SPOKANE, Wash.--The Big Dipper concert venue had its grand opening in Downtown Spokane on Saturday night. The owner of the venue had been renovating the 101-year-old building since the spring of 2013.
Owner Dan Hoerner said the turnout exceeded his expectations. He said he even had to turn some customers away on Saturday because so many people showed up for the grand opening.
"It's so wonderful now. We're really blessed by the reaction we've received. We feel like we're ready,” said Hoerner.
Hoerner said it had been a long process to open the venue. He said he remodeled the inside and out, including fixing up electrical and plumbing.
Hoerner said he did not change everything in the historic building.
"We loved the vibe of the Big Dipper. I wanted it to have the vibe that I remembered,” said Hoerner.
Hoerner said he practiced on the Big Dipper stage when he was younger. He said he hoped the venue’s original customers would return.
"I don't even have to do anything. You just have to get out of the way and let the Big Dipper-- let people have fun,” said Hoerner.
Hoerner said he could only have around 110 customers in the building at a time in May until he installed a new sprinkler system. He was working on that with the City of Spokane. The City was paying for part of the cost. Hoerner said the capacity would jump to 300 people once the system was installed. He hoped that would happen by mid August.