SPONSORED: Mountain View is the perfect function venue – exclusive, stunning … and safe
Bee O’Grady is a qualified nurse who specialised in palliative care, working with people who were nearing the end of their lives.
Bee is also the co-founder of Mountain View, the stunning wedding and function venue set in the rolling hills of south Kilkenny, just 20 minutes drive from Waterford city.
She has spent 25 years in hospitality management and had assumed that nursing was part of her past, albeit a very significant part.
But the Covid-19 crisis has changed everyone’s life and, for Bee, it has turned her nursing past into an important aspect of her present work and future plans.
Bee and Mountain View co-owner, her brother Michael O’Neill, closed the hugely popular venue on March 13, even before the restrictions and lockdown came into effect. Then she answered the call and went back as an agency nurse dealing with end-of-life care.
“For years I nursed patients who had a fear of dying, now the fear is in living – the fear to go out to enjoy life’s basics,” says Bee.
“It’s just horrendously sad and very emotional to see our predominantly elderly exposed to this virus and its potentially devastating outcome.”
Bee’s medical experience has also given her insights into the future of Mountain View and, when it re-opens next month her plan is to make it not just one of Ireland’s most spectacular venues, but also one of the safest.
“I think before anyone goes outside the door now they will sub-consciously do a risk assessment of where they are going and who they are going to be with,” she says.
“Our customers will need confidence they are coming to a safe environment and our business model will be based on giving them that confidence.”
Mountain View can offer guests an exclusive venue for parties, functions and weddings, so clients can relax in the knowledge that every guest in the spacious surroundings is someone they know.
“My years as a nurse will shape the agenda at Mountain View,” says Bee. “We won’t go below the two-meter rule for the foreseeable even if guidelines change. We will offer an experience that equates to private dining, making the consumer feel safe and instilling the confidence to come out to celebrate their 80-year-old mother or father’s birthday in a safe place.”
Bee and her brother Michael O’Neill have led the family-owned business’ transition from golf club to one of the most innovative special events venues in the South East. Michael echoes Bee’s view on the need to give guests confidence along with care and comfort.
“Our focus will be to continue providing a great experience, great care, confidence and comfort for our guests and team members,” Michael says. “The Greenhouse will offer exclusive use options and private dining for groups that want to celebrate together. As well as bigger events in The Wedding Marquee, we have created the perfect space for intimate weddings in The Greenhouse and we have recently introduced an outdoor woodland ceremony space and dining option.
“As the industry opens up, it will be more important than ever to give confidence to our wedding couples, guests and clients. Our opening will be slow, considered and incremental so that we can continue to deliver the highest of standards, care and attention.”
The team at Mountain View has been trained to ensure the ultimate level of cleanliness. They will wear gloves and, where appropriate, masks.
Sanitizing stations will be available in public areas and refreshing towels and hand sanitizer will be offered to guests in the bathrooms.
Spaces will be sanitised once an hour and after each use, and that includes tables, chairs, seating, menus and payment machines.
Mountain View closed on March 13. “Friday the 13th – very significant date!” laughs Bee. “The impact on the business, like all businesses, was huge as our wedding and events calendar was particularly full for the remainder of the year. The devastation for our wedding couples and the aftermath of rescheduling dates was emotional and intense but thankfully everyone was accommodated, which will see 2021 as a very busy year, hopefully, if the numbers allowed to attend are clarified soon.”
All of the weddings planned for 2020 at Mountain View have rescheduled to 2021 and there has been a significant increase in inquiries during the pandemic. Many couples want to continue with their wedding plans, albeit with a smaller guest list.
Every wedding will have exclusive use of Mountain View. You can also hire Mountain View on an exclusive basis, for birthday and engagement parties, anniversaries and all sorts of functions.
“We remain dedicated to delivering a great experience to our guests at Mountain View and creating happy memories for years to come,” says Michael O’Neill
“These have been challenging times and our promise is to let our guests continue to experience the usual warm, friendly and familiar service at Mountain View. Our top priority is the well-being, safety and comfort of our team and our guests and to make them feel confident about celebrating and dining-out in the future.”