Pennsylvania event venues deal with cancellations amid coronavirus outbreak

MERION STATION, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- The approach of spring usually means the start of the busy season for Merion Tribute House in Merion Station, Pa.

For this weekend, however, it will be empty.

"We had two events... they both decided to cancel," said Colette Speakman, the venue's manager.

She says she canceled an event Thursday because of the coronavirus and has had several more calls for customers wanting to either cancel or postpone their event.

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One of those customers is Ethel Lanier, who was supposed to have a charity event there on April 5.

"This was the only way that everybody got to honor my son at one time," Lanier said.

Her son passed away after a heart attack three years ago and since then, she's started a foundation in his name called the Howard L. Lanier Community Development Corporation.

This was supposed to be its big fundraiser for the year.

"The virus showed up and we just felt like we just couldn't put our family friends and church members out there," said Lanier.

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While the venue may be canceling events for now, the manager says she's still holding tours for future events.

In order to keep that safe, Speakman posted a sign outside of the venue asking everyone to wash their hands upon entering the space.

She also says the venue is being sanitized every day, with the hope that it will be able to host events again soon.

"We have a wedding next weekend where people have already flown in from out of the country for it and it's kind of touch and go right now as to what they're going to do," said Speakman.
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