Aberdeen business offering unique option for lost wedding days

Published: Nov. 18, 2020 at 7:26 PM CST
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ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - As the ongoing pandemic continues, businesses are looking for new and creative ways to bring in customers, while opening up to different activities not normally in their wheelhouse.

Since March, bars and restaurants have been hit especially hard. But the Zoo in Aberdeen is looking to turn that uncertainty into a new opportunity. Liz Lewno, the Venue Coordinator for Special Events at the Zoo, says it became clear that wedding receptions became a clear opportunity.

“A lot of venues in town weren’t able to accommodate new dates for people because they were unsure of what was going to happen.” Lewno says.

The idea to host receptions and other special events came as the owners of the Zoo hosted the wedding reception of their own daughter. After having success with that event, they decided to make it an option for those looking for venues to make up a wedding day.

“There’s limited places that you can have weddings. And so we thought, well we did it once. Why not try it again?” Lewno says.

The pandemic is also giving the Zoo a chance to re-brand itself. Known to many as a college bar, Lewno says adding receptions and other events gives the Zoo a chance to put on a fresh face for the community.

“We want to open it up that the Zoo isn’t just a college bar anymore. It’s not just utilized for that. And the wedding venues do definitely bring a new light.”

And when the pandemic eventually ends, it gives the bar a chance to host even more events in the community.

“We don’t want to limit ourselves to wedding receptions. You know, we want people to feel comfortable hosting their large Christmas parties, their community events, their fundraisers. We want this to become more part of the community.” Lewno says.

The Zoo will be having an open house on November 22nd for community members and prospective couples to come take a look at the options the venue offers.

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