MONTICELLO – Allerton Park and Retreat Center has announced that it is refocusing its sales efforts, prioritizing more public offerings over bookings of private events. The mansion, located at 515 Old Timber Road in Monticello, has historically been used for a variety of purposes, but park staff say they will now place more emphasis on accessibility to the public through accommodations and amenities. events.
Park officials note that while the mansion will still be available for weddings, conferences and other private events, availability will be more limited than in the past. Wedding receptions will see the biggest change, with Mansion receptions mainly available from November through April and with a reduced capacity of 80 people. Availability for garden wedding ceremonies will not change, with year round availability. Ceremonies can also be held in The Music Barn from April to October.
“For years weddings have been on our calendar and we are grateful to all the couples who were able to celebrate their love in Allerton, ”said Jordan Zech, director of the retreat center. “Now, by setting aside many ‘main’ weekends for our own activities, we can ensure that the typical visitor to the park no longer has to stare out the windows on those perfect summer and fall days. Instead, maybe they can spend the night, enjoy a themed dinner, or listen to live music on the patio. These are all events that we have organized in recent years, but now we can expand our offerings and availability.
Zech noted that Allerton will honor all private contracts currently in place, but staff have already implemented the changes internally and planning is underway for events hosted by Allerton in 2023.
Allerton executive director Derek Peterson explained that efforts to make the mansion more public have continued for several years and are part of the overall plan to make the entire estate more welcoming in an effort to achieve the vision. Allerton: “Inspiring the community to use and value nature, history and the arts through accessible and sustainable programs, research and facilities.
“After our 2015 blueprint, we began to strategize and plan for the changes needed to diversify our revenues, ”said Peterson. “As we began to restore the park and its facilities, we have seen an increase in donations of all sizes from people who want to help make Allerton better. As we offered more public events, we saw the community constantly coming to attend and support these events. “
Peterson added that wedding wear and tear was another deciding factor, but reiterated that the 120-year-old house is still available year-round for reunions and retreats. Current bookings range from academic departments, businesses, clubs, and organizations to a yoga retreat and intimate dinners.
“We are grateful to the companies and individuals who invest in Allerton, ”said Peterson. “We look forward to continuing to expand our offerings in the mansion for the entire community. “
For more information visit Allerton.illinois.edu or call 217-333-3287.