BY: SPARKLY STELLAFLY
PHOTOGRAPHY: TERRY JOHNSTON
“Be Our Guest.”
That was the theme throughout a very special grand opening of Grand Rapids’ newest event space, The Ballroom at McKay, on Friday evening. Located on the second floor of the historic McKay Tower, and once home to Grand Rapids National Bank, the nearly 11,000-square-foot space has been beautifully restored into a world-class event venue. As you enter the ballroom, the first thing you will probably notice are the eight incredible twenty-four foot Doric columns, the beautiful chandeliers that sparkle throughout, and the original marble slab walls with gorgeous detail. The modular black lacquer bar features mirrored glass that compliments the mirrored glass on the upper walls.
On Friday evening, well over a hundred event professionals, city leaders, and friends of those involved were invited to get the first look at The Ballroom at McKay. Chaundra Derks, Director of Operations for Steadfast Holdings and McKay Tower welcomed everyone and thanked the architects and the many contractors who made the ballroom into what it is today. She introduced her father and owner of McKay Tower, Jonathan Borisch, who was elated at the results of the restoration project. He hopes that this space and the building are “a blessing to the city of Grand Rapids.”
Mayor George Heartwell was there as well and thanked the Borisch family for the “great gift” they have given to the residents of Grand Rapids. He remarked that it is projects like this in great cities like ours that attract bright, young, talented people to the area. The Ballroom Director, Alicia Caldecott, owner of A Day in May, Event Planning and Design in Traverse City, will oversee any events in the space. Caldecott talked about the many possible uses for the room, from weddings to social gatherings to fashion runway shows, and described the state-of-the-art audio/visual system that will accommodate a variety of technologies.
Beautifully designed tables by Jennifer Ederer of Modern Day Floral & Events; Caldecott’s firm, A Day in May, Event Planning and Design; and Jodi Bos of In Any Event showcased three very different concepts for table design in the ballroom, and there were beautiful place cards and menu cards featuring calligraphy from Lola Grace Calligraphy. Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, Applause Catering, Martha’s Catering, The Catering Company, and The Gilmore Collection—preferred providers of the venue—were on hand with delicious hors d’oeuvres, meats, cheeses, fruits, and of course desserts for the guests who walked through the space, in awe of its timeless beauty.
If you are interested in seeing the space for your special event, it is open by appointment only—call (616) 951-1078 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
They can’t wait for you to be their guest!