NEWPORT NEWS-The Hampton Roads Event Center in Newport News is celebrating one year of creating memorable celebrations.
The center is owned and operated by Bruce Gearey and his wife, Robin. Gearey said they decided to open the business because they felt there was a need for such a venue.
In the short time it’s been open, Hampton Roads Event Center has hosted numerous weddings, rehearsal dinners, retirement parties, birthday parties, milestone anniversaries, showers, and corporate events, with about half of the celebrations having been weddings. Both the ceremony and reception can be held at the event space.
With 2,300 square feet inside, the venue can hold up to 130 people. The patio area is 2,400 square feet. Both areas are included for the celebrations and have bars. The décor is described as rustic yet elegant. There are a variety of in-house decorations for hosts to personalize the events as well as a variety of tables. Cost ranges from $2,100 to $3,000 depending on the day.
While they do not have a catering team, there is a warming kitchen. A list of preferred catering, music, and other vendors is also available, Gearey said.
There is only one celebration each day so renters can use it beginning at 9am for the entire day and evening. There are three hotels within walking distance from the venue, making it ideal for out-of-town guests and for those guests not in a position to drive home. It is also close to Newport News-Williamsburg Airport.
Originally from Pennsylvania, Gearey came to the Peninsula via the U.S. Navy. He retired from the Navy in 2016 and worked for a corporation that required a lot of travel. That job situation was not ideal for his family life, so he and his wife opted to switch gears. They opened the Hampton Roads Event Center near their other business Salon Suites, which they started five years ago.
“We are really pleased we opened this,” Gearey said. “It’s been a pretty easy business to run.”