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Chamber Blog

Michigan Wedding Venues Don’t Feel the Love

Wedding venues remain under severe restrictions as the state readies for Valentine’s Day

Grand Rapids, Michigan – Last week the Grand Rapids Chamber organized a letter signed by more than two dozen organizations asking Governor Whitmer and MDHHS to take immediate action to allow wedding venues and banquet centers to open safely.

Currently, these banquet venues are limited to a 10-person threshold when there are other instances that allow safe gatherings of 100-guests at a time.

“Wedding and banquet venues have a tremendous impact on the economic vitality of our communities and deserve a chance to operate safely. These businesses support vendors, fill hotels and attract visitors to West Michigan,” said Rick Baker, president, and CEO of the Grand Rapids Chamber.

“Almost all other sectors of the economy have been afforded the opportunity to return to work in some capacity to support themselves. With vaccines being distributed and case numbers declining, all we ask for is the same opportunity,” said Rob DeVerna, owner of The Lit.

“We have worked hard to adjust to best practices and are ready to adhere to social distancing and other requirements needed to safely serve our guests,” said Kelsi Gaunt, director of operations for the Harris Building. “We just need the opportunity to put these practices into operation.”

“By its nature, our industry requires significant lead time to start-up operations to execute events. We are not like a restaurant that can be turned on 2 weeks out. Events are rescheduling 2 or more months out so we need a reopening plan with dates otherwise we will continue to lose bookings 2-3 months out,” said Patti Zylstra, owner of South Haven Creations/Catered Creations Inc. “Our clients and guests need more guidance in what to expect as they plan their ceremony celebrating one of life’s important events.”

See the full letter and the numerous supporters here.

Mia Jankowiak Administrator
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