The City Of Meetings: The City Of Fenton

September 1, 2008

Fenton

 

By Tony Carosella

The City of Fenton, Missouri is known as the “City of Parks” because of the 350-plus acres of parks where residents and business people can relax during a busy day. Fenton could also be known as the “City of Meetings,” since the community is the hub of businesses containing several large companies such as Chrysler, Fabick, Maritz, Joyce Meyers Ministries and Unigroup. Fenton also has the enviable location of being at the intersection of Highways I-44 and I-270, giving it easy access to the entire St. Louis metro area.

Fenton Jewel

Perched on the crest of a hill, shimmering like a jewel at night, Riverchase overlooks Fenton and contains a complex of swimming pools, meeting rooms, a gym and exercise facilities. The architecture is expansive and playful, with a large atrium entrance and an open view of the swimming pools, exercise area and gym. In 2001, USA Today highlighted Fenton’s Riverchase as one of the “10 Great Public Pools” in America. Nancy Battersby, Fenton’s Director of Parks and Recreation, is justifiably excited about her “72,000 square feet of fun.” Battersby says, “We regularly host high school lock-ins in addition to regular groups and meetings. The best part of having an event here is that the participants can take advantage of the pool and work-out areas after their event.” The large community room can handle up to 200 people recption-style and guests can indulge with their on-site concession stand and kitchen.

Meet Me in Fenton, Fenton

Just a little north of Fenton Olde Towne (located on and near Main Street in the southeast section of the city), bordering the Meramac River, is the Anheuser-Busch Center and Soccer Park. The combination of conference center and soccer park is unique and offers interesting combinations of events. The facility regularly hosts soccer, lacrosse, volleyball and other sporting events on its 6 soccer fields. There is seating for up to 6,200 people in the lighted main stadium, and additional seating can be added to boost an audience up to 8,000. The soccer park also hosts company picnics and other corporate events on the fields. The open setting is perfect for the very popular inflatable entertainment rentals. Event attendees can also take advantage of the on-site concession stand and catering.

The conference center is a combination of conference, meeting and banquet rooms, with the flexibility to size the space for small groups and up to 250 people seated in the large banquet room and the adjoining veranda. The newly renovated Executive Conference Room seats up to 24 in a U-shaped configuration and features the latest A/V presentation equipment. The large banquet room, known as the St. Louis Room, can host a sophisticated presentation, with its own A/V multimedia suite. The entire conference center is WiFi-enabled. Sales and Marketing Supervisor, Kenny Endermuhle, touts the ambiance and amenities the center has to offer.  Kenny says, “We host all types of meetings and the combination of the presentation facilities, in-house catering with a full-time chef, convenient location and a first-rate staff keeps event planners coming back.”

A fixture in Fenton since 1980 is Andre’s West. Owner John Armengol touts, “We are one-stop shopping for weddings and parties; and make having an event very convenient for our customers. For weddings, we have available on-site tux rentals, invitation printing, four photographers, two florists, DJs, a bridal shop and two ministers.” Another advantage that Andre’s has over other venues is that the west location has an 8,000-square-foot room that serves only one event at a time. “Brides never have to worry that their reception is being held at the same time another reception is happening in another room down the hall,” Armengol says. The banquet room seats up to 325 people and rates start at $9.25 per guest up to $50 per guest. Andre’s has expanded to five other locations around St. Louis, and can tailor the site to match the event. In addition to the six locations, Andre’s also features off-premise catering up to a 50-mile radius.

Commerce is Booming

Rick Nadler, the owner of Grand Rental Station in Fenton, loves it when his customers put a lot on his plates – as well as his tables, chairs, grills and anything else he can rent to them. Grand Rental Station is in the business to rent everything related to meetings and events. “If someone is staging a big corporate event, like the Boeing Company Picnic with 80,000 people, or a small backyard party, we can augment the event with anything they might need.” Nadler says. The rentals not only apply to parties and events, but audiovisual, construction equipment, lawn and garden, painting and plumbing. Grand Rental Station is a franchise owned by True Value Hardware, with more than 500 locations around the country. Nadler has been in business for 13 years and also serves as the president of the chamber of commerce.

