Business Profile: Haley Station Wedding and Event Venue off to a good start

R. R. Branstrom | Daily Press Debi Haley and partner Chris Haley stand in the recently-opened Haley Station Wedding and Event Venue in Escanaba.

ESCANABA — A new business in Escanaba run by Debi Haley, originally from Gladstone, and her husband, Chris Haley, is open by appointment at 1837 3rd Ave. North. Haley Station Wedding and Event Venue saw its first booking in April and has already hosted weddings, a photoshoot, a baby shower and a paint night. Several more are lined up, with customers taking advantage of the package options offered by Haley Station.

Debi and Chris relocated from Arizona a little less than three years ago. Chris, a native Arizonan, said that he fell in love with the area when they’d come up to visit previously.

Debi reported that the dream of having an event venue as a business grew from her passion for hosting and planning parties.

“It’s just always been something I enjoyed,” she said. “And then it evolved into hosting craft nights in our house. We would have like 20 or 30 girls in our dining room. …Hosting those craft nights was fun because I got to plan for the event and coordinate with all the girls and get all the supplies and things.”

She began to toy with the notion of having a larger space that could allow for “bigger schemes” and other possibilities. Haley Station provides that, and the decorations and supplies they’ve already accumulated allows for those items to be made available for clients, too.

On January 6, 2023, the Haleys closed on the property on 3rd Avenue.

“This building is sentimental to my family because my dad used to own it when I was growing up,” Debi explained. Under her father, Tony Hurkmans, it was The Station Bar and Grill. “So when we saw that this was for sale, we jumped on it.”

Perhaps it’s fortunate that the sentimentality drove them onward; both Debi and Chris acknowledged that the building had been vacant and needed quite a bit of work.

Several businesses had occupied the space since Hurkmans had owned it. One, Retro Station, was a rollerskating rink that Debi said is responsible for the hardwood floors that are relatively new and in good shape, giving the venue a lovely bit of “character.”

Renovations took place steadily from the time the Haleys bought the building.

“We did all new windows, we had the roof replaced, the AC, furnace…” Debi began. They also redid the walls, lighting and more. Debi said that the building and restrooms are wheelchair-accessible.

While improvements were being done, they had some digital renderings made, which the pair said were fairly accurate and allowed them to line up some bookings even prior to the work’s completion. They finished in March and hosted a wedding reception on April 6.

The wedding package is ordinarily a 15-hour slot; there are a number of other customizeable options, too. They recommend a three-hour minimum, which Debi said works well when the space is needed for corporate meetings or as a photography studio. Prices are determined based on time and what is needed from staff, whether it be drink service, decorations, setup, etc.

Haley Station offers different drink packages — the venue has a bar with a liquor license, which need not be included; mocktail menus, coffee service and other specialty drinks are also available. Events can be catered, but there is no kitchen on site.

Recently acquired is a parking lot down the block for guests. At 319 Stevenson Ave. near JN Taxi, it will have signage up soon and is already marked on Google Maps.

A courtyard partially enclosed by a tall wooden fence provides an outdoor area during events. While not much work is needed, the Haleys said they plan to fix it up a little bit now that the weather is nice.

Haley Station is gaining traction on social media and has been on the radio and WZMQ.

“It seems like word of mouth has been pretty good, too,” said Debi. “Every time we have an event, we have been booking at least two events from it.”

Anyone interested in finding out more or lining up a booking may do so through the website (haleystationevents.com), Facebook or Instagram, or by calling (906)261-9159.


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