Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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November 26, 2011

Elite place to meet

New banquet center begins hosting events

The owners of a banquet hall that opened this year have almost everything set up just as a post-Thanksgiving rush in business approaches.

Elite Banquet and Conference Center, 2820 S. LaFountain St., softly opened in March as the owners and staff have worked on remaining touch-ups.

The building can accommodate two events at once, or employees can clear floor space for one large gathering.

Tom Trine, who owns the banquet hall with his wife, Carol, said the business is set up to be as much of an all-inclusive event service as possible.

A wedding display last week included an arch and seating for about 150 people on one side of the building. Opposite that, past an area organized for a catered buffet, tables were in place for the reception.

The setup creates convenience, said Trine, who also owns Windmill Grill and Windmill Catering with his wife. By having a wedding ceremony and reception in one place, guests avoid traveling through a community they might not be familiar with.

“That’s become an issue, especially for a lot of out-of-town people,” he said.

A lot of work has gone into the facility as the Trines have converted the 46-year-old building to an event center. It was previously a bar and grill, and before that, a Moose lodge.

Design schemes incorporate earthen tones and soft lighting.

The halls, which split into a north and south wing, are identical in size. The largest event Elite has been able to accommodate, which took both halls, had 465 guests.

Heavy-duty curtains divide each side, with a neutral area in between. In the middle ground, parties have access to a lounge with chairs and a fireplace, as well as room to place serving trays and a soda fountain.

A wheel-out drink cart is available to guests in the south end while a fully-stocked bar is permanently affixed in a niche on the north side.

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