Saline County has a new mid-size event venue for weddings, receptions, corporate events, parties and more in the former Sears Building.
Osage Events, located at 1110 Ferguson Dr. in Benton, is owned by T.J Nichols, Fran Nichols and Terry Nichols.
Fran said T.J. originally acquired the building for T.J.'s other business — Blu Stream Media — to have a home and place to store all his equipment.
"He said, 'Mom, what are we going to do with the rest?'" Fran said.
They realized it would be a great space for events once they cleaned it up and made repairs.
They feel the newly renovated space meets a need in the community. It can accommodate events that are too small for the Benton Event Center and too large for many of the smaller spaces in Saline County. They added that many event venues in the area often are booked out a year in advance so Osage adds more options.
They said it also offers a different floor plan.
T.J. wanted the name of the venue to have a meaning so he chose the name of the place where he proposed to his wife.
According to T.J., the space can seat 300 people. The space also offers round and rectangle tables or it can be set up theater style in the 6,400-square-foot room.
While the venue has not begun to advertise, Fran said they are already getting bookings and people contacting them to learn more about the venue.
T.J. said they are currently doing many bookings for spring.
"Being centrally located in Benton is neat because we have got a handful of restaurants and catering companies less than 5 miles away," T.J. said.
Terry Nichols said the three owners are proud to be part of the Benton Community.
Tables and chairs are included in the rental price of the space. They also have table clothes and overlays in a variety of colors.
Because the building is also where T.J. has his office and equipment for Blu Stream, he will be able to package together rental and audio visual services for those who use Osage. He added that because he will be on site there are no worries about forgotten equipment.
T.J. emphasized that renters of Osage do not have to use Blu Stream. They can use whomever they want for their AV services, he just believes his will be the better choice.
He has a list of options to customize events.
"Any AV you need or imagine we can do in house," T.J. said.
In addition to events, he can also use both the main area of the venue and a smaller space in the back for a photography studio. Corporations can use it to shoot video or it can be used for pictures.
The remodel includes new floors and freshly painted walls. They saved some of the wood from the shelving to turn into a back wall in the smaller space. The remodel took two-and-a-half months.
Part of the remodel was to add electrical outlets all over the space, on the walls and in the floor. Throughout his career doing audio and visual services, T.J. said he has been to all sorts of venues and seen what people needed and wished they had. He tried to address all those issue up front.
Because they know they will be working with corporate events, Osage offers its renters secured Wi-Fi at no additional cost.
The Nichols want people to stop by the venue and see it for themselves.
The community will have the chance to see it in action during the Grand Opening from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 10. They have decided to make their event an expo for different event service vendors from caterers to florists to disc jockeys and bakers.
"This is our way to promote local vendors and showcase our venue," Fran said.
They want to be able to give suggestions to any renter that asks so they are collecting the cards of area vendors along with putting on the show.
Fran's goal is for anyone who walks in needing to plan an event can do so at the show.
The event is not limited to those planning events. Fran and T.J. know many people simply want to see how they transformed the Sears building so they want the community to come out and take a look.
"It'll be good for them to see," Fran said.
There are seven vendor spaces left. Fran said to contact her if someone is interested.
Fran would prefer anyone interested to stop in to see the place.
"We want people to come and see it and get to know us," she added.