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Venue Profile: The Stephen F. Austin Hotel

One of the really exciting things about working in the Austin events industry is watching what everyone involved can bring to the table to make incredible parties happen. There is a ton of collaboration between the event lighting, event entertainment, and event DJs, and other vendors' creativity flying around that is funneled into a single event, usually in one evening. The backdrop for this kind of cooperation can set the tone for the months leading up to the event and jumpstarts the innovative inspiration so many vendors work from. I am, of course, referring to the venue space. Occasionally you are handed a blank canvas; think high school cafeterias. Usually, though, each venue has aesthetic or history that becomes the palette people work from. It is generally the reason the space was booked in the first place. Austin is lucky to have a couple of gems that have a unique combination of attractive qualities. One of those locations is a place we consider a second home, the Stephen F. Austin Intercontinental Hotel on Congress Avenue.

The History

In 1920, the Austin economy was booming and tourism was rising. To facilitate the influx of visitors that were pouring into Austin for business conferences and pleasurable getaways, Austin business leaders sat down and put pen to paper for what would become the Stephen F. Austin. Completed in 1924, the hotel hosted a series of grand opening festivities that included an extravagant dinner and dance for more than 600 guests in the Longhorn Garden on the hotel roof. The Austin Statesman called the hotel a “keystone to Austin’s future development.”

Over the next several decades, the hotel was reimagined in several ways to accommodate changing styles and demands. Eventually in the early 1980s, the hotel was purchased by owners from outside Austin that renamed it The Bradford and began making cosmetic changes that did not sit well with the local community. It closed in 1987 and sat vacant for 13 years.

In 2000, the hotel was reopened in the original splendor of the 1920s design. Painstaking research had been done through old photographs and text descriptions, and the renovations took two years and millions of dollars to complete. The impressive marble staircase was recreated that leads to the mezzanine level, from which you can access the famous terrace on Congress Avenue for the perfect vantage point for parades and viewing the Capitol Building.

What it means for your Austin Event

From a vendor’s perspective, the hotel’s unique history and aesthetic bring so much to the events there. Its palatial setting and unique story make it ideal for hosting uniquely Austin events. Being minutes from the downtown nightlife, government buildings, the UT campus, and museums gives its guests plenty to do during their stay. For those that are looking to host a wedding there, the hotel is unique from so many other venues in that they can provide the rehearsal dinner space, reception site , after party, day-after brunch, and room blocks all in the same location.

What this means for people looking to host their event here is that its location and capabilities make it easy on guests to plan their stay. This is especially true for those couples who are planning a wedding with a lot of out-of-town guests or company conferences where there is time built into the agenda for site seeing.

What Altared Weddings and Events can do there

As is the case with many of our event entertainment services, people usually start by selecting on of our event entertainers to host as either an MC and/or DJ. We can build from there to incorporate karaoke, the Rehearsal Dinner Rivalry, company training exercises, audio/visual needs, musicians, and photo booth rentals. Event lighting brings impactful and personal design elements to the space to enhance the overall experience for your guests.

If you are looking to host an event at the Stephen F. Austin Intercontinental, you can reach out to them here. Then let our Austin event lighting and entertainment specialists work with you to put together something amazing!