The Above the Valley Special Event Center opened for tours on Monday, coinciding with the kickoff to Happy Valley Culinary Week.
The center, located at 559 N. Pennsylvania Ave. in Centre Hall, will also be open for tours Friday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Purchased in January by co-owners Kit Henshaw and Harrison Schailey, the event center was previously the Mount Nittany Inn, which closed its doors in December 2014. Henshaw and Schailey, who also own Harrison’s Wine Grill and Catering in State College, said they’ve received at least 100 inquiries in the last few weeks. At least four have already booked for August, Henshaw said.
The center hosted its first event, a wedding and reception, over Memorial Day weekend.
“You find the statue in the stone,” Henshaw said. “That’s what we’re trying to figure out with groups. We listen to what they want and that’s how we figure out what’s going to work right.”
The pair originally looked at the four-story, 14,000-square-foot building five years ago. Previously a restaurant, the center offers three levels for events, with space for more than 375 guests in total. The Elevation 1809 room on the main floor hosts up to 200 guests and its glass porch provides a vista of the Penns Valley below. Sandwiching the Elevation 1809 room are the Overlook room above and the Hillside room below.
Henshaw said they are working with Flashpoint ISP to offer free Wi-Fi throughout the building. The pair are also working on Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board approval for the liquor license transfer.
The event center hosted a wedding shower last Saturday and will host a business meeting next week. The wedding over Memorial Day weekend, held between two Boalsburg families, had their original site fall through, Henshaw said, but the timing aligned for all parties involved.
“It was a great start,” Henshaw said.
The original building was constructed in 1928.
Roger Van Scyoc: 814-231-4698, @rogervanscy