three acres of space.
“I think when you consider there’s the outdoor aspects of this, that makes it an advantage for them, they can take advantage of that. A lot of the weddings they’ve done here, have actually been outside. I’m sure it’s required some logistics, but at the same time your able to pull of those large events that people want to have happen and tie the knot.”Bill Bissett, CEO and President of the Huntington Regional Chamber of Commerce
The ballroom alone at the Venetian Estate can hold up to 300 people.
Joshua Huffman says business has been good since they are not beholden to pandemic gathering restrictions.
“The governor listed weddings as essential services, so some of the restrictions that would apply to most restaurants aren’t exactly applicable to weddings. But we did extra germ-ex stations and we did extra mask and glove stations for all of our guests coming and going.”Joshua Huffman, manager, the Venetian Estate
For now, the event industry is alive and well, and beginning to thrive in Milton.
“We feel like exit 28 is getting ready to thrive and do really well and we feel like this venue is a great way to get started here.”Joshua Huffman, manager, the Venetian Estate
The Venetian Estate officially opened on May 3rd, 2020, and has been slowly working up to this full-reopening in phases.
Huffman says he hopes this venue will become a reception destination for West Virginians.