Denver Botanic Gardens has planted a new event space just in time for wedding season.
The gardens finished construction on Deer Creek Stables, a new, 2,400-square-foot event space at its Chatfield Farms location, in May. With the event-hosting business generating one-third of Chatfield’s $1.7 million in annual revenue, Chatfield Farms director Larry Vickerman said it was time to replace the tents that used to house crowds with a permanent venue.
“We did a tent here for a number of years, but we are not big fans of tents,” he said. “We decided to do a permanent structure about a year ago.”
The new structure seats 225 people at round tables. More than 1,000 people can sit in the large grass fields located outside of the Deer Creek Stables building and additional tents can be added for larger parties.
From May to late October, the space can be rented for a minimum of six hours at $200 to $400 per hour, depending on the day. Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms invested $350,000 in the structure.
Vickerman said nothing is cheap any more but it was a worthwhile investment.
“It’s a major source of income for this portion of the Botanic Gardens,” he said.
The structure, built by Mendel & Company Construction, has features missing from the previous tents. There is lighting throughout the stables, concrete flooring, heaters and siding that can be lifted for views of the gardens.
Chatfield Farms hosts 80-90 weddings a year. Vickerman said Deer Creek and the landscaping make it a popular destination.
Chatfield Farms also hosts approximately 15 corporate events every year, and Vickerman hopes the new facility will raise that figure. Recently, Women in Technology hosted an event with more than 600 people at Deer Creek Stables.
Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms employs eight or nine seasonal employees and 13 part-time employees. Seasonal attractions include a corn maze, butterfly garden and a pumpkin festival. It gets about 150,000 visitors a year.