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Frequently Asked Questions
What type of social events can we host at the Inn?
The Nature Inn at Bald Eagle is an exciting event destination and venue in Central Pennsylvania. As part of the PA State Park system, the Inn offers a unique alternative to the larger, corporate event venues and conference centers found in the Centre region. Birthday parties, anniversary celebrations, family reunions, wellness retreats, baby & bridal showers are well suited for the Nature Inn where we offer state of the art event facilities at an environmentally responsible, LEED Gold certified venue.
What’s the cost of the facility rental?
We offer two unique spaces, our versatile Great Room or the Inn’s Library, depending on your event size and space requirements. Facility fees are based on 4 hour, or half-day, increments. The Great Room rate for each segment is $106.50, or $213.00 for a full-day events. The Library, as a more modest space, carries a half-day rate of $66.50 or $133.00 for a full-day events.
What are the capacities of the various banquet rooms?
Our versatile great room and adjacent covered porches can comfortably accommodate social gatherings of up to 50 guests. Smaller events ranging from as few as two and up to 20 can also be held in our more intimate library.
May I rent the patio and fire pit?
Use of the patio, grills and fire pit areas are reserved for our overnight hotel guests as amenities that they pay for as part of their room rate. Shared use of these spaces may be possible if everyone attending your event is staying at the Inn overnight. Exclusive use of these areas is available if you are renting all sixteen (16) overnight guest rooms.
May we bring our own food? Is it possible to have an outside caterer prepare food for our event?
The Nature Inn is a full-service catering operation with a skilled culinary staff who are responsible for menu development and will oversee all aspects of food preparation for your event. As such, and due in part to commercial kitchen licensing, health department permitting and inspections, we do not permit the use of outside caterers at the Nature Inn. The sole exception to the “no outside food or caterers” rule is that we do permit specialty desserts to be brought in and served during your event. If you are interested, your event planner has a list of trusted partners that can create exceptional specialty cakes and desserts on your behalf.
Can you accommodate guests with special dietary needs?
Yes, our culinary staff is versed in the most common food allergies and dietary restrictions. They, in coordination with your event planner, will be able to suggest and prepare suitable alternatives for your attendees who might have concerns. We can also help devise a strategy for faith based restrictions in instances where our kitchen facilities do not meet religious requirements. And, in those rare instances where your guests are just “more comfortable” bringing their own food, we’re more than happy to permit that as well.
Do you offer special children’s menus/rates?
We offer a couple options and pricing considerations for your younger guests. We can offer a special children’s menus for events that have at least 10 guests attending that are under age 12. This typically includes, chicken tenders, mac & cheese and applesauce for $7.95 per child, plus applicable taxes and gratuity.
Alternatively, children can dine on the same menus as the adults with those under five eating at no charge, and ages 5 – 12 charged at 50% the regular menu price. Your event planner can provide full details upon request.
Can we take our leftover food with us?
Unfortunately, no. Due to health department regulations and general food safety and sanitation considerations we do not permit food that we’ve prepared for your event to be packed up and removed for later consumption.
Are taxes and gratuity included in the catering cost?
Yes! Both our Brunch Package and Foodie Menu have all-inclusive pricing, with the taxes and gratuity already factored into the overall per person cost.
The only additional cost that you are responsible for is the non-refundable deposit that amounts to the facility fee for your event. See FAQ regarding facility fees above for pricing!
When do you need my final menu selections?
Final menu selections must be communicated no later than two (2) weeks prior to the event date. Additional charges may apply if changes to the menu are requested during the final two (2) weeks prior to the event.
Dietary restrictions are arranged through coordination with your event planner in consultation with our chef and must be submitted no later than two (2) weeks prior to the event date. It is the customer’s duty to provide a tangible means for identifying the guests with the food allergy and/or requesting special dietary accommodation.
When will my final guest count be required?
An initial guest count must be provided at time of booking. To ensure accurate ordering and staffing, a final guaranteed guest count is required seven (7) days prior to the date of your event.
After the final guest count has been provided, the guest count may be increased by a maximum of 10% and billed accordingly, however a decrease in guest count during the final week does not reduce the final catering charges.
