Pandemic Hits Event Centers Hard, Earle Brown Heritage Center Could Lose $4M This Year
Entertainment and event venues across the metro have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Last month, Gov. Tim Walz placed four-week dial-back restrictions on social gatherings and businesses. Those restrictions expire at the end of the week, but some will be extended under a new executive order outlined by the governor on Wednesday.
Earle Brown Heritage Center in Golden Valley said they laid off 95 workers due to the pandemic. The event venue expects to lose $4 million in revenue. Bruce Ballanger, the general manager for Earle Brown, said 2020 has been one of their worst years in revenue since opening up 30 years ago.
“Lots of brides and groom have not been able to have the wedding that they were dreaming of, the event they wanted for many years and that took lots of time planning. They had to cancel or push to another year. Some got married in their back yard,” explained Ballanger.
Ballanger said many corporate events also had to cancel. Despite the setback, Ballanger sees positive movements happening in 2021.
“My hope is that with the vaccines coming out, that we’ll be able to start operating again by spring. And by fall that our corporate clients are confident enough to come back to meetings,” said Ballanger.