Holiday Party Cutbacks

December 5, 2008 5:45:31 AM PST
Holiday parties aren't going away, there are just a few less this year."There has been a moderate drop in terms of what companies are doing this year absolutely." Lynette Abeldano, says her company, Grand Occasions has seen a dip in Christmas get togethers. Caterer and banquet Hall owner Jim Pardini says most of the decline comes from the biggest companies. "A couple of our more substantial parties we do at the Convention Center the larger companies are really the ones showing the weakness right now." Pardini said.

Pelco is one of the companies that cancelled this year's company Christmas party. Company CEO Dean Meyer said it's part of the kind of cost cutting many companies are doing.

A survey conducted by executive search firm Battallia Winston Amprop of New York, found 81 per cent of companies are still having parties. But that's the lowest level in 20 years.

The survey found that 37 percent of those companies holding parties will spend less money on them. One cutback is in booze. Last year 90 percent of the companies holding holiday parties served liquor. This year that's down to 71 percent.

Prices for a typical holiday party in the Fresno area range from 15 to 50 dollars a person, depending on what's on the menu. At Grand Occasions, Lynette Abeldano says smaller get togethers are keeping her staff busy.

Caterer Jim Pardini is seeing the same and says the real test will come after the holiday season.

He says," I've seen the Christmas party obviously kind of tapering off but we still have a lot of advance reservations for next year, 2009."

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