Mills to add event venue to campus

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Leslie Keen, the event space manager at Rocky Mount Mills, stands Monday in the still under construction switchgear level of the Power House at Rocky Mount Mills.


Staff Writer

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The Rocky Mount Mills has hired a local woman to oversee a new meeting and event space that will be opening next year on the campus of the 150-acre mixed-use development on the Tar River.

Nashville native Leslie Keen recently was hired as the new event space manager of the Power House at the Rocky Mount Mills. Keen spent more than four years as the public relations manger and marketing manager of Southern Bride & Groom, which is regarded as the leading wedding planning publication for the past 20 years in the Triangle area.

“We are extremely excited to have Leslie join our Rocky Mount Mills team,” said Evan Covington Chavez, real estate development manager of the Rocky Mount Mills. “She is a local resident who is bringing a wealth of event industry experience. Leslie is the perfect fit for the event space manager position.”

Keen will be overseeing all the special events at the Power House, which will range from corporate luncheons, large weddings, charity or fundraising events to intimate social gatherings. Keen’s role will include promoting the event venue at the Mills locally as well as in the surrounding areas.

“It’s exciting to be able to come back to my community, help things grow and get in on the grassroots of things happening,” she said.

The Power House is a century-old brick and wood facility that’s located between the Rocky Mount Mills brewery incubators and the main mill building.  Keen said it was once the former boiler room for the old Rocky Mount cotton mill. The Power House is a 4,000-square-foot multi-level indoor and outdoor space that can hold roughly 280 people for a seated event and 400 people standing.

Along with large 10-foot windows, the Power House will be equipped with a 12-foot by 16-foot stage, stage lighting and audio-visual equipment such as a podium, microphone, projector and screen and wireless Internet. It will also be a non-smoking venue with ample parking and be handicap accessible. 

Keen said plans are for construction of the Power House to be completed by the early part of next year and booking for events to begin in April.

“The Power House will be a beautiful event venue unlike any other in the region, and we’re already receiving a large number of inquiries for weddings and corporate event bookings for next year,” Covington said. “The Power House will be priced comparable to other event venues in our region. We’re confident that it will be a great addition for event destinations in Eastern North Carolina.”