Faces of Tourism Story

Ryan and Janelle

Embers (Rensselaer)

We aren't strangers to the event industry. My wife serves as senior director of special events at Purdue University and I spent years traveling in the wedding industry before directing eMbers. We always talked about our vision of ‘the perfect venue.’ The events industry is so subjective to each bride or event host and our goal is to create a special experience for guests.

The location of our venue is nestled almost exactly in the middle of Chicago and Indianapolis and gives a unique option for out-of-town guests to experience something different in a small town community. Though we specialize in private events like weddings and corporate events, public entertainment like concerts and comedy nights often bring in guests from faraway places.

My wife is amazed to learn where our crowds come from (end with “from”?). We've had concert goers from Cincinnati, Indy, Chicago and towns we've never heard of. We love seeing these people walk the streets of our small downtown, visit the stores and take in the atmosphere before or after a show.

Tourism is important to eMbers and everything we do. We know, according to our research that more than 35% of our guests live outside of Jasper County. One event hosted 150 guests who had never stopped in Rensselaer. The bride was from Chicago and the groom's family was from Lafayette. They chose eMbers as the middle ground that fit the style they were looking for on their special day.