Event venue expands to include motel, campground

Aug. 2, 2018

Visitors to Canton have new options for lodging.

Gate City Events & Lodging has added a motel with 11 rooms and campground with 20 RV sites to its property along Highway 18 on the west side of town.

“We’re just starting to get people” at the motel, said Tom Rutten, who owns the business with his wife, Denise.

The rooms have two queen beds, a microwave, refrigerator and TV. Two are accessible for those with disabilities. Rates are $120 on Friday and Saturday nights, and $80 on other days.

The motel rooms are open to anyone, but most of the guests so far have been attending events on the property.

The Ruttens opened Gate City Events last year, turning a former residential property into a commercial venture. They have two buildings for wedding receptions, family reunions and other gatherings. Events can be held in a 1920s farmhouse that sleeps 24, features a fully updated kitchen and was expanded to include an indoor pool and hot tub. The couple also converted an adjacent building into an event space that can seat up to 400 people banquet-style and includes a bridal room, groom’s room and kitchen.

Going into the second year, business “has gone pretty good as far as I consider,” Rutten said. “People are already booking out two years for weddings.”

The 14 full hookup sites in the campground opened last year, and work is wrapping up now on six electrical sites. The spaces rent for $30 a night. The majority of the sites are being rented by snowbirds who will head south for the winter, Rutten said.

They are waiting to see how busy the campground before possibly adding a bathhouse and 10 more sites next year.

Adding more motel rooms is not as likely, Rutten said.

“Right now, we’re going to stick with them and see how that goes. If it doesn’t pick up during the week, it doesn’t really pay for itself.”

Gate City has 5 additional acres that could be developed.

Event venue expands to include motel, campground

Gate City Events & Lodging has added a motel with 11 rooms and campground with 20 RV sites to its property on the west side of Canton.

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