From high school proms to anniversaries and weddings, the Fred W. Smith Penthouse, encompassing the entire fourth floor of the Nevada Museum of Art, is now available for event booking, but actually has been for some time.

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"We have at least 50 events on the books right now already," said Amanda Horn, director of communications for the Museum. "These are booked rental events, so that's very exciting. We were booking while [the penthouse] was under construction, before it was even realized, and now that's it's starting to get some publicity and awareness, we have been getting more and more calls."

The newly renovated space on the fourth floor includes 4,800 square feet of enclosed room in the Nightingale Sky Room as well as 5,000 square feet of adjacent space on the Stacie Mathewson Sky Plaza. Floor-to-ceiling glass walls that are retractable offer continual views out onto the patio and beyond into South Reno and the Sierra Nevada, making for a unique and breathtaking perspective.

A banquet kitchen is an important component to the penthouse, as is a scalable, moveable stage. There are several options for sitting, including 26 round tables hosting 10 people each, for 260 people for banquet-style sitting. However, the room configurations are flexible and could include theater-style seating, hosting about 400 people, or a cocktail reception style event, accommodating between 600 and 700 individuals.

"It really just depends on what your vision is for the space," said Horn.

In addition to proms and weddings as potential events, other activities for use could include conferences, workshops, lectures and performances – "any kind of event that you can imagine," said Horn. The space also features an optimized acoustical system, including 47 speakers in-laid into the walls, unique in-cut wood flooring, and LED ceiling lights that can be changed in hue or color.

A Museum team is available to help plan and carry out special events, including through Nisha Hallert, director of special events and sales, and Sonia Kalinski, the Museum Special Events Manager. Together, they can help people to plan out all of the components of an event and to facilitate their vision, according to Horn.

"No detail of an event is spared," said Horn. "You get two people that work with you from the very beginning to the very end, which is very different from how other venues function."

Mark Estee, the Museum concessionaire, and operator of the Museum's Chez Louie on the first floor, also can curate a menu based on the theme or desired feeling of an event, according to Horn. Although the fourth floor of the museum was open before the renovation for bookings, including the Museum's own First Thursday events featuring live music, this always required contingency space, like in the theater or in the atrium, in the case the weather did not cooperate.

The new renovations take the 'if' out of planning, an aspect particularly important to couples who may envision their wedding or special anniversary event occurring on that top floor with those lovely, open views.

"Whether it's a birthday party, or an anniversary, or your wedding, it's going to be very memorable here," said Horn. "We live in a beautiful place and people love these views. And we don’t have another venue in town where you get these views. … This [space] automatically gives your event prestige and I think that is something that people are being drawn to."

The Penthouse opens to the public after March 5, when a members-only event occurs on the top floor. And although there are still opportunities available, events already are being booked into 2017, she said.

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