Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Frequently asked questions about the Apple Barn

The Apple Barn has a long and varied history in this valley and started out in 1911 as the first dairy barn in the area to have a concrete floor. As well as the dairy herd it was also home to a cheese factory for many years and was never actually used as an Apple Barn.

For a number of years it has been used for weddings, rehearsal dinners, contra dances, charity auctions, music venues, meetings as well as labyrinth walks.

1. The Apple Barn is only available for use to non-conference center groups from April 1 through November 30 each year. The reason for this is because all parking is in the grassy area outside the barn and we cannot guarantee the weather and thus the availability of parking from December through March.

2. Our conference center guests always have first choice in using the Apple Barn. Sometimes our groups use the Apple Barn for a meeting space in the morning and in that case it would be available after they leave for a reduced rate.

3. We do not take reservations more than 50 weeks in advance. We also do not keep a waiting list so you need to call back 2 weeks after the date you are looking at for the next year. It is always first come first served after our guests.

4. We normally reserve the second Saturday of each month for the Boone Country dancers to hold a community contra dance. We do not switch dates for these dances so please do not ask us to do that for you. If you wish to have a day time reception on a Saturday when they are dancing there is a reduced rate and you must be cleaned up and out of the Apple Barn by 5 PM.

5. The normal rental rate is for one full day whether you need it for a full day or not. The rental rate is also the same regardless of the size of your group. Currently the fee is $1,300 for the day.  We will try and accomodate all requests for early access to the Apple Barn but we do reserve the right to rent the space up until the week of your function. If you wish to guarantee early access for set-up/rehearsal purposes only you may do so by reserving the Apple Barn by paying 1/2 of the current rate. Upon signing a contract you will pay a $500 non-refundable deposit. If for any reason you must cancel your date all monies paid will be forfeited unless we can resell your date minus the non-refundable deposit. The fee does include a liability insurance policy.

6. The rental fee covers the use of the Apple Barn and the grassy area around the Apple Barn only. The fee does not include the other buildings near the Apple Barn or their porches. These buildings may be rented out to conference center groups during your function.

7. There is a hospitality area with a bar sink (cold water only not for washing dishes), a 3 decanter coffee maker (with filters and decanters provided. You provide all coffee and other supplies), a standard size refrigerator with freezer for your use (no ice maker) and four large trash cans with garbage bags provided.

8. Due to spillage problems in the past there are no bars permitted inside the Apple Barn. They can be set-up on the deck or on the ground.

9. You are responsible for a general clean up inside and outside the Apple Barn as well as bagging and disposing of all garbage as you leave. You may dispose of your garbage in our dumpster located behind the kitchen. You are responsible for folding all tables and chairs and putting them back in the storage closet under the direction of the security person

10. We have inside only tables and chairs for rent. If you need outside tables and chairs they must be rented from an outside rental company and their delivery and pick-up must be arranged and co-ordinated with the Conference Center management. Our chairs are a white wooden garden chair. The round tables are 60" lightweight plastic and can accommodate up to 10 people. We also have 30" x 72" rectangular tables as well as some 4' x 2 ' and 4' x 4'.

11. No tents larger than 10 x 10 are permitted and any tent locations must be approved in advance by our property manager. There are no exceptions to this rule.

12. There is an additional fee for security for all events. Currently the cost is $200 for 6 hours. Any additional hour or part of an hour is charged at a rate of $40 per hour. The security person will help with parking and will monitor your guests and their behavior and does have the authority to come to you and/or shut the function down should the need arise. They also know where all electrical boxes are and can also help if their would be any maintenance issues. The security person must also stay and lock the barn after your function and this time is counted towards their time. If you are renting our sound system they will do all needed adjustments.

13. No nails, screws or staples are permitted anywhere inside or outside the Apple Barn. Push pins are permitted but please no thumb tacks. Please advise your caterers and florists of this rule. The Apple Barn is not just an old barn to us but is an important part of our history and we ask you and your guests to respect it as we do.

14. Candles are permitted as long as they are in a votive cup or globe. This is very important as the Apple Barn is an historic structure and we would not like you to start a fire.

15. There is absolutely no smoking permitted inside the Apple Barn. Smoking is permitted outside but please ask your guests to dispose of their butts in the cans provided not on the ground.

16. The Apple Barn is rated for a maximum occupancy for 271 people but we feel it is best suited for groups from 50-200. The amount of people of course is dependant on how you set-up and use the space and we can't really tell you how many can fit in the Apple Barn.

17. We do have a PA system which can be rented. For an Ipod hook-up the cost is $50.oo. We have two wireless microphones with stands at a cost of $50.00 each. We have a projection screen available for $25 and a TV/DVD with the sound system for $100. The security person will be in charge of all needed adjustments to the system. Please advise your caterer that we do not allow access to the storage closet located in the Apple Barn.

18. There are 5 beams in the Apple Barn and they are approximately 86" off the floor. You are welcome to wrap the beams with Christmas lights but by order of the Fire Marshall they must be removed after your event. We do have a few step stools you can use but we do not provide ladders due to liability concerns. There are plenty of electrical outlets in the barn. There are 5 old pews in the barn which can be used in any way you like but not moved outside. There are usually 4 very old rustic tables you may use. We can provide a cake table at no charge.

19. Many people ask us about having their wedding ceremony in the hayfield across the road from the Apple Barn. Unfortunately this is not possible so please don't ask. This is a working hayfield and NC 194 is a very busy road.
20. The 911 address for your GPS is 4888 NC Hwy 194 South, Banner Elk NC 28604. Please remember that many GPS systems are nortorioulsy incorrect in the mountains.

We hope this blog helps you understand how the Apple Barn works. Please feel free to call our office at 828-963-4453 or e-mail us at vccc@highsouth.com or visit our website at www.highsouth.com/vallecrucis for more information, current prices and to schedule a site visit.