Ahwatukee family purchases old Inspirador - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Community Focus

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Ahwatukee family purchases old Inspirador

Longtime event planning family adds venue to its empire

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Posted: Friday, August 2, 2013 7:45 am

An Ahwatukee Foothills family is reopening the old Inspirador in downtown Chandler and has a broader purpose in mind for the old venue.

Inspirador, 63 E. Boston in Chandler, will reopen in late August as SoHo63, a venue for weddings as well as corporate events, meetings and social celebrations.

Katherine Christensen has been in the event industry for more than 20 years. Her empire includes a meetings, events, and trade association management firm; a franchise that handles logistics for corporations coming to Arizona; and a weddings and social events planning company. SoHo63 will be the first venue Christensen and her family has owned, but when the building came up as a foreclosure Christensen decided it was a perfect fit for her family of companies.

“We are very experienced with planning, operating, executing events and managing all those last-minute details and changes,” said Megan Schmidt, Christensen’s daughter who will be event curator for SoHo63. “We’ve got all angles covered.”

Christensen said all members of her family are involved in the company. Her husband has been helping with operations in the facility, as has her son.

Schmidt has been in the industry for more than a decade, working mostly in corporate event planning. That’s experience she plans to bring to SoHo63. While the venue will still be used as a wedding venue, Schmidt said she hopes to bring a variety of other events to the space.

“We understand that it’s a beautiful wedding venue and we don’t want that to be lost from the downtown area, but it’s such a versatile space that we really feel could be utilized more by corporate groups and other groups for gatherings,” she said. “As we are putting our special touches on it and going through the changes we are doing we’re really taking a look at the space from a different direction with other events in mind. We’re really trying to find new ways to keep it busy not only on weekends, but during the week as well.”

The Christensen family purchased the Inspirador in June after it foreclosed unexpectedly in April. When the venue closed several wedding parties were booked for events that had to be cancelled. Schmidt said she has reached out to all those brides, whose dates have not already passed, to see if they can work with them and get them back to the same venue. Most have booked elsewhere, but the new owners are working with a handful of brides.

The building was still in good condition when the family purchased it, but the group will be doing some remodeling to put its own touch on the space. There are plans for new flooring, a kitchen remodel, new lighting and new technology. All the remodeling is expected to be done by Aug. 28 when the venue opens for its first event.

For more information, visit soho63.com.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or ahurtado@ahwatukee.com.

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