It was the planning team’s dream to find a fun, chic location in Downtown Des Moines to host the The Well’s inaugural gathering. We indeed had a really great lead on a super fun and chic location, but then learned its current renovations wouldn’t be completed by July. So we settled on our second location, only to learn that facility is also undergoing renovations next summer. So we scrambled a bit in hopes of finding a location to accommodate a large group of women AND be available on a Saturday in the summer, prime wedding season, on somewhat short notice.
I finally found an event venue that wasn’t already booked and looked really promising: Forte Banquet and Conference Center. When I first toured Forte on a Monday morning, the facilities’ manager was a bit apologetic as the place was still a bit unorganized from the previous weekend’s activities. You see, a pro-wrestling event had just taken place there. Pro-wrestling as in Hulk Hogan, Rick Flair, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, and Macho Man Randy Savage?! When I heard our gathering could be located in the same space as a pro-wrestling event, I knew we had found our match. Third time’s a charm!
In all seriousness, here are a few reasons we are entrusting Forte to host our event.
- Forte provides free on-site parking. There’s no way we are making you sweet ladies park and walk a mile in July, thereby working up a sweat. This is your day off.
- Easy access off the interstate, and it’s just one block south of Wells Fargo Arena.
- Forte’s downtown location makes it feasible for women to book a hotel room and make it a true girls weekend. May we suggest visiting the Downtown Farmers’ Market for a breakfast burrito and a cup of coffee from Java Joe’s prior to heading over to The Well?
- Baratta’s, the dedicated caterer for Forte, will work with us to provide two great meals (plus snacks and desserts!) during the gathering.
- The location provides enough space to house a makeshift prayer chapel for the day. Let’s “waste time” with Jesus, shall we?
- Sticking with that theme, Forte is two blocks from St. Ambrose Cathedral where we will attend Mass on Saturday evening.
- Finally, a ready-made dance floor is waiting for us. Need I say more? Let’s get this party started!
Author: Lisa Schmidt
Lisa Schmidt, founder of The Well, is wife to Joel, mom to four, and fan of all things Cyclones, Cubs, dark roast coffee, black and white photography, AND the Oxford comma! Lisa has a foot in two Des Moines parishes; Joel is a deacon at the Basilica of St. John and their children attend school at St. Pius X. Lisa enjoys living the liturgical year in her home, praying through praise and worship music, and gathering with family and friends for coffee and conversation.