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April 17, 2024

West End District

Booking events for 2024

by Joey Lee

The Bolivar Bullet

After a sluggish beginning due to the pandemic, The West End District, a one-stop destination offering world-class lodging, event space, live music, catering, restaurants and more, is hitting its stride and poised for a bright future.

Construction on the 17.5-acre development began in 2016. However, the project was paused for 1.5 years for retooling. Opening just a few weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic, the development struggled at first.

“The struggle of a lifetime,” is how Dinesh Chawla, owner of The West Side District, describes the daunting task of navigating the grand opening amidst a global health crisis where even well-established businesses were forced to close.

Despite the tough beginning, The West End District persevered, displaying unwavering resilience and commitment to its vision.

Fast forward to the present, and the District is not just maintaining, it is flourishing in ways that in the beginning would have been unimaginable. “The District is steadily improving,” said Chawla. “We’re hitting numbers that were unthinkable a year or two ago.”

Many of the weddings they host are from outside the Cleveland area, and 2023 has been a record-setting year for the hotels.

The success can be attributed to the development’s adaptability and dynamic nature. “Unlike traditional businesses,” said Chawla, “It’s not a regular, steady business. It requires being on your toes all the time.”

“One of the key differentiators is our personal approach,” he said, “Each event is planned and catered specifically to the client, nothing is cookie-cutter.” This approach has led to hosting many statewide organizations and unforgettable weddings.

“I like to say we’re a kaleidoscope, something different depending on how you look at it. Unlike other venues, we don’t tell clients what they can do, we ask them what they want to do and then make it happen,” said Chawla.

The District is finding that its accommodations and amenities are competitive with larger, better-funded venues in larger cities. Often winning bids for events over these other venues.

The development recently hosted the Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee Regional Tourism Conference, with many of the guests acknowledging it as the finest venue in terms of food and accommodations they had visited.

The District also hosted the Music Tourism Convention with more than 300 delegates from more than 90 cities and 12 countries attending.

The West End District is steadily gaining momentum. Bookings for 2024 already include events for the Mississippi Bar Association, Mississippi Parks and Recreation and nearly 20 weddings and family reunions. They will also host multiple corporate meetings for the likes of Planter’s Bank, Nutrien, Delta Group – Case IH, Zurich American Insurance and the Mississippi Association of Justice.

The development shows no signs of slowing down. A testament to the development’s growing reputation, they are even getting bookings extending into 2025.

Their commitment to continual improvement and expansion is evident. With every square foot of the property already being used, they have plans for expansion in the near future.

They are also working on a partnership with an undisclosed group to increase their event capacity from 250 to an impressive 400-500 people, showcasing their commitment to growth and progress.

Chawla emphasized the importance of a personalized approach, a quality often missing in larger venues. He explained, “In bigger cities and at bigger venues, they’re smiling because you’re an account number. We’re smiling at The West End District because we’re happy you chose us. You get a lot more personal attention here.”

The development’s success is a testament to perseverance, adaptability and a strong commitment to the local community. “We feel like the development is gaining momentum, and we’ve finally got the wind at our back,” said Chawla.

As the West End District continues to evolve and flourish, it remains an inspiring success story for Cleveland, the Delta and beyond. There is no doubt that the future holds even more promise for this development.