Local event venue ends inaugural season
SAN JUAN COUNTY — The tent came down Monday at San Juan County’s newest event venue as Enchanted Celebrations marked the end of its first season.
The new business opened in May on a 20-acre riverfront property on the east side of Aztec. Owner Kandice Cochrane said it was a successful season.
“This was our first season,” Cochrane said. “We did about six events this year, for just opening. … We did a retirement party, a corporate party, and the rest were all weddings.”
Enchanted Celebrations can also host family milestones, such as anniversary and graduation parties, Cochrane said.
The venue sits on 20 acres near the Animas River, though most of the events are hosted on a seven-acre yard between the property owner’s home and the river. Receptions were held in a 40-foot-by-60-foot tent that can accommodate up to 200 people. Ceremonies were held between the pond and a pasture on the other side of the yard.
A custom-made 20-seat carriage pulled by truck or tractor — depending on the event — transported guests from a one-acre parking lot at the entrance to the property to the site of the ceremony or reception.
The property also had a fire pit and an area dedicated to lawn games, as well as a 400-square foot bridal cabin.
The venue will open again in the spring, and Cochrane said it may extend its season into October next year because she is already getting inquiries about fall weddings. Cochrane also has plans to expand her business to include catering.
The venue opened in May after the idea floated around for several years. Cochrane’s parents, Martha and Norman Faver, own the property and are involved in the family-owned and -operated business. Martha Faver said “it’s the setting that made me want to do this.”
“That was the main reason – this property is just heaven. We’ve been here a little over 11 years, and right now it’s so pretty, but you should see it in the summer time,” she said.
Faver also said after retiring, she “wanted to be around people again,” and hosting events is a good way to gather people around.
“When the weddings are going on, Norm and I usually sit right out there (on the porch) and watch it,” Faver said. “It’s really fun. It’s been really neat — the weddings we’ve had, we’ve practically known either the kids (getting married) or the kids’ parents, so it’s really been neat, but we don’t go interfere.”
Not everyone was pleased when Enchanted Celebrations was preparing to open its gates to events, however.
Before the venue had its first event, Connie Peevey presented a petition to the San Juan County Commission voicing neighbors’ concerns about flood danger, “excess traffic, noise, alcohol consumption, loss of privacy, increase in crime and decrease in property value,” according to minutes from a commission meeting on May 16.
Peevey could not be reached for comment by deadline Monday.
Despite neighbors’ concerns, there is nothing barring the show from going on at Enchanted Celebrations, according to San Juan County Chief Operations Officer Mike Stark.
“They’re eligible and their business is appropriate for that area,” Stark said on Monday. “There’s nothing in county regulation that would restrict that business from operating.”
Cochrane said she posted traffic signs calling for slow speeds along the lane to the venue after a neighbor asked her to, but “we haven’t really had any complaints from the neighbors to us personally.”
More information about the venue is available online at www.enchanted-celebrations.com.
Megan Petersen is the business and education reporter for the Farmington Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4621.