Roy is abuzz with the renovations happening over at the old rodeo hall, which is being turned into a modern wedding venue called Copper Gables.
“Originally constructed as the H.L. Wolf Feed & Implement Warehouse, the barn has also served as a general store, the local Roy post office in 1934 and a dance hall for the [Pioneer] Rodeo beginning in 1965,” the venue’s website states.
Now more than 100 years old, the barn was recently added to the Washington Historic Register.
And as new owners Michael Yegge and Jennifer Coate complete the work they’re doing on the venue, they’ve received a lot of feedback from Roy residents.
“People constantly come by that are older than me, telling me how this (building) was part of the community — they went to church here, they went to dances here, they went to concerts here — so the community is excited that it’s not just sitting here anymore,” Yegge said.
“We are hoping to make it part of the community again in a beneficial way,” Coate added.
She and Yegge wanted to start a wedding business, but were holding out for the right location to come along, Coate said.
“We had been looking for a wedding venue for some time and we met the owners that had this up for sale,” she said. “They retired and we took it over in the end of last year.”
The initial thing that attracted Yegge to the space was the 5,000 square foot dance floor on the upper story, half of the barn’s 10,000 square feet.
“We walked upstairs and just couldn’t believe it, because from the outside it just doesn’t look like you are going to walk upstairs and find that (dance floor),” Yegge said. “That’s what sold it for me.”
Yegge and Coate said when they bought the property, they could see what it could become and wanted to bring out that potential in how they updated it.
“The previous owners hadn’t done anything with the venue for a couple years so when we saw it, we were really excited because Roy is this cool, little rodeo town,” Coate said. “They had actually used this as a wedding venue for a long time, but we have this vision of coming in here and updating it, modernizing it and attracting weddings.”
They upgraded the bathrooms to accommodate crowds comfortably and added a bridal suite so that the place could be a little bit less rustic, Coate said. A groom’s suite will be added in the next month or so, and they installed all new lighting upstarts, complete with 20 crystal chandeliers to make the place feel more grand. However, the vintage wagon-wheel lights that came with the purchase are still upstairs.
With renovations underway, Coate and Yegge have already met with several young couples who have begun booking events in the new business, thanks to a little targeted marketing.
“So far, we’ve been marketing online for weddings and we’ve already booked five since we opened our doors in January,” Coate said. “We are also going to do a vintage market during the rodeo in June to attract people to what we are doing here.”
In addition, Coate and Yegge offer all the amenities of the venue without up-charging.
“We are kind of looking to be the affordable, cool, barn venue,” Coate said. “You know, there’s a lot of them out there that are really fancy and expensive, and that prices some of these kids out of the market.”
“The other venues — they up-charge for everything,” Yegge added. “People come in here and ask us all the time, ‘hey, how much to have pots and pans,’ and we’re like, ‘uh, they’re over there. Knock yourself out,’”
Year round, Copper Gables is capable of seating 250 people indoors. The fully-heated structure features both a 250-guest and a 100-guest reception area inside, and there is a covered deck for the guests outside, along with a 100-year-old oak tree for photo opportunities. Coate said there will be a courtyard as well. There is free onsite and offsite parking as well as WiFi.
The upper floor has 26-foot timber beam ceilings. There is a lighted band and stage area; an altar area; a custom bar; and coat check.
Copper Gables also features a full kitchen for catering professionals and refrigeration for cakes and food storage.
Looking to the future, Coates said that she could see the venue housing 40 to 50 weddings a year, and maybe even a few other events.
“It’s a really fun building,” Coates said. “It just has a lot of options for different things — bands and dinners and theaters and comedy shows — but we aren’t quite there yet.”
Copper Gables is located at 124 E. First St., in Roy.
Call 360-359-8138 or visit www.coppergablesbarn.com for more information.