The Avalon Events Center

About Us

The Avalon as we currently know it at 2525 9th Ave. S. in Fargo is not where we started.  This is our story as it has been documented in many places over the last several years.  Becoming the premier event center in Fargo-Moorhead has truly been a journey.


The Beginning of the Story

In 1998, Lee Swanson acquired the 90-year-old C. R. Stone Block bank on First Avenue in downtown Fargo and converted it to the Avalon.  The 15,000 sq. ft Avalon quickly became the premier destination for Weddings, Corporate Events, and Private Parties. The Avalon also hosted intimate concerts and dinner theater.  By 2014 the Avalon’s three function rooms were fully booked and it was time to expand.

In 2014, Lee Swanson decided to convert the Playmaker’s Sports Bar and Concert Hall on the ninth avenue to a new state of the art Events Center and move the Avalon into the new space.  The $5.0 million renovations gutted the old Playmakers and created a new showplace in Fargo with five function rooms and state of the art Audio, Visual and Digital technology to support corporate events and exhibitions and make weddings very special.



The new Avalon rapidly became the premier facility in Fargo for Weddings and Corporate Events.

In 2018 Lee Swanson decided to take the Avalon to a new level in terms of capability and marketing and brought in industry veteran Ken Harris to oversee the growth initiative.  Ken previously was CEO of Swanson Health Products, CEO of WR Grace Restaurant Group and COO of the House of Blues. Ken installed a new young management team to implement the changes.

The Avalon continues to evolve.  The development of a hotel on the property is being considered as well as expansion into other cities.

Our Team

We Know
What Works

The Team at the Avalon Center from the start works very hard to meet all of your needs whether its a corporate event, some other special event or your wedding and reception.  Endless Possibilities happen here at the Avalon when we work with you to create that very special event.

How We Deliver The Results That You Want!

From the time you contact us with questions you have about coming to the Avalon Events Center the process of making it a success and memorable starts to take place,

The members of our team become familiar with the needs that you have for your event.  In many cases, you will have the opportunity to meet with individual members of the staff and make the selections of things you want at your event.

The team will give you a planning guide and take you through the steps.  Then when your big event day arrives you can rest easy and know that everything is in place and ready for your guests or attendees.  From the beginning to days after the Avalon takes care of your needs.

This Team has been put together to get the very best results for each of our clients.  From the planning of the use of technology to the way the rooms are prepared for you to your menu the Avalon Team takes it on and creates a great event for you.


Ken Harris

Ken oversees the strategic development of the Avalon. Ken previously served as CEO of Swanson Health Products, CEO of the W.R. Grace Restaurant Group and COO of the House of Blues. Ken catered numerous high profile events in Los Angeles and New York including the Academy Awards and celebrity weddings.

Chief Operating Officer

Brett Colliton

Lead Mixologist

Christina Otto

Executive Chef

Kim Hauger

Food & Beverage Manager

Joe Gudding

Chief Marketing Officer

Andy Richards

Weddings and Event Coordinator

Jess Bledsoe