[EDITOR'S NOTE — Each week, this feature section, “Movers and Makers,” will feature the stories of the movers, launchers, entrepreneurs and makers who contribute to the vitality of the Mahoning Valley. This section is supported by our first community partner, Farmers National Bank.]
NILES — Eastwood Event Centre, 5577 Youngstown-Warren Road, hosted a VIP preview Thursday to showcase the newest full-scale conference and event center in the Mahoning Valley.
Elected officials, city leaders and business leaders from throughout Trumbull, Mahoning and Mercer counties were invited to walk through the 16,000-square-foot space to see sample set-ups for business meetings, receptions and wedding events. Guests were also were able to sample food and drinks offered by the event center services.
James Campbell, director of sales and catering for Eastwood Event Centre, said the event center is centrally located to allow easy access for various events. The center is also connected to Eastwood Mall and the Residence Inn by Mariott.
"It's just a great item to have here in the area," Campbell said.
Campbell said the center can fit events ranging from eight to 800 guests. The center can be divided into six rooms with projectors, screens and other technology to augment various events.
The center has COVID-19 protocols in place to protect the guests and employees, Campbell said. COVID-19 restrictions by the state allow only up to 300 people for events.
Rooms are properly sanitized and allow enough space for seating to comply with social distancing guidelines. Servers must wear masks and gloves while serving food and drinks. For guests, masks are required to be worn at all times, except for when seated and eating.
“We want to showcase that you can host responsible and elegant events and conferences right now,” Campbell said.
Jim Standohar, marketing manager for Servpro, said it’s great to see Mahoning Valley grow to have a facility like this available to local to businesses and the community.
There is a Servpro facility a mile down the road from the center, so having the center in their backyard makes it easier to plan events for the company and might cut down on event travel, Standohar said.
“Normally you would only see these if you travel on a trip or business meeting,” Standohar said. “To know we have it in our backyard now is so uplifting and positive.”
Standohar said the new center makes it easier for the company to plan a conference with the tools they need, fewer travel expenses and ability to keep everyone safe during the pandemic. Servpro has an event planned at the center in December.
“We have the conference experience in our backyard,” Standohar said.
Eastwood Event Centre is owned by the Cafaro Co. and managed by Columbus Hospitality Management.
Joe Bell, director of corporate communications for the Cafaro Co., said the company has been looking to create an event center in the area but had to put it on the back burner for years.
“It was one of those ideas where we said, ‘We want to do this right,’ so it took a long time to process the ways to do it,” Bell said.
Beth Kotwis Carmichael, executive director of Trumbull County Tourism Bureau, said the new meeting space was needed for Trumbull County and the surrounding areas.
“This space is so flexible. … I think it’s going to be very successful,” Carmichael said.
Carmichael said she expects the center to become busy on the weekends. The tourism bureau plans to work with the center to help attract business events during the week.
“We have some of these corporations in Northeast Ohio that can host their meetings here,” Carmichael said, adding the center "keeps those people local that are here but also bring in technology to have hybrid meetings right here."
Bell said the center has great adaptability to do whatever people need to have an event.
“We want to make this an impeccable experience for people who are looking for just the right [place] to have their business or social function,” Bell said.
The cost for each event will vary depending on the type of event, the number of people and the length of time. For more information about the center or event pricing, contact the center at 330-989-7225 or visit the website.