SHELDON—The original goal for the Crossroads Pavilion Event Center was for it to host 132 events each year according to the 2017 Sheldon City Council budget workshop.
The Pavilion opened September of 2017 and booked 37 events for the four-month period in was open that year. Then 117 events called the Pavilion its host in 2018.
The events continue to be booked at a steady pace for the $5.3 million facility and 2021 will be a record year because as of Sept. 1, the Pavilion has 168 events booked, 14 more than what were held in 2019.
Pavilion general manager Tricia Meendering delivered the news to the Sheldon City Council during its meeting Wednesday, Sept. 1.
“We are really busy out there,” Meendering said. “We draw from all over the Midwest and we’ve had people come from all over the world, which is neat to hear for some of the weddings where people come from.”
Wayne Barahona is the councilman appointed to represent the Pavilion and he thanked Meendering for the job she has done.
“It’s been truly phenomenal seeing just not only how you manage the board but also the space,” Barahona said. “You’ve had challenges thrown your way and you’ve not only handled them but thrived. Everyone at the beginning who said this thing will never cash flow and it is going to be an anchor around our necks when we first proposed this idea, I just want to say thank you for proving all of the naysayers wrong.”
Councilman Pete Hamill added it has been exciting to see the process the Pavilion has made.
“There were a lot of people that were skeptical in the beginning and now it’s absolutely a home run,” Hamill said.
Mayor Greg Geels said the Pavilion will be fully paid off at the end of the year.
“Isn’t that even better?” Meendering said. “It’s great for the community.”
The Pavilion hosted 117 events in its first full year in 2018 with 40 of those being weddings. The Pavilion bested that mark in 2021 with 44 weddings.
There were 154 events were held in 2019, the most until 2021.
In 2020 the Pavilion had to shut down for 10 full weeks from mid-March to the end of May due to the coronavirus pandemic. In mid-November, a proclamation from Gov. Kim Reynolds only allowed a maximum of 15 people to gather inside, which affected the remainder of events in 2020 for the Pavilion.
There still were 146 booked events in 2020 but only 98 were held since 41 were canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions. Seven of those events rescheduled for 2021.
“Had we not had COVID, we would’ve continued to build on the momentum that we had,” Meendering said. “Even with COVID, we did phenomenal.”
The Pavilion built off the success in 2019 in 2021.
The report came before the Pavilion hosted the first Festival of Brews on Saturday. The festival was held in the main room of the Pavilion and was well attended for the three hours.
The Pavilion also hosted a dinner theatre show with the Jay Shelp Community Theatre in February, two sportsmen’s banquets and a ladies’ night out among the many events. A bridal fair is scheduled for Nov. 7 and once a month, a cooking class with Chef Susanne Bicknese is held.
Meendering and assistant general manager Haley Gunter are the two full-time employees for the Pavilion. There are 18 active part-time employees — five bartenders and 13 banquet staff.
Meendering wants to add more employees to help with the increased demand for the Pavilion, including adding a third full-time employee.
“The record shows that we are growing and we may need help in that area,” Meendering said. “It’s not just me. We have a phenomenal staff. We get compliments all of the time. We don’t want to toot our own horn. We just want to do our jobs and go home.”
There are already 40 bookings for 2022.
The Pavilion’s five-year anniversary will be Sept. 2, 2022, and it coincides with Sheldon’s 150th sesquicentennial.
“We’ve working with (Sheldon chamber director) Shantel (Oostra) on some of the festivities that will take place,” Meendering said. “We are hoping to do a super big celebration that Friday night, whether it’s a concert or outdoor picnic and a concert. We are still figuring out what that would look like.”