Venue update

To many ads? Support ODJT and see no ads!

rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
ODJT Supporter
Dec 9, 2009
18,524
15,873
58
Hendersonville, TN
www.RickRyan.com
Realized I haven't given an update on my little venue adventure in a while. Just in case anyone care, here it is:

Bookings have been harder than I anticipated but they are at a decent level. We ended up last year with 15 weddings and a bunch of cheap dates. This year, I've cut out most of the non-weddings and have 14 for 2022. I anticipate landing another 3-5 before the end of the year. Last year I was doing pretty much just venue+DJ with a $2.5K average. This year, I've re-vamped our packages to be all-inclusive. I've also added an Events Director, who is doing more of the sales and acts as coordinator. My current packages run from $5.5k to $9k and my net has increased to about $5k per event, which is right where I was hoping to get to.

I'm still working on improvement projects and have a few jobs that must be done before the next big event in 4 weeks (5-21). Paving my ceremony aisle. This one has been a killer. I formed it up for concrete, but can't get a truck for 3-4 weeks and even then, the ground is too soft to get a truck down there. The alternative is to do pavers, which is a big physical labor job but it's probably the only option I have that can be done in time. The other is to have the walkway from the barn to ceremony paved with asphalt. I'm waiting on 2 bids right now. The other is the bridal cabin that has to be finished out. I have plumbing installed and currently putting up drywall and finishing electrical. And as if that isn't enough, I'm planning my own wedding at the venue on 8-6-22.

My son and his wife moved into my mom's house a few weeks ago. They're adapting very well (better than expected) and we're getting to spend some quality father-son time, both with the venue and doing various car repair projects on some of the vehicles around here. I've been keeping my 8-month old grand-daughter some and that has been HEAVEN. The divorce is becoming a distant memory and for that I'm grateful. Besides all that, I do still have some health issues but nothing too bad. Dealing with high blood pressure currently but have a good doctor here who's on top of it.

Life is getting better all the time. I sincerely appreciate all the support and concern you guys have shown me.
 

sawdust123

Moderator
Staff member
ODJT Supporter
Nov 10, 2006
1,363
3,131
59
Ventura County, CA
I just had a load of work done on my place. Twenty yards of concrete in the back, artificial turf front and back and a DG (decomposed granite) walkway along one side of the house. The prep for all three surfaces were nearly identical in terms of the forms, underlayment, compaction depth, etc. Obviously, you don't need rebar with turf or DG but if you haven't put that in yet, you may wish to consider those other surfaces instead. They look better than asphalt and you don't have to drive a truck over anything to install them. I had my concrete pumped about 100 feet from the street maybe your location requires a further distance. For all the other materials, the workers just used wheelbarrows.
 

Jeff Romard

Administrator
Staff member
ODJT Supporter
Sep 4, 2006
20,996
19,542
52
Sydney, Nova Scotia
Glad to hear it's working out Rick

Even though you dumped the cheap dates could you swing some community stuff for the slower months to increase revenue?
 

rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
ODJT Supporter
Dec 9, 2009
18,524
15,873
58
Hendersonville, TN
www.RickRyan.com
Glad to hear it's working out Rick

Even though you dumped the cheap dates could you swing some community stuff for the slower months to increase revenue?
I'm filling in slower months with birthdays and graduation parties. I can usually get $750 for those. Community events don't pay, they're freebies so I do very few of those. I dumped showers and 1-year-old bdays, as they never wanted to pay more than $250 and it's just not worth the time. I have hosted one community yard sale (I let them use the parking lot with no building entry) and ended up picking up a birthday @ $500.

On the walkway, I'm probably going to go with asphalt for the walk from the barn down to the ceremony site (200'). I just got a quote for $5,825 from the first paving company. I'd prefer concrete but it's 3-4 weeks, just to get a truck out and there's no way to get a truck down the hill without getting stuck. I haven't been able to find a concrete pump anywhere.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jeff Romard

sonic-vision

Alive & kickin
ODJT Supporter
Feb 6, 2007
2,165
3,852
central Ohio
Soft blacktop & high heels don't mix! Also looks cheap compared to concrete . I don't own an venue , so what do I know?
Motorized concrete movers can move a lot of material in a short period of time & also cheaper than a pump rental .
Drivers knowing ahead of time don't seem to mind that this is a little slower than a dump or pump
 
Last edited:

Scott Hanna

DJ Extraordinaire
ODJT Supporter
Oct 25, 2006
8,108
11,988
56
Cleveland, OH
www.djincleveland.com
Soft blacktop & high heels don't mix! Also looks cheap compared to concrete . I don't own an venue , so what do I know?
Motorized concrete movers can move a lot of material in a short period of time & also cheaper than a pump rental .
Drivers knowing ahead of time don't seem to mind that this is a little slower than a dump or pump
That’s how they did my pool deck, with a mover
 

rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
ODJT Supporter
Dec 9, 2009
18,524
15,873
58
Hendersonville, TN
www.RickRyan.com
....and the saga continues.

I have a guy in the bridal cabin, installing drywall, studs, etc. Yesterday, I also spent $15k on a new lawn mower. For the past two seasons I've been fighting to keep any of my mowers running and finally got tired of it. Bought a Gravely commercial zero turn, 72" deck, 35hp engine. It's basically the biggest zero turn I could find, 80" wide, 1800 pounds. In short, a beast.

