Category Archives: Venues

Grand Chapel makes upgrades and staff changes, and adds all-inclusive bridal packages in effort to become profitable

A photo of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, before it became the Grand Chapel.

WICHITA — There have been some substantial changes at the Grand Chapel in the last four months, which not coincidentally have been the first four months the venue has shown a profit in its six-year history.

That’s according to Dennis Wilkie, who took over the former First Church of Christ, Scientist, at 828 N. Broadway with his son, Allen, in late 2005.

“We just looked at every single thing we’re doing … policy, procedure, prices and personnel,” Dennis Wilkie says.

Having enough business hasn’t been the issue, he says.

“There’s plenty of business, but it has failed to be profitable for us,” he says. “Frankly, I’ve got plenty to do without running businesses that don’t make money.”

First, he says, they cleaned house.

Then, Wilkie says they spent about $150,000 in repairs and upgrades.

Now, they’re offering new all-inclusive packages for weddings that Wilkie thinks will take the business to the next level.

“All the problems that we’ve had over the years … it’s trying to coordinate all these different vendors that the bride has enlisted,” Wilkie says. “When one of those vendors or suppliers fails to do what they’re supposed to do … it seems like we get the blame for it.”

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