March 2, 2021

Grant County Herald

Community news from the prairie to the lakes

Kensington Town Hall has room for all

Julie Smith at an air hockey game.

The Kensington Town Hall is… how does one describe it… a hotel, reception hall, an event center, a vaction rental… all these and more. What it is, is the perfect place to rent for family gatherings, wedding receptions, or when a big group comes from out of town and you need a place to keep them.

Julie and Courtney Smith bought the building, that was built in 1930, in 2004 when the town council was considering tearing it down. It had been the school basketball court, roller skating rink, and town meeting spot since it was built. But, the building had fallen on tough times. After the Smiths bought the building, they lived in it for two years with their children, Nicole and Ben.

“The kids loved having all this room to run around in,” Julie said.

They moved out in 2007, and Julie used the basement for her wood finishing business. They rented out the main floor which has five bedrooms, while they worked on fixing things up. One of their renters, for many summers, was the Echinacea Project, a University of Minnesota ongoing research project that studies wild plants in rural western Minnesota. Students and professors rented the Kensington Town Hall as their home base.

When  daughter, Nicole, got married in 2009, she wanted to have the reception in the Hall.  It worked out so well that the Smiths figured they could make a business out of it. Then, in the summer of 2019, Julie’s mother passed away and out of town relatives stayed in the Hall.

“It worked perfectly and we started to look at the bigger picture.”

They’ve been renting it out ever since. 

The Kensington Town Hall has five private bedrooms, two loft bedrooms, two full bathrooms (one with a jacuzzi), a full kitchen, a two-car garage with a parking lot for six more cars, a game room, and enough room to have a dance, or roller skating party. They are in the process of installing a lift to make the building handicap accessible.

“We just love looking for furnishings,” said Smith. Each bedroom is tastefully decorated with unique headboards, lamps, and chairs. One bedroom is set aside for parents with a baby, and there is a playroom for small children as well.

Located just a few miles from Rune Stone Park and Andes Tower Hills, the facility is booked by family groups planning to tour historic Rune Stone Park, or have a ski vacation at Andes. They have about one such reservation per month this year. Smith is trying to keep the reservations down because of the pandemic and the need to deep clean the huge building after each rental.

If you are interested in renting this fabulous space, go to Julie Smith’s Facebook page or call her at 320-815-3498.