The Tall Oaks Events Complex in Kirtland has opened a new boutique inn to accommodate its steady flow of guests while also planning to offer the public a chance to experience the center and its services.
According to marketing director Laura Walker, Tall Oaks opened in 2020, and in that time the complex has hosted between 300 and 400 events on its property, which also includes an events barn. While more than half of the events were weddings, Tall Oaks also hosts corporate events, engagement parties, and other types of private events.
The Carriage House Inn will open in early 2022, she explained. The inn comprises three “Grand Suites” on the lower floor and 10 suites on the upper floor and is intended for events in the adjacent barn.
In addition to the large suites, which offer private entrances and verandas with views of the valley and forest beyond, the lower level also includes the Tall Oaks offices and a hospitality suite. Walker said the hospitality suite, which includes a wet bar and vanity tables, is often used by pre-wedding bridal showers.
Upstairs, five suites have a view of the pond to the front, while five overlook the forest to the rear. There is a large common seating area as well as a games room at the back. Walker noted that this space is often used by groomsmen before a wedding, although it can be rented for other types of intimate gatherings as well.
She added that the new inn will make it easier for Tall Oaks to accommodate guests from out of town.
The ability to accommodate guests from farther afield is becoming increasingly important to Tall Oaks as owner Tom Christopher has noticed that customers come from places like Connecticut, New York, Maryland, Georgia, Florida, Texas, Colorado and California.
“You have no family here,” he said. “They saw the complex, they love the concept and that’s why they booked.”
Christopher explained that barns have become an increasingly popular option for corporate events and weddings. He and a team at Tall Oaks reviewed the research and found that about 20% of wedding receptions in the United States are held in barns.
He added that the Tall Oaks barn was built to a mortice and tenon construction with no ironwork. Waste wood from the property is also used.
“The nice thing is, you’re right in downtown Kirtland, but once you’re on the property you don’t feel like it,” Walker said. “You really feel like you’re escaping, and I think that’s what people love about it.
“We didn’t want to spare any expense,” said Christopher.
Parties can also customize their experience, Walker explained. She said Tall Oaks offers an in-house caterer so customers can offer bespoke menus for their events. You can also choose from a collection of decorations in the Tall Oaks warehouse.
Christopher’s company also owns the Kirtland Creamery ice cream shop. Walker noted that the dairy’s ice cream is an option for events in Tall Oaks.
Christopher also said the company brings tens of thousands of guests to Kirtland each year.
“We’re seeing a significant increase in commercial activity in the city, and we’re hearing it from … brother and sister companies,” he noted.
Christopher added that the venue is currently booking events through 2025. The premises in the inn can also be rented for the whole week.
In addition to private events, Tall Oaks is planning various “signature events” that are open to the public. The center’s closest event is Family Fall Fest, which will be held on October 16 from 12pm to 6pm. Walker said the event will feature food from the Tall Oaks caterers, including a hot dog station. There will also be a watch party at the barn for the Cleveland Browns vs. New England Patriots game.
The festival’s Eventbrite page also lists balloon and painting artists, a photo booth, outdoor games, a pumpkin art contest, inflatable bouncy castles, trick-or-treating, and hay rides. Tickets are $24.95 for children between the ages of 3 and 12 and $34.95 for adults. There is also a $99.95 package that includes two adult and two child tickets.
Additional signature events are planned for the coming months, including two Breakfast with Santa events in December.
To learn more about Tall Oaks, visit tall-oaks.com. The complex is located at 9199 Chillicothe Road.