Setting Events in Unusual Local Places
Business meetings and personal celebrations needn’t take place in humdrum places. Or at long distances.
Here are some nearby venues you might consider.
Even though most locals still refer to it by its old name, Ski Roundtop is now Roundtop Mountain Resort, said Lutricia Eberly, director of sales.
“We have diversified as more than a facility for three months out of the year [when people ski],” she said.
As a supplement to indoor business meetings, Roundtop offers facilitated outdoor activities for teambuilding, such as low-rope, zip lining, and paintball.
“We’re one of only a few places in the country that provides an 11-foot zorb,” said Eberly. “Many people have the misconception that being in a zorb ball would cause you to flip upside down. But the experience is like going down a water slide, where you might bank up on the turns, but you never flip.”
Outdoor activities can complement celebrations from bar and bat mitzvahs to bachelor and bachelorette parties.
“We also do weddings,” Eberly added. “We have space for about five weddings, depending on the size. [A wedding performed] at the top of the mountain overlooking the valley is beautiful.”
Zembo Shrine, in the capital city across from rustic Italian Lake, is a popular venue for club or organization meetings or fundraisers, tradeshows, weddings and receptions, banquets, concerts, seminars, anniversary and birthday parties, proms, festivals, graduations, and more, said Richard Smith, potentate.
The shrine has three larger spaces available for rental. They are the main vestibule; the Tile Room, which Smith called a beautiful venue for receptions and special meetings up to 200 guests; and the Zembo Auditorium.
“Decoration of the Tile Room is only limited by your imagination,” said Smith. “We work with the renters to have access to the facility the day of or even the day prior to the event to prepare their decorations. Details can be discussed with our rental manager.”
The auditorium boasts the largest wooden floor in the entire region as well as concert seating for more than 2,000 patrons, depending on the stage-floor setup. Several unit rooms surrounding the auditorium also can be rented, and typically are whenever the auditorium is rented. They can be used as additional dressing rooms, VIP rooms, and the like.
In addition, the Potentate’s Reception Hall, boasting many Moorish arches and columns, is ideal for smaller, more intimate gatherings of 120 guests or fewer, said Smith.
The small dining room is suitable for gatherings of 60 guests or fewer.
Escape Room Lancaster is known for teambuilding events for businesses and other groups that emphasize the mental more than the physical.
The facility gives participants the opportunity to select from three customized rooms, each with a unique goal to be solved within an hour.
Each room fits up to 30 people; there is also a reception area for refreshments.
“An escape room offers a unique and interactive entertainment experience that appeals to a wide range of demographics, including co-workers interested in teambuilding, couples looking for an interesting date night, bachelor or bachelorette parties, or a group of friends who want a challenge and a laugh,” said Mary Papadimitriou, co-owner, along with her husband, Dimitri. “People come here looking for something different.”
The York County History Center is two venues in one: the Historical Society Museum and the Agricultural & Industrial Museum. Both are still operating museums, but during the “off hours,” area is available for rentals, said Melanie Hady, director of public relations and marketing.
AIM is housed in a complex of renovated factory buildings, some of which date to 1874. The outdoor courtyard can be used for cocktails or for a wedding ceremony, seating up to 160. In addition, the lobby can seat 100 at round tables or 170 for a standing event, and the Hall of Giants can seat 160 for a seated meal or 250 for a standing event.
The Hall of Giants is so-called because it houses some very large artifacts, like the A-frame compressor, the two fire trucks, and the crane.
At the Historical Society Museum, the Founders’ Hall can accommodate 140 for a seated meal or 170 for a standing event. The Meeting Hall can handle 100 for a seated meal, 150 for a standing event, or 120 for a seated wedding ceremony.
“Both museums have multiple spaces, and you may choose to rent one space or two, according to your event style and size,” said Hady. “Both museums are frequently rented for events other than weddings. We have organizations holding their fundraisers and gala events here, businesses and nonprofits holding training sessions and company celebrations, and holiday parties and birthday events as well.”
The two museums have two very different “vibes,” she added. A traditional bride might choose the Historical Society Museum, a historic building that was once an automobile showroom.
“On the other hand, the Agricultural & Industrial Museum has a very funky, industrial feel, great for the bride looking for something different and unique.”
AIM does not have a full kitchen, but the Historical Society Museum does. Both require outside catering.
In all, Hady said, the History Center museums have been called “a best-kept secret” by brides and other renters.
So, when looking for a venue that’s exciting, perhaps not well traveled, and responsive to the needs of your meeting or celebration, consider everything … even those that are perhaps off the beaten path. BW