Talk about your unusual venues

I know planners are always looking for interesting venues for off-site events, like museums and mansions. But car dealerships?

Hey, why not? Especially if they're dealerships like the Herb Chambers Lexus dealership I read about in the Boston Globe this morning. I've never heard of such a thing: marble and cherry wood bathrooms with plasma tvs, a lounge with a fireplace, an espresso bar, a playroom for the kids, and a business center complete with eight computers. From the Globe:

    The Lexus dealership, with its huge portico - fountain to come - has been likened to a Vegas casino, a luxury hotel, or even an art museum with its lofty space and natural light. All the furniture came from the Boston Design Center.

    In fact, New England Cable News is hosting its "TV Diner" Platinum Plate Gala not at a tony restaurant or hotel but at the dealership. Next Saturday, 20 celebrity chefs will bring signature dishes to the Lexus showroom in a $100-a-head benefit for Community Servings. There will be live music, an auction hosted by "TV Diner" 's Billy Costa and comedian Lenny Clarke, and lots of bold-faced names among the 1,000 guests.

    "Herb Chambers opened the platinum plate of dealerships," says Costa, who awards "platinum plate" honors to the best restaurants reviewed on his show. "It's an over-the-top place. When I went there, I said, 'Wow!' It just seemed like the perfect place."

I wonder if they had to go check with the manager before settling on the final fee?

And, by the way, if you aren't familiar with UniqueVenues.com, check it out. I don't know if they list car dealerships, but they do have info on pretty much every other type of non-hotel venue you can think of.

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