A local catering and event-management company is seeking an extension of its contract to manage one of Davidson’s most-important historic landmarks.
Since 2009, Huntersville-based Armin’s Catering has maintained the former home and grounds of Maj. William Davidson II. The two-story, Federal-style house, built in 1829, was the site of meetings that led to the creation of Davidson College and, ultimately, the town itself. It is now owned by the town.
In exchange for managing the historic property, now known as Beaver Dam, Armin’s has exclusive rights to cater and manage events at what has become one of the Lake Norman area’s most-popular venues for weddings and other celebrations. Armin’s is seeking to extend its current contract with the town, which expires at the end of this year, through 2022.
“We’ve put our heart and soul into the venue, into the property (and) into the town,” the company’s owner, Armin Desch, told the Town Board during a presentation Sept. 8. “That’s why we want to keep doing what we’re doing.”
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Desch told commissioners that he has at least 16 events booked for Beaver Dam after the current lease expires and, at a minimum, is seeking a new deal through 2018.
While the board didn’t discuss a potential contract extension at the Sept. 8 meeting, they were complimentary of what Armin’s has done in its half-dozen years managing the property, which is at 19600 Davidson-Concord Road, just west of the River Run golf and residential development.
“You are an excellent steward of a … valuable and fragile property,” Mayor John Woods told Desch. “You’re doing so much more than just catering there. You’re taking excellent care of the property, which I think is extraordinary.”
Under its proposed extension, Armin’s would continue to pay the town $12,000 a year in addition to covering the cost of utilities and maintenance, and ensuring a “positive health rating” for the house’s upgraded kitchen.
Armin’s request leaves the next step to the town.
“(Parks and Recreation Director) Kathryn Spatz and (Town Manager) Leamon Brice need to talk to the members of the Board of Commissioners to get their thoughts on Armin’s Catering and will proceed from there,” Davidson spokeswoman Cristina Shaul said. “We might be able to renew the contract or we might need to bid it out.”
Davidson’s house and adjacent 19th-century barn were originally part of a sprawling plantation. When the committee of the Concord Presbytery was selecting a site for a manual labor school in 1837, Davidson, one of the Presbytery’s members, offered 469 acres of his plantation to the committee. The school was named Davidson College in honor of his father, Revolutionary War Gen. William Lee Davidson.
The town itself also was known as “Davidson College” until 1891, when “College” was dropped from the name.
John Deem is a freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org.