Buy a guitar from Mayor Williams |

Buy a guitar from Mayor Williams


Long-time Park Meadows resident Larry Hart is retiring this summer to open Riffs Acoustic Music at 1205 Iron Horse Drive later in the fall.

Park City Mayor Dana Williams is one of the founding partners.

"I’ll be selling coffee and guitar strings," Williams said.

Hart ran an insurance brokerage in Salt Lake City for most of his career and said he always dreamed of opening a guitar shop.

As he began formulating a business model, Hart said people from the community began embracing the idea with open arms.

"It’s something we really need in town," Hart said.

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He’s planning to feature four elements: string-instrument retail sales and a café will pay the bills to support a music school and performance venue.

Guitars, mandolins and ukuleles are discretionary items, but nationally, beginner-level instruments have been selling well during the recession, he said.

"Music is at the core of many people’s lives it’s money you spend to make yourself feel better," Hart said. "Since the beginning when mankind went upright, music has been a part of every culture in the history of our planet."

Riffs will be across the street from Windy Ridge Café and in front of Mercer’s Automotive. The retail side will carry supplies and instruments for every level of musician from beginner to expert. He isn’t catering to one level more than another and wants them all to benefit from the store, he said.

The learning center in Riffs will provide space for music lessons. Many parents in Park City want their children to take up an instrument and many adults have always dreamed of playing guitar. Although he won’t do band or orchestra rentals, Hart is hoping to reach out to local schools to provide lessons.

The instructors will follow a curriculum, and Hart said he wants it to focus on teaching fundamentals and performance. He also wants instructors to encourage students to use their new skills to express themselves.

The café is intended to make Riffs a comfortable place to hang out, check out merchandise, and maybe even listen to other musicians playing. The cuisine won’t be anything too unique, but the atmosphere will definitely reflect the musical theme of the business, he said.

"The plan is create a gathering center and be more than a point of purchase," he added.

The venue aspect will primarily focus on providing a place for students and teachers to show off their talents. The area with the stage should seat 30-35 people, he said. He also envisions using the stage to host special guests, special events and spontaneous jam sessions.

People in Park City love music and support music so he expects the store to do well, Hart said.

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