Awesome Family Entertainment celebrated the grand opening of its new building June 18 with -- what else? -- a party.

After all, the company bills itself as Ohio's largest party- and event-planning business.

Awesome Family's new location, in the former site of Royal Electric Construction Corp. at 1250 Memory Lane in southeast Columbus, will allow it to play host to more corporate and residential clients with concessions, inflatable amusements, life-size games, disc jockey services, water slides, superhero visits, carnival rides and games.

At 32,500 square feet, the space is five times the size of the company's previous home at 2594 Johnstown Road.

Curtis Lovell II, president and CEO, said he doesn't expect to move again soon, although he hopes to eventually open more Awesome Family locations throughout Ohio and the U.S.

Lovell said his company holds 2,200 events a year while continuously adding and changing attractions. This year alone, he has added 150 attractions, he said. To learn more about what the business offers, go to columbusparties.com or call 614-224-9568.

"If you're delivering a bounce house, you're a superhero to a little kid," Lovell said.

The project is a welcome investment in the neighborhood, off Alum Creek Drive and Interstate 70, said Laura Frum, president of the Community Capital Development Corp., a nonprofit company that helps small businesses, including Awesome Family, secure loans.

"This is a revitalization area in Columbus, and a lot of people don't want to come into this area because they don't see it as nice and suburban," Frum said. "It's nice when a company can come here and renovate an older space.

"As part of our loan requirement, he's going to create jobs. That's what is important to the area."

Lovell employs more than 50 people, and he said he would hire more.

During the grand opening ceremony June 18, Frum competed on inflatable bumper cars with Jerome Jones, a lender-relations specialist for the U.S. Small Business Administration, along with SBA district director Everett Woodel Jr.

"Small business has always been the leading job creator in the county," Jones said. "Every day we create them."

Lovell started his business in 1996 after serving on the student council at Whitehall-Yearling High School and planning dances and activities. Even though he has run the business for more than 20 years, he said, he has not lost that enthusiasm.

"Being in this business, I'm a big kid in a CEO world," Lovell said. "You have to have a business life, but in a kid's world, you don't have to grow up."

anichols@dispatch.com

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