No holiday events means banquet staff layoffs, loss in profits for businesses

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By STEELE HAUGEN
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS

Holidays usually mean holiday parties, but that is not an option this year.

“We are normally booked with our mountain room and taproom facilities from late Thanksgiving to early January for holiday parties,” said Melissa Talbott, Assistant General Manager at Deschutes Brewing.

The pandemic put a pause on all parties and with no events, there was no need for event staff.

We had to dissolve our banquet staff and our banquet lead just because we don’t have the means to use these rooms anymore and that has been unfortunate for us as a company because these are livelihoods of people that are like family to us,” Talbott said.

The year of COVID-19 is tough for businesses like Deschutes Brewing.

“It’s been hard on our team, hard on our management,” Talbott added. “Just to see this happen this time of year.”

While other businesses closed down and locked their event rooms completely like McMenamins in downtown Bend, Deschutes Brewing Public House took a different route.

“We have turned it into our employee break room because it does allow for social distancing while our team is taking breaks,” Talbott said,

With the loss of so much business, not being able to use banquet rooms, places like Deschutes Brewery are doing everything they can to stay afloat.

“Hopefully when we move forward, we will go back to some normalcy in this community, but right now we just have to do what we need to do to get by and make it happen,” Talbott said.

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