Local event centers see surge in bookings

Gov. Newsom's announcement to reopen the state's economy fully by June 15 has customers and businesses taking action.

Video Transcript

JASON OLIVEIRA: Some local businesses are feeling an immediate impact from the governor's announcement yesterday about plans to reopen the economy on June 15. That includes banquet halls and event centers that are now seeing a sudden surge in bookings. The owners of one Fresno business say they received several requests to book weddings in the hours following the governor's big announcement.

GRACIELA MORENO: Action News anchor Brittany Jacob joins us live from the newsroom with the rush to get everything ready after many banquet halls were largely shut down for more than a year. Brittany?

BRITTANY JACOB: Jason, Graciela, now that the governor released a date to fully reopen the bookings for the indoor events are starting to roll in for event centers. But the industry is seeing a shortage in staffing.

Empty banquet halls will soon be a thing of the past. Governor Newsom's announcement to reopen the state's economy fully by June 15 has customers and businesses taking action.

JEROMIE HANSEN: When we got the announcement our phone started to ring off the hook.

BRITTANY JACOB: Jeromie Hansen is the co-owner of The Painted Table, an event and catering company in Fresno. After the governor's announcement yesterday, the company booked seven weddings alone. But this wedding boom comes with a problem.

JEROMIE HANSEN: I have to find a staff. So, and it's an industry-wide problem right now is getting the staff to come back. For them to feel safe. For them to feel compensated.

BRITTANY JACOB: Hansen says many would-be workers are reluctant to get off of unemployment because they're afraid the pandemic restrictions could force them out of work again. So Hansen has found a new way to incentivize his staff to come back-- raises.

SYMONE TELLAW: Kind of hard to hire people when you don't know if you're going to even have hours to give them. So moving forward, we can securely say that hey, we're hiring and we have every position available.

BRITTANY JACOB: The grand banquet room at the Fresno Breakfast House also sat empty and vacant for the last year. The owner says she's excited to welcome guests back inside but their first priority is safety.

SYMONE TELLAW: We're hoping that people are going to be safe still when they do come out for these events.

BRITTANY JACOB: So with the June 15 date now less than 10 weeks away, they are hoping corporate parties, baby showers, bridal showers, and wedding receptions will return.

SYMONE TELLAW: Solid date is giving everybody a lot of hope and kind of giving us some relief in being able to know kind of where it's going in the future now.

BRITTANY JACOB: Now banquet halls are encouraging people to book as soon as possible for their special occasion since they are getting so many requests. Live in the newsroom, Brittany Jacob, ABC30, Action News.