At 6:00 p.m. on Dec. 31, the doors of the Elite Hall in Hyrum will open with historic bravado to welcome guests to a New Year’s Eve celebration reminiscent of special events held in the building in days gone by. Guests of the party will enjoy a dinner buffet, movies, games and dancing. Viewing of the ball drop in New York City will live-stream at 10:00 p.m., and dance demonstrations and live entertainment will take place throughout the evening. Proceeds from this family-friendly event will benefit ongoing efforts to restore Elite Hall to its original luster.
Constructed in 1915, Elite Hall is a Hyrum City landmark. In its glory days, the facility, located at 98 W. Main, drew visitors from great distances to enjoy dancing on its spring-loaded dance floor. Sporting events were also held at the center, and it was a popular venue for roller-skating. Jami Van Huss, recorder of the Hyrum Historic Preservation Commission and director of the Hyrum City Museum, is passionate about restoring the building because her knowledge of its past inspires her vision of its future.
“I think it’s important in 2017 for us to come together as a community, so hopefully the Elite Hall can really start to become <em>that place</em> again,” she said. “The Elite Hall once hosted beautiful dances, balls, and other community events and this is just the beginning of a new era of entertainment.”
Van Huss also appreciates the nostalgia that accompanies Elite Hall. Many times, she says, couples who have been married for decades will share memories with her about having met on the dance floor. As these couples continue to express their sentiments, Van Huss hopes that the renovation of Elite Hall will create similar opportunities for future generations to create lasting memories.
With a price tag of nearly $2 million, the Elite Hall restoration project is an ambitious venture being approached in multiple stages. Its Phase One fundraising goal is $200,000, earmarked for exterior restoration. The Elite Hall Restoration Committee hopes to raise at least $1,000 toward this goal on New Year’s Eve. Van Huss, who serves on the committee, is dedicated to the project’s success.
“Our goal is to maintain the integrity and charm of the building while returning it to its early-twentieth-century elegance, with modern accessibility and functionality,” she said. “I’m really excited, and I hope people come to our ‘New York New Year’s Eve.’ I think there will be something fun for everyone. It’s not gonna be too long or too late, and it will just be something fun and different to do that hasn’t been done for a long time.”
Tickets for the “New York New Year’s Eve” celebration at Elite Hall will be available at the door for $10/person or $40/family of five and include both the dinner and the dance. Tickets for additional family members may be purchased at $5 each. Tickets to the dance only are priced at $5/person or $15/family. The event is sponsored by the Cache Valley Visitor’s Bureau, Firehouse Pizzeria, Square-One Printing, and Macey’s.