Venues anxious to reopen after more than a year of being closed

Venues anxious to re-open after more than a year of being closed
Posted at 7:58 PM, May 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-22 22:24:35-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Venues in West Michigan are preparing for weddings, conferences, and more after the state announced loosened capacity limits starting June 1.

“I’m like, ‘Hey, guess what—here’s where we’re at, and even a month from now we’re going to be even better,'"said Deanna DeWitt, operations manager at Studio D2D in Grand Rapids.

Previous orders largely excluded the event industry since the pandemic began. Most recently, businesses could host no more than 25 people inside or 300 people outside.

“The hard part was, we still have bills to pay, we still have rent, we still have, you know, all the day-to-day items that we have to take care of, but we have no revenue coming in, no business, nothing to support us financially,” said DeWitt.

Some parties postponed events planned for June and July, but DeWitt expects the rest of the year to be fully scheduled. Hydrangea Blu Barn is booked up for its season.

“For the brides, it was just very stressful reducing, and how do you cut out people?” said Katy Nelson, owner.

While the outdoor space in Rockford can currently allow all guests their venue holds, Nelson hopes this week’s news eases people’s minds.

“They’re just so relieved,” said Nelson. “It’s just making for a much more joyous occasion when everyone is not so worried like, ‘You should be doing this and you should be doing that and we’re not supposed to do this.’”

Venues have said help is needed for upcoming events, with the industry saying there is a shortage of workers.

“I think it’s kind of a relief that we’re seeing this light; we’re seeing a new beginning almost for this year,” said DeWitt.

READ MORE: Lifting capacity limits on June 1 a ‘big relief’ for sports venues, indoor businesses

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