Are we able to decorate? Do you provide decorations? Are there any limitations? Can we have candles & will you light them?
Absolutely, we encourage you to be imaginative in developing a theme with corresponding decorations to truly personalize your event here at the Inn. We like to think that we are providing the blank canvas, our nature inspired lakeside lodge, which you then transform through vision and decorations to provide the perfect backdrop for your social gathering. We’ll light your real candles so long as they’re housed in such a manner as not to transfer excess heat to table tops and are able to catch all dripping wax safely. In fact, other than not permitting confetti or glitter, you’ll find that we don’t have much in the way of restrictions with regards to decorating. Your event planner will be able to answer any specific questions you might have and will also gladly discuss our specialty lighting packages.
Do you provide the tables, chairs, linens, place settings, etc.?
Your facility rental fee includes use of Inn china, silverware, water glasses, white table linens and ivory napkins for up to 55 guests.
Do we have to rent hotel rooms to hold a function there?
No, committing to overnight rooms is never required as a condition of hosting your social event at the Nature Inn. And while we host lots of events that are simple half or full-day affairs, we do also offer the option of incorporating overnight stays as part of your upcoming social gathering. Either way, your event planner will be able to discuss options, menus, and lodging in an effort to develop a social event specifically tailored to your vision, needs and budget.
Is there ample parking? Where is it?
Yes, we have ample complimentary parking onsite including handicapped spaces close to the building. For our largest events, overflow parking is available along Warbler Way leading to the Inn.
Do you have Wi-Fi?
Complimentary wi-fi is available to all those attending your event. Our network does require a secure login and, upon request, that information can be prominently posted in your event space prior to the group’s arrival. We also offer dedicated bandwidth that can be made available to to ensure proper download speeds are attained for web-based presentations you may have planned.
Do you have audio-visual equipment available?
Your facility rental fee covers complimentary use of all the Inn’s AV resources. Each meeting space has a permanently mounted screen and we have multiple late model LED projectors available for use. Overhead, integrated speakers are available as well as a Bluetooth PA system. Our inventory also includes assorted cables for making proper connections, microphones and a portable podium. Use of any of these can be arranged through your event planner.
Is it possible to show the Penn State/Steelers/Pens game during our party?
Great question, and one that we get more often than you might suspect. We will make reasonable efforts to bring the game to you during your event if that’s your preference. The primary constraints in our ability to guarantee this are whether we have a DirectTV subscription to the channel, local blackouts of the sporting event, or whether we can access the content, at suitable speeds, over our wi-fi network. We do ask that you advise us well in advance if you would like to screen a sporting event during your gathering so that we can arrange to have the technology in place in advance.
How long do we have use of the room for? Does that include our set up/decorating?
A half day rental is four hours and a full day rental is eight hours. Those hours are for your event time; decorating/set up does not count against your event timing, but must be arranged ahead of time based on our schedule.
May I store items ahead of time at your facility?
Yes, we’ll be glad to make storage space available to you in advance in order to help with logistics. This can be arranged through your event planner.
Are there music options for my event? May we have a DJ/Band and dancing?
In each event space, you’ll have access to complimentary overhead, integrated speakers and we also have a portable, Bluetooth compatible, PA system. Our inventory also includes assorted cables for making proper connections, microphones and a portable podium. Use of any of these can be arranged through your event planner.
DJs, bands or other live music are an option if your group has booked the entire Inn or, in rare instances, may be permitted by prior arrangement through your event planner.
Are linens provided?
Yes, white table linens and ivory napkins are included when using standard round or rectangular banquet tables. Many guests opt to use our square oak dining room tables which we typically do not cover with linens. Other color schemes are available as add-on rental items through any of the several trusted equipment rental service providers.
Are we responsible for clean up?
At the end of your social event, our staff will handle cleaning and resetting the event space. All you are responsible for will be the removal of decorations which you’ve brought in. Leave the rest to us.
Is the facility ADA accessible?
