Business owners show growing interest in downtown

Business owners show growing interest in downtown

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Paul Nelson, KSL NewsradioBusiness analysts say some business owners may be waiting too long to get a good site for stores in downtown Salt Lake City. They say interest in that part of town has never been higher.

A new dueling piano bar is scheduled to open the beginning of January on Main Street downtown.

George Hasenorhl, the owner of one of the clubs, said, "We play everything from Billy Joel, Elton John [and] 80s rock. Give me some Ozzy Osbourne and then I'll turn around and play some Frank Sinatra."

"Does Ozzy Osbourne have piano sheet music available?" I asked him.

"He does, believe it or not," Hasenorhl said.

With all the construction happening on Main Street, you might think some of that would be getting in the way of Hasenorhl opening his club, Keys On Main, but he says that's not the case.

"The activity around [here] hasn't been a problem," he said.

Hasenorhl says once his list of "regulars" grows, nobody will mind the City Creek construction just a stone's throw away from his place.

"Nightclubs are destination spots. People have the places they like to go to, and if they like to go there, they're going to find a way to get there," he said.

Turns out, Hasenorhl is just one of many business owners cashing in on what some people might consider as a resurgence in downtown.

Downtown Alliance Executive Director Bob Farrington said, "Virtually every space downtown that is available to be leased, where the property owner is actually putting it on the market and not holding it back for some future use, is occupied."

Farrington says many businesses downtown are cleaning up after the Crossroads Mall shut down.

"Some of the restaurants nearby are reporting their best year ever because there is a little less competition with the food court than there used to be," he said.

He says 300 South and the west side of town by The Gateway seem to be the hot spots.

"Development interest in downtown is really at, in some respects, an all-time high."

Farrington says they expect downtown businesses to have brought in $500 million in retail sales this year.

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