My son and I also got started on the ceremony aisle yesterday. Got about half of it done and I have another 160 pavers being delivered tomorrow to finish it up. I will be SO GLAD when these construction projects slow down.
IMG_3489.jpg
 

B-Sharp

DJ Extraordinaire
ODJT Supporter
Feb 9, 2008
2,496
3,890
48
Taunton MA
www.southcoastdj.com
Yesterday, I also spent $15k on a new lawn mower. For the past two seasons I've been fighting to keep any of my mowers running and finally got tired of it. Bought a Gravely commercial zero turn, 72" deck, 35hp engine. It's basically the biggest zero turn I could find, 80" wide, 1800 pounds. In short, a beast.
For $15,000 I'd just hire someone to do the mowing & blowing. I'm sure it's nice though.
 

rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
ODJT Supporter
Dec 9, 2009
18,524
15,873
58
Hendersonville, TN
www.RickRyan.com
I like the pavers. It is definitely better than asphalt. There seems to be a bit of unevenness to them. I'm sure you are not done yet. Put some polymerized sand between them and use the compactor to really get that stuff in there. Then wet it down and seal it once dry.
I've been very nervous about doing this right. I ended up putting down gravel, compact, then put base panels on top and laid the pavers on that (no base sand). Seems fairly even to me. I have half the pavers down and will do the sand once they're all down. I don't have a roller compactor. Do you think a plate compactor will bust up the pavers? I was just planning to sweep sand in the joints.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ittigger

sawdust123

Moderator
Staff member
ODJT Supporter
Nov 10, 2006
1,363
3,131
59
Ventura County, CA
I've been very nervous about doing this right. I ended up putting down gravel, compact, then put base panels on top and laid the pavers on that (no base sand). Seems fairly even to me. I have half the pavers down and will do the sand once they're all down. I don't have a roller compactor. Do you think a plate compactor will bust up the pavers? I was just planning to sweep sand in the joints.
My pavers were installed with a crushed concrete base of about 3 inches. This was then wetted and compacted with a plate compactor. Then a 1/2" layer of DG was put over that to get things really smooth. This was also compacted. The pavers are on the DG layer. The sand was swept over the cracks, then the plate compactor was used right on the pavers to really get the sand into the cracks. This didn't hurt the pavers at all. This process was repeated 2-3 times to really get that sand in there. You would be surprised how much sand it took to fill the gaps.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ittigger

rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
ODJT Supporter
Dec 9, 2009
18,524
15,873
58
Hendersonville, TN
www.RickRyan.com
Well then, maybe invest in (or rent) some goats.
It's actually funny you mentioned that. I'm really thinking about goats but it's going to require me to install a bunch of fencing and I'll have to give them access to the pond for water. The section of land behind the venue is marshy, and there's only certain times of the year you can even get a tractor in there to mow. Goats would be the perfect solution (I think).
 
  • Like
Reactions: B-Sharp

rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
ODJT Supporter
Dec 9, 2009
18,524
15,873
58
Hendersonville, TN
www.RickRyan.com
Yeah, that's A LOT of grass. Just curious, how long does it take you to cut all that? Do you also do trimming as well, or just crucial areas near the building or on walk ways?
Trimming is just crucial areas. It takes multiple days to cut it all, especially when you have equipment breaking down. I'm really hoping this machine is going to take away some of my frustrations.
 

rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
ODJT Supporter
Dec 9, 2009
18,524
15,873
58
Hendersonville, TN
www.RickRyan.com
My pavers were installed with a crushed concrete base of about 3 inches. This was then wetted and compacted with a plate compactor. Then a 1/2" layer of DG was put over that to get things really smooth. This was also compacted. The pavers are on the DG layer. The sand was swept over the cracks, then the plate compactor was used right on the pavers to really get the sand into the cracks. This didn't hurt the pavers at all. This process was repeated 2-3 times to really get that sand in there. You would be surprised how much sand it took to fill the gaps.
Thanks for the useful info. So far, I'm pretty pleased with how even the pavers are, just sitting on the base panels. I've been debating over whether I should use the plate compactor I already have rented or go rent a roller unit. May just try it with the plate. Do you have any guess on how many bags of sand for 260 sq feet?
 

rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
ODJT Supporter
Dec 9, 2009
18,524
15,873
58
Hendersonville, TN
www.RickRyan.com
Looks good Rick. Hope those pavers don’t give you issues and stay even
Me too. I have a good 3" of #67 gravel underneath, which has been compacted (fairly) smooth with 2'X4' base panels over that. So far, it's going down pretty smoothly. The last 160 pavers are being delivered today and I'm hoping to get the rest installed this evening.
 

sawdust123

Moderator
Staff member
ODJT Supporter
Nov 10, 2006
1,363
3,131
59
Ventura County, CA
Thanks for the useful info. So far, I'm pretty pleased with how even the pavers are, just sitting on the base panels. I've been debating over whether I should use the plate compactor I already have rented or go rent a roller unit. May just try it with the plate. Do you have any guess on how many bags of sand for 260 sq feet?
I am not familiar with base panel installations. Our environments are quite different. We barely see rain or frost and we get earthquakes. Perhaps that is why I don't seem them used here. They seem to have a texture to them that creates a gap underneath. I can't tell how big that gap is. I suspect, the sand will fill that gap. The bigger the gap, the more sand it will take. I just had 400+ sq-ft installed. It took a few bags but I didn't count.