Jeannie Braun is the Executive Director of Fenton’s chamber of commerce, and commerce is booming. “Fenton is home to several large corporate entities and many smaller businesses,” notes Braun.  The parks system balances the large industrial base, with more than 350 acres of park space available to residents and workers. George Winter Park, Riverside Golf Club, the Heroes Memorial and Riverchase are the gems of the system. Fenton has a lot to offer businesses and residents alike.

Fenton-based KLEERTECH is a company that offers a variety of badges for meetings and events. They manufacture their own name tag badges and offer more than 400 styles to suite any taste. If you’re looking to “green” your meetings, KLEERTECH now offers the BIOTECH Badge System. All BIOTECH products contain plant-based plastic that has an accelerated rate of decomposition.

Conference Direct is a company that handles complete meeting management worldwide and offers a regional office in Fenton. National account manager Andy Croak states, “We are in business to save time and money for anyone planning a meeting.” Conference Direct’s forte is the ability to negotiate a more secure contract with major hotels and meeting locations, to get the best rates for their clients. Being part of a large network ensures that rates are the best, and comparison of sites is much easier because of their standardized forms. Best of all, the service is free to event planners looking to book their meeting at any major venue across the country. With headquarters in Los Angeles and Atlanta, they cater to corporate, organization and association meeting planners. They help schedule up to 5,200 meetings a year.

Hungry for Business

All About Taste is a Fenton-based caterer that specializes in corporate catering. Owner Linda Bedenikovic says, “We bring homemade taste to corporate America.” The business is family-run and serves cold or hot entrées for lunches and dinners.

Edible Arrangements is a very creative twist on the traditional floral arrangement. Instead of flowers for centerpieces, fruit is arranged in floral patterns. Owner Shari Gudermuth says the chocolate-dipped fruit pieces are very popular. Prices range from $34 to $200, and can be delivered across the country, just like floral arrangements, by one of their 900 franchises.

The Inn Crowd

There are several hotels located in the Fenton area. In addition to accommodations, several offer meeting space as well. The Fairfield Inn by Marriott makes their breakfast room available after 10 a.m. for small meetings. With seating for up to 28 people, rates are $50 per 4-hour session or $100 for the day. The Holiday Inn Express also offers a separate meeting room. This room is popular for small training sessions and meetings for up to 20 people. Rates are $75 for a half day, and $100 for a full day.

Location, Location, Location

Today, the City of Fenton has more than 4,000 residents, while more than 600 businesses employ about 30,000 people. At the crossroads in St. Louis, Fenton is a hub of business and industry and a great location with many resources for your meetings and events. Whether you are looking for venues, accommodations or services, Fenton should be at the top of your list. MM&E

(Tony Carosella is a contributor from New Haven, Mo.)

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Fenton Area Chamber of Commerce

Jeannie Braun, Executive Director

(636) 717-0200

[email protected]

www.fentonmochamber.com

Andre’s West

211 S. Old Highway 141

Fenton, MO 63026

(314) 691-5650

www.andresbanquet.com/andreswest.html

Anheuser Busch Center  and Soccer Park

1 Soccer Park Rd.

Fenton, MO 63026

(636) 343-5347

www.abconference.com/docs/

Riverchase of Fenton

990 Horan Dr.

Fenton, MO 63026

(636) 343-0067

www.fentonmo.org

All About Taste

1914 Bowles Ave.

Fenton, MO 63026

(636) 305-8080

Edible Arrangements

912-D Meramec Station Rd.

Valley Park, MO 63088

(636) 861-1200

www.ediblearrangements.com

Fairfield Inn By Marriott

1680 Fenton Business Park Ct.

Fenton, MO 63026

(636) 305-1500

www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/stlfn-fairfield-inn-st-louis-fenton/

Holiday Inn Express

1848 Bowles Ave.

Fenton, MO 63026

(636) 349-4444

Grand Rental Station

570 Rudder Rd.

Fenton, MO 63026

(636) 343-7278

www.grandrental-stl.com

KLEERTECH

2380 N. Lark

Fenton, MO  63026

www.KLEERTECH.com

(636) 677-6610, ext. 116

Conference Direct

1670 Fenpark Dr.

Fenton,  MO  63026

(636) 346-3331

About the author

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