Area banquet hall director has own questions about reopening as customers call for answers

Local News

Customers are calling the B&O Station about the guidelines they'll need to follow for their events, but many haven't been released yet

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – On Thursday, Ohio Governor Mike Dewine announced that banquet halls can reopen on June 1. It’s another big step in helping Ohio restart its economy.

For the B&O Station in Youngstown, this means adjusting its safety protocols after sitting quietly for the past two months.

“We’re going to be renovating a little bit, just minor renovations,” said Catherine Fetter, B&O’s director of operations.

This includes installing plexiglass at buffet stations that guests will stand behind. Also, more sanitized areas and keeping employees spread apart.

Still, Fetter has a number of questions.

“People have banquets to celebrate milestones and people like to take pictures when they’re celebrating their milestones. So how are we supposed to social distance people six feet apart?” she wonders.

Fetter said they’re starting small by only allowing 150 people for each banquet.

Though many guidelines haven’t been released, Fetter said she’s been overloaded with phone calls.

“Obviously, everyone who has an event planned for this summer wants answers now about what they are allowed to do and when can they come in and meet and I still don’t know. I still have a lot of questions that I still need to get answered,” she said.

Fetter said she’s trying to help all of her customers as much as possible, but the B&O is about two to three months away from having scheduled events.

“When you think of a banquet facility, it’s not like a restaurant where people are like, ‘Oh, let’s make plans to go out this evening.’ When people are planning celebration events where they are inviting people, typically, they sent invitations out and they typically send those out at least six weeks in advance,” Fetter said.

Fetter added that she feels more confident about the B&O having more outdoor events this summer.

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