Matt and Sara Ricke purchased and began construction on the closed St. Louis Catholic Church in August 2018 with the vision of creating a comprehensive event venue for Northwest Iowans. In May of 2019, they turned their vision into a reality, with the grand opening of The Great Hall of Royal.
2020 was set to be the Great Hall’s first full year of operation, but plans were quickly halted due to nonessential business closures. Despite major setbacks, the Rickes were determined to continue carrying out their mission of giving their community a space to gather. They got to work making arrangements to move events to their outdoor space to meet gathering guidelines, modified their catering service, and even began hosting community movie nights in their larger indoor space.
The Rickes acknowledge that the support of the community was essential in making it through this difficult period, which is why they made it a priority to support other local businesses that continued to operate. “It was important for us as members of the community to make sure that not only were we asking for others to support us, but we, in turn, were supporting them,” said Matt Ricke in his interview.
Part of the community support the Rickes received was from their local Small Business Development Center. Their counselor, Todd Rausch, helped them navigate COVID-19 regulations kept them up to date on government funding opportunities throughout the pandemic.
Learn more about Great Hall of Royal on their website https://www.greathallofroyal.com/ and connect with them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/The-Great-Hall-of-Royal-350029342456710