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Business Journal: Concert Venues, Drybar, Calling All Dreamers

sacramentoconventioncenter.com / Courtesy

Inside the Sacramento Convention Center

sacramentoconventioncenter.com / Courtesy

Music festivals, concerts and clubs have been selling-out in Sacramento and the music industry is taking notice. The Sacramento Business Journal's Digital Editor Sonya Sorich says the city has posted a request for potential operators of its downtown venues.

"The city is considering private operators for the Sacramento Convention Center complex and that includes the convention center, Memorial Auditorium and the Community Center Theater," says Sorich. "Right now those venues are operated by city staff. It's worth noting that Live Nation, the largest music promoter in the world, is apparently pretty confident in Sacramento's future."

That's because the midtown club Ace of Spades was sold last year to Live Nation's House of Blues Entertainment division. Live Nation also owns and operates Toyota Amphitheater in the Wheatland area, and books shows in Golden 1 Center and other venues. Los Angeles-based AEG books shows at Sacramento's Crest Theater. Critics say corporate involvement can lead to higher ticket prices and larger crowds.

An Irvine-based hairstyling chain has announced plans to open a Sacramento site. It's called Drybar. Sorich says women can get their hair washed, blow-dried and styled...just not cut or colored.

"You might roll your eyes but blow dry chains are serious business," says Sorich. "Drybar is on track to have more than 85 locations by the end of the year. And the company apparently had revenues of $70 million in 2015."

Drybar plans to open a shop in University Village late this summer. The shopping center at Howe Avenue and Fair Oaks Boulevard is being remodeled and will soon include a new fitness studio and new restaurants like: Zocalo, Buckhorn Grill and Pieology.

Ten aspiring business owners are competing to open a storefront in downtown Sacramento. Sorich says the Calling All Dreamers business-plan contest this week announced its semi-finalists.

"There's a variety of businesses including a churro dessert shop, an artisan tea shop and even a milkshake business with a presidential theme," says Sorich.

That proposed business, Milk House Shakes, would offer shakes named after U.S. presidents. The semi-finalists will now be coached on creating a business plan that they'll turn in for review next month. The finalists will be announced May 18th. A public vote will be held and the winner will be announced in July.