Briana Smith has taken over management of events center The Loft at the Red Building.
Smith, from Boring, first became interested in event management after coordinating a fashion show fundraiser in high school for Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.
“I have been doing event management for quite a long time,” she said. “The last four years, I was doing conference management all over the U.S. and Canada, so I’d plan events for IT leaders and oil and gas leaders.”
Smith moved to Astoria several years ago with her husband. She volunteered her skills locally with events in Cannon Beach and with the Astoria-Warrenton Area Chamber of Commerce. She connected with the previous Loft operators Evie Larson and Jessica Newhall through her involvement with the Astoria Downtown Historic District Association’s ShoreStyle Wedding Faire held in the space.
The space formerly had been closed until March 2013, when Unionfish Properties, the original developer behind the Red Building, decided to convert the loft into office space, citing the difficulty of finding uses for the space in the winter months. Below the loft is the popular, upscale restaurant Bridgewater Bistro.
The Loft is mostly known for weddings, banquets and other formal occasions. But Smith said she hopes to expand the community offerings in the space, catering to anything from a pop-up yoga studio to a temporary gathering place for a church. She is also contemplating a New Year’s Eve gala.
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