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Oricchio booking events as Red Barn banquet manager

To her accounting background and marketing skills, Casey Oricchio is adding responsibility as the new banquet manager at the Red Barn Banquet and Auction Hall in Spring Valley.

Now that the Red Barn's co-owner, Merry Hines, has taken over the business' café, a manager for the banquet facility was needed, Oricchio said Friday. She'll line up events, see to the facility's ongoing operation and provide customer service.

"We can accommodate groups from 20 to 450," she said, busy last week with preparations to promote the facility at this past Sunday's Spring Fling Business Expo in Ellsworth.

All of the food is prepared on-site, the new manager said about catering organizational, business-related or family functions. A full bar is available, plus a fully equipped kitchen is situated between the banquet hall and the café.

Oricchio said she can help arrange menus, which can range from gourmet appetizers to one- or two-meat meals featuring vegetable blends, pastas and the like. Prices per plate are reasonable and very competitive, she added.

The comfortable surroundings include a stage for presentations and large screen to project images, she said. An adjacent foyer is suited to smaller group and one-on-one socializing. Decorations including centerpieces, lighted trees and archway can be offered or rentals can be arranged. Referrals are possible to DJs and bands for music.

"We can do as much of the planning or as little as the customer wants," she said, mentioning there's a convenience station-and-store besides the café, along with plenty of parking, right on the Red Barn property and lodging places nearby.

The hall has hosted bridal shows, prom and sorority parties, plus both public and private gatherings in the past, Oricchio said. She's ready to house business meetings, with or without dining, anniversaries, birthdays and corporate holiday parties. The premises can handle dances with bands and graduation parties.

Also in the works are a sportsmen's show, a home-and-garden show later this spring and a wine tasting event with jazz music this summer, she said.

"Three weddings have been booked for June already," she said, noting a couple of 2008 events are on the calendar, too.

She suggested people do their bookings six months in advance of their events, if possible. There are availabilities on weeknights, like Thursday evening business sessions or Friday night sorority parties, as well as on weekends, including Sunday afternoon attractions.

"Auctions are booked a month in advance, but banquets take priority," she said.

The manager said she's prepared to meet with customers at the hall and show them the accommodations. The Red Barn is located at the south intersection of Hwys. 63 and 29, northeast of Ellsworth and west of Spring Valley. She can be contacted at 273-1474.

In addition to the manager's position she began early this month, Oricchio is employed in marketing at Coordinated Business Systems' Red Wing branch. She said she organizes direct mailings and produces newsletters for the company, which sells copiers, fax machines and more. Her marketing experience there and accounting abilities (she attended Minneapolis Business College for accounting for a year) will be helpful in her banquet hall role, she agreed.

Her husband, Jay, is in sales at the same business systems outlet, she said. The couple, who live west of Ellsworth, have three children: Jordan, age nine-and-a-half, Maria, three-and-a-half, and Ethan, two.

Oricchio said she grew up in Ellsworth and graduated from Ellsworth High School in 1996. Her top high school subjects were business, marketing and accounting; a favorite sport was volleyball. In her spare time now, she enjoys scrapbooking and vacationing in destinations such as Maui, Hawaii, and Orlando, Fla.

For booking arrangements at the Red Barn Banquet Hall, contact Casey Oricchio at