FARGO - Downtown will soon get another event center, with the first couple big events featuring an all-you-can-ogle selection of beefcake.
Minnesota entrepreneur Sean Moore said he is in the final round of negotiating a lease with the Kilbourne Group to lease the Stone Building at 613 1st Ave. N. and turn it into the Stone Event Center.
Moore confirmed Tuesday, Feb. 4, that he plans to open the center April 1 with “an evening of music and muscle” with Matthew Olshefski, “The Shirtless Violinist.”
The testosterone levels will spike on May 1, as “HUNKS The Show” is scheduled as “The Perfect Girls Night Out.”
HUNKS the Show is described as “the world’s foremost exotic male dance show on tour. The production is an electrifying, high-energy performance showcasing some of the sexiest men alive as they sing, dance, and strip in choreographed routines to thumping beats and dazzling light shows.”
Moore told The Forum Tuesday that the racier events will be held on the second floor of the three-story Stone Building and that windows would be covered so that the artists' abs and pronounced pecs won’t be viewable from the street.
“You have to be in the event center to see it,” Moore said.
More information on The Shirtless Violinist and HUNKS events is available on the "Stone Event Center, Fargo ND" Facebook page.
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In a late January interview with The Forum, Moore said there will be an Aliens & Astronauts UFO Party on March 28 with local DJs dressed up for the space-themed affair. He also planned to have comedy nights with a disc jockey on April 3 and 4..
The grand opening will be a more sedate affair, with bingo and karaoke scheduled for April 5.
Moore said he plans to have “90 percent” of his events be more family friendly, including music, weddings and corporate events, senior nights, etc.
“It will be a multi-use event center,” Moore said. “I plan to keep it busy year round. It will be a year-round business.”
Moore said a booking agent told him about the Stone Building.
“The building has been empty for a long time,” Moore said. “I just thought, well, let’s give this a try. (I’ve) got a lot of good people that I know I can trust to work with me. And I want to give this a try. Fargo is a beautiful city, good people and a good town, and it will be a good business.”
Moore is a co-owner of a photo booth business in the Minneapolis area. Last June he also ran the 700-participant “Wet ‘N’ Wild Foam and Glow Party” in Howard Lake, Minn.
Plans for the event center were first publicized on a Facebook page for Wet ‘N’ Wild Entertainment (a Minnesota company owned by Moore) that was no longer available for viewing Tuesday. That page earlier had included postings related to plans for the event center going back to last November, which included thoughts about hosting weekly foam parties in the venerable Stone Building.
On Tuesday, Moore said he would not host foam parties in the Stone Building because the moisture would ruin the refinished flooring.
He said he had talked with Kilbourne representatives that morning.
“I told them (the Kilbourne Group) I probably wouldn’t do that type of event there, because it’s got an old wood floor, and if you put moisture on wood you will do hundreds of thousands (of dollars) of damage, so that will not be happening,” Moore said.
Adrienne Olson, a Kilbourne Group spokeswoman, wrote in an email Tuesday that the final details on the lease were being worked out and it was anticipated the deal would be finalized Friday, Feb. 7.
The Stone Building was built in 1910. It has been empty since Avalon Events Center moved out in 2014 (other than for temporary events over the years).
“We are excited to be working with a business owner and operator who will bring activity back into the space,” Olson wrote.