Yes, the Nature Inn and surrounding grounds are all ADA compliant and accessible. There is an elevator that services the building’s three levels and provides step free access to the patio area and grounds. Our guest rooms and bathrooms all incorporate furnishings and fixtures that make them easy to navigate even for mobility impaired guests. And while we don’t have roll in showers, all our bathtub/shower units feature multiple support bars and we have transfer benches available to further assist with access.
How do I reserve the date for my function? What if I have to cancel?
Payment of the facility rental fee is due upon booking the space. This serves as the event deposit and guarantees exclusive use of the space on the agreed upon date and times. Simple social events do not require any further catering deposit.
Event cancellations received at least one week in advance will forfeit the prepaid facility rental fee, but will not incur any additional catering charges or cancellation fees. Cancellations received six days or less prior to the event dates will forfeit facility charges and be also responsible for 33% of their contracted catering bill. Alternatively, events which are rescheduled for a date(s) within the coming six months shall avoid all penalties and/or cancellation charges.
Cancellation of overnight lodging reservations are subject to PA State Parks terms and conditions. Effectively, reservations cancelled during the final seven (7) days prior to your event are subject to the first night’s rate + transaction fee as the cancellation fee. Your event planner does have strategies to mitigate these expenses should you have multiple last-minute cancellations.
When is final payment due for my event?
Your final catering invoice will be available once we have received your final guest count seven (7) days prior to the event. This bill is considered final unless mutually agreed upon changes to service requests, menu or guest count occur after it has been presented. In those instances, a revised catering invoice will be prepared and made available to the customer immediately for approval. All invoices are expected to be paid in full at the conclusion of the event.
What does it mean that your facility is LEED Certified?
LEED (Leadership in Environmental Engineering and Design) is a program administered by the US Green Building Council that recognizes construction projects which incorporate green building technologies and are committed to sustainability and environmental stewardship in their design, construction and ongoing operations. The Nature Inn at Bald Eagle is a LEED Gold property featuring a number of design elements, sustainable construction materials and low impact building systems.
Examples include that the Inn is heated and cooled using geothermal technology, the inclusion of a solar thermal array to offset energy requirements to generate hot water and a rain water harvesting system that provides grey water for flushing of commodes. Passive design strategies, including building orientation, roof pitch and overhangs contribute to the effective heating and cooling of interior spaces. Recycled materials can be found throughout as well as sustainably harvested forestry products.
We’re proud to offer The Nature Inn as a sustainable and environmentally mindful destination for your upcoming meeting or retreat. Your event planner will be happy to schedule a brief green building tour and discussion with the Innkeeper as part of your upcoming social event at The Nature Inn.
May we have alcohol at our event?
$100 fee per bartending service request
Contact the park office directly at (814) 625-2775 (option 5) to receive this paperwork - the office is open Monday through Friday between 8am-4pm and they ask that events have this paperwork submitted as soon as possible to ensure approvals prior to the event
This is the only category of our "Trusted Partners" list that you will be limited to selecting an option from, due to these bartending services retaining a Commercial Use License through the state park office
We highly recommend you reaching out to all of the approved bartending services before making your final decision of which will be the best for you and will exceed your expectations!
They will provide you with a detailed "shopping list"
You are responsible for purchasing and transporting the alcohol to the inn and providing it to the Nature Inn staff in advance of your event
The inn will secure the alcohol throughout your event and any remaining alcohol will be given back to you at the conclusion of the event
Maximum length of service permitted is 5 hours or less
Bartending serivces can end no later than 10pm
Kegs & shots are not permitted
Do you have a minimum spend amount for your social events?
There is not a minimum spend amount for our social events, although there is a minimum guest count of 20 people for all social events. Our two current social event packages are designed to provide exceptional value and fall well within the typical budget that our customers are working with. We'll work with you, adding value options if necessary, to ensure that you're able to meet our minimum catering requirement without going over your budget. All while creating an experience your guests will soon not forget.
What is the earliest start time for a social event?
The earliest start time for a social event is 12:30pm. The Great Room serves as the dining room for our overnight guest breakfast that is served until 10:30am on the weekends. Therefore, to ensure ample time for our staff to setup for your social event and to provide you with an hour to decorate prior to your event start time, we are able to allow for start times as early as 12:30pm.
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