Reston Association’s Lake House eyeing comeback from pandemic

Following COVID-19’s effects on the wedding industry, Reston Association expects its Lake House amenity — a venue especially geared toward wedding events — will become more of a destination spot in coming years.

The community building — like other wedding and event venues — had revenue “significantly impacted” in 2020 but could bring in over $135,000 this year, according to the association. But it comes after RA has sunk millions of dollars into the property.

A wedding expo on Nov. 7 looks to feature the venue as well as vendors in the greater Washington area that offer entertainment, catering, bridal fashions, photography and cakes.

“The Wedding Expo is an opportunity to showcase The Lake House to not only Reston Association members but also others from the DMV looking to book their wedding or celebration at a beautiful lake view venue,” RA spokesperson Mike Leone said in a statement.

No new capital expenditures are planning in upcoming years, according to a capital projects plan; a dock could be added, but there are currently no plans to do so, Leone also stated.

RA projects operating revenues to increase to $185,000 in 2022 and $195,000 in 2023, according to a budget draft, while the association seeks to reduce costs to around $39,100 and $40,600 for those years.

The capital projects plan, which was presented last month and runs from 2022-2026, notes the following:

The Lake House, which was built in 1983, purchased by RA in 2015, and then renovated in 2015, facilitates as a community rental building for RA. The 3.47-acre property … is located immediately adjacent to Lake Newport and offers lakeside views to members and guests. It is ideally suited for small to mid-sized weddings and celebrations, corporate functions, workshops, conferences, and private functions with a capacity size of 145 people. … Future plans for this facility include the addition of a dock extending from the covered deck into Lake Newport, an event tent, and a dedicated public address system.

The facility has drawn controversy throughout the years after the association bought it for $2.6 million in 2015 and repairs were three times more than expected, leading to an independent review of the asset.

The RA Board of Director could pursue the dock addition in upcoming budgets, though, including the current budget.

A first public hearing on the budget is scheduled for Wednesday, followed by meetings on the process throughout October before a second public hearing on Nov. 10.

The board is slated to approved the budget and set the assessment for 2022 on Nov. 18.

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