Craig Flagler Palms Funeral Home and Memorial Gardens celebrated the completion of two new event spaces.
The renovations began in February 2022 and cost around $2 million to complete. Located at 511 Old Kings Road South, the Craig Flagler Palm's general manager Sal Passalaqua held a grand reopening and ribbon cutting on Jan. 31.
The rooms have state of the art audio and visual systems and the funeral home offers in-house catering for those renting the spaces. The "larger, brighter modern venue" renovations are in line with changes happening in the funeral service industry, Passalaqua said.
"There's been a real dynamic shift in the funeral industry, the way families do things," he said, "and and we're catching up to that finally."
The renovations included the addition of a covered outdoor patio area with a stone fireplace that connects to a larger event space that can be set up for celebration of life services. Passalaqua said the rooms can also be rented for non-funeral related events. Those interested would just need to reach out to him, he said.
Craig Flagler Palms has been serving Flagler County for over 100 years and was originally established in 1923 as Hope Cemetery. In May 2023, the cemetery expanded to include Flagler Estates, a section of six acres of land with 333 burial spaces.
"Flagler County is a growing community. We're here to grow along with it," Passalaqua said. "So we had to meet the needs of the community."
Several local officials attended the ribbon cutting, including Palm Coast Mayor David Alfin and Flagler County Commissioners David Sullivan and Andy Dance attended the ribbon cutting. During his remarks, Alfin said the funeral home has become a place of "compassionate care for residents."
"It's hard to describe a place like this which over the many many years has become a foundational pillar woven into the culture of our community," he said.
Former Craig Flagler Palm general manager Allen Whetsell, who retired in January 2023, gave a toast celebrating the renovations' completion.
“Here’s to the past, here’s to the future, and here’s to growth and peace in the world," Whetsell said.