The owner of an Island Park events facility has invested $500,000 to create a new, smaller party space designed to appeal to millennials.
At 6,000 square feet, The Loft by Bridgeview is less than half the size of the adjacent Bridgeview Yacht Club, which has been in business 20 years.
“There was a big need in the market for a venue on Long Island that could host smaller, more affordable and still very chic weddings,” Bridgeview owner John Vitale said.
The Loft, which can accommodate 200 guests, is connected to the 15,000-square-foot Bridgeview by an indoor hallway. Loft rates range from $75 to $110 per person; rates at Bridgeview, which can accommodate up to 400, start at $95.
“We noticed most parents really liked Bridgeview, which is a more elegant and traditional space, with granite accents and Roman columns,” Vitale said.
“But the younger people, the couples, were searching for something that was completely unique, had more of a rustic feeling and though still elegant, was a lot more hip.”
Design features at the new venue feature reclaimed barn wood, exposed brick and decorative lighting.
Vitale said he also noted that millennial couples, many paying for their own weddings, are more conscious of how many guests they invite.
“And so we saw weddings getting smaller and smaller. It’s definitely a price-driven industry; they’re watching their dollars.”
Jeanenne La Bella, chief executive and co-founder of La Bella Planners, a Port Washington wedding planning business, said “younger couples in the millennial demographic are absolutely seeking out nontraditional spaces to hold their wedding receptions, such as those with more of a rustic or vintage feel” or design “wow factors.”
La Bella, who plans about 30 weddings a year and says 85 percent of her clients are millennials, said a venue like The Loft is needed in Nassau County.
“Suffolk County has the North Fork, which has a slew of fun and hip venues,” she said. The Loft’s location near Long Beach “will definitely attract customers.”