LEXINGTON — The long time host to community events, weddings and social functions is no longer providing food services or staff. The Holiday Inn contacted those who had previously booked events that they would terminate these services immediately.
In a letter dated July 18 from the Director of Hotel Operations Jeff Boeka, the Holiday Inn announced, “We have had to make the difficult decision that we will no longer be providing any food service for our guests. We will also no longer be providing table linens, dishes, glassware, silverware, etc.”
The hotel will also not provide any wait staff for functions.
The only things the Holiday Inn will provide is the function space, tables, chairs, and set up and tear down of the space. In addition they will keep the bar staffed for functions thanks to their liquor license.
Now, those who choose to use the conference center space will need to hire their own catering. The Holiday Inn has two catering companies which are already approved. These are Around the Block Catering from Lexington and Posh Farm Catering in Gothenburg.
“Any other requests for different caterers, or to bring in your own food must be approved by the hotel’s general manager. All outside food vendors must agree to the hotel’s terms and policy regarding use of our kitchen facilities,” Boeka’s letter stated.
All pricing for room fees which were quoted at the time of booking will be honored.
The decision behind these changes came from the owners of the Holiday Inn in Lexington, Wilkinson Development Inc., based out of North Platte. They also own the Lexington Comfort Inn, Fat Dogs gas station and the North Platte Holiday Inn.
Boeka was contacted for comment about the conference center changes but couldn’t be reached.
The conference center has hosted several long standing community events. One of those is the Key, organized by the Lexington Community Foundation.
Executive Director Jackie Berke said the LCF would wait to see how the changes impact the center and look at their options to see if they need to make changes of their own. “We’ll give it the consideration we need to,” she said.
The Lexington Area Chamber of Commerce hosts their annual chamber banquet at the Holiday Inn every other year, the Holiday Inn was the host for 2019.
Executive Director Sarah Neben said, “The Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors will have to evaluate the costs of renting the Conference Center, a caterer, and the staff necessary to serve our Chamber Banquet in February 2021 and then will make a decision on what to do going forward.”
Neben continued, “The Holiday Inn Express Conference Center has been a great partner in preparing and serving our Chamber and Farmer/Rancher Banquets in the past, and we appreciate all the staff’s hard work. The Conference Center has also handled many larger community events as well, and we hope that this will continue in the future.”
The Clipper-Herald’s own Red and Wild event has been exclusively hosted by the Holiday Inn for 11 years and are a key cooperate sponsor of the event, said General Manager Heather Heinemann. The Clipper-Herald will wait and see what changes are made to the center, she said.