The Nashville star says he decided to expand his Redneck Riviera apparel imprint into a Las Vegas music club after he kept having to ask a concierge or a bellman, “Hey man, where can I find a great live country band on a Tuesday night?”
“I want to get up and play with somebody. I want to hear some guys pick and really play. I realize that was a real underserved thing in Las Vegas,” says the singer best known as half of Big & Rich.
The music club will debut later this year in front of Bally’s, at the Grand Bazaar Shops. Rich says he would like to see the 400- to 500-capacity club open in time for the Dec. 1-10 National Finals Rodeo. A Nashville counterpart will open soon after the Las Vegas location.
The second-floor club will have retractable doors to an open-air patio. “Everybody walking by and going to the Grand Bazaar will hear live country music. Real human beings playing real country music, blasting out through those windows. Not unlike Nashville, not unlike Austin, Dallas, places like that, where you can walk around and hear that energy,” he says.
Months after Northlands and the Oilers Entertainment Group (OEG) made an unsuccessful bid to host the Canadian Finals Rodeo, it was announced that the massive event would be heading to Saskatchewan for three years starting in 2017.
In a press release, The Canadian Professional Rodeo Association (CPRA) and the City of Saskatoon signed a memorandum of understanding to host the Canadian Finals Rodeo in Saskatoon from 2017 to 2019.
The move came after CPRA did not accept a joint offer to host the CFR from OEG and Northlands back in March, 2016. That proposal would move the Canadian Finals Rodeo to Rogers Place, and keep Farm Fair International at the Northlands Expo Centre.
The Canadian Professional Rodeo Association and the City of Saskatoon announced in July a memorandum of understanding had been signed for the national rodeo event to be held in Saskatoon. The decision came after the CPRA did not accept a joint offer from the Oilers Entertainment Group and Northlands to host the finals in Edmonton, where the event had been held for four decades.
Ford said SaskTel Centre officials were notified shortly after the Saskatoon announcement of changes in the CPRA that could prevent the event from moving from Edmonton. A new executive director was appointed to the organization, which prompted SaskTel Centre staff to take a wait-and-see approach, he said.
“For us, the good thing is it never went on sale,” Ford said. “It was an event we would have loved to host and we would have loved hosting it in Saskatoon.”
Ford could not confirm which Edmonton arena will be hosting the 2017 event, but said Northlands Coliseum had been lobbying since July to keep the rodeo finals.
The club will also feature the Heroes Bar, staffed by veterans and offering the first drink free to active-duty military and veterans. “I hope they drink me out of beer every night,” Rich says.
Rich, 42, says he has sold “thousands and thousands” of Redneck Riviera-branded boots and related apparel in the past three years in his partnership with Acumen Brands’ Country Outfitter.
“Redneck Riviera” has become more closely associated with Biloxi, Mississippi, and the Gulf Coast since casinos sprouted there. But Rich says it was “a phrase I’ve used my entire life,” and a definition he extends all the way to Lake Havasu, Arizona.