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The Venue Podcast

Feb 21, 2024

In this episode of The Venue Podcast, hosts Kinsey Roberts and Lindsay Lucas unpack the intricacies of leasing a venue. With Kinsey's unique position of owning a venue business while leasing the physical space and Lindsay's extensive experience advising clients, they offer a well-rounded perspective on why leasing might just be the golden ticket for aspiring venue owners.

Leasing: A Stepping Stone to Ownership

  • Flexibility and Financial Savvy: Kinsey and Lindsay discuss the benefits of leasing as a financial lower-risk entry into the venue business. For those who've faced financing hurdles or want to dip their toes in the industry waters without the commitment of purchasing land and buildings, leasing provides an invaluable opportunity. It allows you to build a track record, hone your business acumen, and potentially pave the way for that triumphant moment of securing your own space down the line.

The Nitty-Gritty: Pros, Cons, and Protections

  • Pros of Leasing: The flexibility to test the venue business waters with less financial risk, the opportunity to build a proven track record, and the potential for a "Pretty Woman" moment with banks in the future.

  • Cons and Considerations: Potential limitations on venue modifications and the need for clear, negotiated terms around upgrades and design changes. Kinsey highlights the importance of ensuring the lease agreement allows for the business's growth and operational needs, including insurance responsibilities and the lease term's length to match the booking cycle, ideally aiming for a minimum of five years to ensure stability and the ability to plan for the future.

Professionalism and Preparation: Keys to Success

  • Kinsey and Lindsay stress the importance of approaching lease negotiations with a professional mindset, emphasizing that both parties stand to gain from a well-structured agreement. They advise preparing thoroughly, consulting with legal experts to draft a lease that protects your interests, and understanding the value you bring to the table. The conversation also touches on the significance of planning for an exit strategy, ensuring financial stability throughout the lease term, and the respect that comes with treating the venture with the seriousness it deserves—even when dealing with family-owned properties.

Leasing a venue can be an excellent strategy for entering the venue business with a solid foundation and lower initial financial risk. Kinsey and Lindsay's shared experiences and insights provide a valuable roadmap for navigating the complexities of leasing, emphasizing preparation, negotiation, and professionalism as the cornerstones of a successful venture.

Whether you're facing challenges getting a full loan for building a venue from scratch or seeking experience before investing in your own property, this episode of The Venue Podcast offers practical advice and encouragement for the journey ahead.