By CAROLINE MURRAY
PERTH -- The Perthshire wedding and banquet hall is closing after 20 years of business.
County Line Auction is set to auction off the establishment, located on Route 30 in the town of Perth, Thursday at 11 a.m.
For owner Phyllis Kluska, the sale is bittersweet. She and her husband David purchased the property in 1994 and transformed the former Bible camp into a full-service banquet hall.
For the past two decades, the Perthshire played host to thousands of elaborate weddings, anniversary parties, birthday celebrations, and every type of reception in between.
Her husband recently passed away and Kluska said the banquet hall is too much to maintain on her own.
The last wedding at the Perth-shire is scheduled in October. Kluska hopes Thursday's auction will bring bidders whose desire is to keep the property as an event space. However, she said the business can easily transform once again, into a recreational vehicle park or condominium development.
"I would like to have it sold to someone who plans on running it similar to what I am doing, but it is good for developing as well," Kluska said. "It can be almost anything; there is so much acreage."
According to the County Line Auction web page, the Perthshire sits on 64 acres of land.
The banquet hall seats up to 300 people and includes an enclosed patio space, which the Kluskas added.
A five-acre lake sits next to the space and walking bridge from the banquet to the hotel sprawls across the water.
There are also several cottages on the land, which are currently rented out until the sale finalizes.
County Line employee Rachele Townsend said Kluska has a reserve price in mind, but would not disclose it.
Townsend said depending on the bidders, the property could sell with a remarkably high price tag.
"We had a couple of properties that we had a reserve of $5,000 where it ended up selling at $190,000," Townsend said. "If you have two people battling one piece of property it could get higher than what you expect."
Townsend said interested buyers can tour the building at 10 a.m. before the live auction begins.
She said Kluska eventually intends to auction off the contents of the banquet hall as well.
Kluska and her family will attend the auction Thursday, to observe the outcome.
This includes Kluska's 28-year-old son David, who started working at the banquet hall when he was 12. Currently, he tends bar and manages the grounds, but says it is time to move on.
David Kluska said the Perthshire was his father's life and the business would not be up for sale if he was still alive.
"This was his pride and joy," he said.
However, David said his mother is nearing 65 and the place is wearing her down.
In addition to running the establishment, Kluska also owns a rental unit business and a deli in Tribes Hill.
He said his mother would like to invest in more properties and spend more time with her grandchildren.
Kluska said she would also like to travel on her free weekends.
"She is going to be a lot happier," David said.
Currently, Kluska and her son live on the property, but will move when it is sold.
Kluska said she is going to miss the banquet hall and the people whose dreams she helped make come true.
"A lot of memories were built here," she said.