ARTICLE BY JIM BAKER | PHOTOGRAPHS BY DAVID WEAVER
It is the dream of many to have a destination wedding in some glamorous, far-off locale. Vintage Villas, located in the Hudson’s Bend area on Lake Travis, strives to offer a destination wedding feel without the destination wedding travel hassles. Opened in 2000, the 44-room hotel and events center hosts about 150 weddings a year as well as corporate meetings, team-building retreats, sorority and fraternity balls and company Christmas parties.
“We are a full-service conference, wedding and events hotel. We offer food, beverage, and audio visual service in a non-traditional hotel setting,” said Thomas Porter, proprietor and general manager.
Porter came to Vintage Villas after many years as a banquet manager and food and beverage director at large hotels in Dallas and Austin. He was hired to run the facility and eventually purchased it in 2007. His goal was to transform it from a bed and breakfast into a boutique hotel, which he achieved through expansion and remodeling.
For corporate gatherings, Porter asks the clients what they are expecting their attendees to learn or take away from the event. “This allows us to assist in creating an environment that exactly matches their desired outcome,” he said.
For weddings, Vintage Villas’ main arbor offers a sweeping, westward-facing view of the lake, one that can be especially dramatic at sunset. In case of inclement weather, the ceremony can be moved indoors to one of their spacious rooms.
“We offer a classic and stylish look with well-manicured grounds and can appeal to each bride’s ideal wedding,” said Porter. “We are often told that our cuisine was a standout feature of their event. We are fortunate to have such a great chef.”
Future plans call for an expansion of the large Lakeview Room from its current capacity of 180 to 270. Porter is also looking to reconfigure the second wedding arbor so that it, too, offers an ideal lake view. Designs call for it to be covered, as well. A third expansion project includes a 6,000-square foot facility that may be a combination of event facility and more guest rooms.
To finance these projects, Porter has turned to Amplify Credit Union, because they have been there for him in the past. Earlier this year, he was looking to refinance the business to take advantage of the lower rates.
“When I went shopping for loans, I discovered that most banks don’t consider weddings to be an actual industry,” explained Porter. “Amplify was willing to learn our business model while the bigger banks took no interest. Their convenient shared banking arrangement with other credit unions allows me to bank locally and their mobile app lets me make deposits directly from my desk here at the hotel.”
4209 Eck Ln
Austin, TX 78734