Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any restrictions or rules about entertainment or decorations?


  • CANDLES: Candles are allowed as table decorations in the Pavilion, as long as the candles are in a container and the flame is lower than the top of the container. No open flame allowed.

  • DISCO BALL: A lighted disco ball can only be hung from the beam nearest to the Alcove Room. Client is responsible for the rental of disco ball and ladder apparatus in order to securely hang the disco ball. Please be aware that the disco ball must be removed at the conclusion of your function. A disco ball may not be used on the Pavilion patio.

  • SMOKE/FOG MACHINE: Due to the nature of such a machine, the Pavilion does not allow use.

  • EVENT DECORATIONS: Decorations must be pre-approved with Pavilion Management. Confetti is not allowed. Use of helium balloons as decoration must be weighted in order to prevent them from becoming entangled in vaulted ceilings. Please note: No tape, nails, thumbtacks, etc. are allowed to be placed on the Pavilion walls. You can hang things from the beams, but we don’t have a ladder here due to liability.

  • SPARKLERS: The Pavilion does NOT allow the use of sparklers.


What is the payment plan and what form of payment do you accept?

To secure a date, the deposit is 50% of the usage fee plus the $500 damage deposit and then the final balance is due one month prior to your event. We accept Visa, MasterCard or a check.

Do you have any restrictions on outside vendors?

Sorry – self-catering is not allowed for groups larger than 60 people. Also, if your caterer has not worked here in the past, they need to obtain a business registration from the Town of Vail, which is free of charge.

What is the law for hiring bartenders at our event, and can we purchase our own liquor?

You must hire a TIPS (Training for Intervention Procedures) certified bartender. You may purchase your alcohol and then a TIPS trained bartender is required to serve the alcohol to your guests. This is a State of Colorado alcohol service law.

What is a TIPS certified bartender?

TIPS (Training for Intervention ProcedureS) is the global leader in education and training for the responsible service, sale, and consumption of alcohol.

TIPS gives individuals the knowledge and confidence they need to recognize potential alcohol-related problems and intervene to prevent alcohol-related tragedies.

Will the manager be present for the set-up/ during the reception?

A staff member from Donovan Pavilion will be here during your event until a designated time and our security service will be here until the end of the event to close the building.

How many hours is the site available?

The building is sold in 8 hour blocks of time on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays and in 6 hour blocks of time on Mondays through Thursdays. Additional hours in 2 hour blocks of time are available for purchase to add onto your contract.

Is there free parking nearby?

We have a total of 136 parking spaces, however, the parking spaces right in front of Donovan Park may be utilized by people using the park. Parking is free. 

Is the outdoor space exclusive to our reception i.e. not open to the public?

The back patio is exclusive to your reception, however the grass area out front is part of Donovan Park, a public park.

Is there access to the field next to the venue for possible games?

You are welcome to do lawn games on the grass area, however, the space is open to the public, so alcohol is not allowed in that area. 

When can I access the site for set-up? What will be set-up ahead of time?

You choose your 8 hour block of time, which includes your event’s set-up and tear-down time. You are responsible for the setup and tear-down of the tables and chairs, but typically your caterer does the setup and tear-down for you. You usually need at least 2 hours for setup prior to when guests will arrive and 1 hour after guests have left for your vendors to break down. 

Are any permits required? If so who obtains them?

You are required to obtain a liquor permit from the Town of Vail if your event is open to the public. A tent permit is required if you are renting a tent for the back patio.

Are there any noise restrictions?

The Pavilion doors must remain closed after 10pm, so the music is not heard on the back patio because there are residences nearby. 

Is any specific kind of insurance required?

If the event is open to the public (or not by invitation only), the Lessee shall carry insurance coverage, at its own expense, with a company satisfactory to the Pavilion and authorized to do business in the State of Colorado.

Is there enough power at the site for a band, catering, and potentially additional lighting? or will I have to provide a back-up generator?

This all depends on how much power the band and lighting company are requiring.

Is there an echo in the room? Will this affect how the band will sound?

We don’t feel like there is an echo in the room, especially when you have tables and linens in the space. Bands sound great in here.

Is the Donovan Pavilion in walking distance of hotels?

Vail Cascade and Spa is the closest accommodations to us. It is approximately a 7 minute walk on the bike path by the river. 

Are there sufficient bathrooms?

Yes. The men’s restroom has 2 stalls and 3 urinals. The women’s restroom has 5 stalls.

Is additional décor allowed in the ceiling?

Groups are able to place décor in the Pavilion ceiling (Chinese lanterns, fabric drapery, twinkle lights, etc.) as long as they do not impede installed lighting and do not pose a fire hazard. Additional time added onto the event contract and proper lift/ladder apparatus are required to complete this installation/teardown.

Can we use the fire pit to cook s’mores?

The natural gas-operated fire pit is intended to be an ambient function only and is not intended to be used to heat food items.

over 20 reviews on wedding wire - donovan pavilion wedding wire rated business

Let’s work together

Do you have an event you would like to host at the Donovan Pavilion in Vail, CO?