As part of a trend in the industry across the nation, a Reno funeral home has converted one of its chapels into an events center.
The Walton’s Funerals & Cremations’s O’Brien-Rogers & Crosby branch located at 600 W. 2nd St., introduced its own renovated chapel now called West 2nd Events Center.
Ted Williams, manager of the funeral home branch, indicated more people and organizations are looking for alternative options when searching for a meeting space for special events.
“So many funeral homes across the country are taking on other events such as weddings or birthday parties, that we started looking at the idea for our own location,” Williams said. “Really, so many people are looking for a good intimate venue besides say a space at a casino.”
The newly-renovated 2,500-square-foot venue is designed to host celebrations of life, fundraisers, receptions, holiday parties, and reunions, among other events.
The remodeled venue has been open for about a month now. The renovation project took about three to four months to complete, according to Williams. Timberstone Builders LLC of Sparks served as the general contractor, along with a host of subcontractors.
Included in the renovations were new carpeting and expanded kitchen area for food preparation and storage.
The facility can be set up for a sit-down dinner of 150 persons or a reception for 185 people, with tables, chairs and other equipment provided as a part of the standard rental fee of $495. The rental fee also includes audio-visual equipment and four 65-inch TVs strategically placed throughout the room.
Walton’s has partnered with Roundabout Catering to provide full-service events, but guests are also welcome to make their own catering arrangements and just pay the room rental fee.
“We are working with Roundabout Catering, but if guests choose, they can have their own choice such as having a potluck or bringing in their own caterer,” Williams said.
Walton’s continues to operate its other small chapel for funeral services so scheduling in the new events center is not yet booked up. But Williams admits its something they will have to be conscious of in the future in case a scheduling conflict arises.
Walton’s has a few part-time employees that they use for the added special events center. Williams said he is open to adding more part-time staff if necessary to keep up with new events.
They have already received a bevy of inquiries and bookings for rental of the facility, further augmenting the funeral home’s business.
“So far it’s been a good source of income for us,” Williams said.
For more information on the facility, visit: www.west2ndeventscenter.com.