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story.lead_photo.caption West Ridge Event Center in Centertown has a new owner/operator, Kelsey Ott. Photo by Julie Smith / News Tribune.

A new owner has taken the helm of the West Ridge Event Center in Centertown.

Kelsey Ott, who also owns the Pink Poppy Boutique and co-owns Main Street Bridal, both in Centertown, purchased the business in early April.

It was renamed the West Ridge Event Center in 2015 when Michael and Denise Barnes purchased the former Braykley's Hall to keep it from closing permanently. The venue was first opened in 2008 by Glen and Debbie Eiken.

"We live here in Centertown, so we want to support our local community and help it grow," Ott said, noting she had discussed doing some type of event center for a while.

When the opportunity came to purchase West Ridge, Ott said it worked out, as Centertown doesn't have many venues like it.

After purchasing the business, Ott said, there were some updates done to the facility, including new lighting and interior alterations, such as removing carpeting from the walls and painting them with a brighter color. In the future, she plans to add a patio space.

Ott said the facility's kitchen has been commercially licensed and is now available for rent, one of few such kitchens in the area.

While West Ridge is often thought of for local weddings, Ott said they also host holiday and office parties.

After taking on the business, rates were also changed, she added.

"We kind of revamped our hourly rate options so that it would be more accessible for showers and family get-togethers so the facility can be used during the week and on Sundays, and not just on Saturdays for weddings," Ott said.

To rent the 5,000-square-foot facility Sunday through Thursday would cost $50 per hour, with a minimum of two hours required, for up to 100 people.

Ott noted West Ridge is not tied to any beverage or food provider, meaning renters can opt for a service of their choice. She described the venue as multi-use and family-oriented.

"It's a large, open space where people can spread out and still visit to their comfort level," Ott said.

To learn more about the West Ridge Event Center, visit westridgeeventcenter.com or find them on Facebook.

Know of any business happenings around Jefferson City? Let us know at [email protected]

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