BRONSON, Iowa -- Over the last few years, Heather Hennings and her husband, Eric, pondered what to do with the former offices and warehouse of College Products near Bronson.
College Products, which supplied dorm room furnishings to colleges, moved to the former Soo Tractor plant at at 1400 W. First St. beginning in 2016. The move left a large building just southeast of the small Woodbury County town.
"We had lots of friends, when we moved the offices, that said, 'You should really do this. You should turn this into an event center, it'd be a great place to have weddings and graduations and parties,'" Heather Hennings said. "We didn't do that for about a year, the building just kind of hung out, we weren't sure what to do with it."
Since the Bronson area didn't have much in the way of events facilities (besides a picnic shelter at a local park), and since the steel building was too nice not to be used for something, the couple followed their friends' advice and turned the structure into "Lofted View Events."
Lofted View Events opened this spring at the former College Products office building at 2086 210th Street, Bronson. Heather Hennings said they called it Lofted View "sort of because it's a little bit on a hill," but also because College Products was formerly called "Campus Lofts."
The facility features a 5,000-square-foot "great room," which can fit as many as 300 guests seated at tables. The great room features a "really cool-looking bar," she said, "just like a bar you would see in a restaurant or something like that."
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"It's really tailored toward, kind of nicer, larger events," she said. "Like a wedding, seems to be our perfect clientele. But other events can happen there as well, family reunions, things like that."
A large section of the building is set aside as bridal suites, Hennings said; in effect, Lofted View can be an all-in-one wedding venue.
"Brides and her bridesmaids can come and they can spend their whole day with us," she said. "They can walk in, they can do their hair, their makeup, they can get ready, they can have lunch with their family before they take pictures, then they can have their ceremony outside or inside, and they can have the reception."
They've planted about 3.5 acres of wildflowers not far from where ceremonies can take place. "Those are starting to grow, and we're learning a lot about wildflowers right now," Hennings said.
In the matter of food, Lofted View works with a group of four caterers in surrounding communities, including Central Catering, Aggie's, Home Plate and Kelly's Catering.
The couple, Heather Hennings said, "put a lot of thought and energy into making it really special and beautiful."
"When we started off, we weren't sure exactly how fancy we were going to make it, and as we got going it was really clear that what we really wanted was a space that not only would make a very beautiful place to have events like weddings and things, but also something that was unique to the area," she said. "Something that people just couldn't get anywhere else."