Oasis Tanning Salon isn’t closing after all — at least not exactly. Local couple Troy and Kara Schwartz are purchasing the business, which will be relocating at the end of August and will operate as New Oasis Tanning Salon. They hope to carry on the legacy that current owner DeeAnn Rice built over the last four decades.
In mid-June, Rice announced her plans to retire and close Oasis at the end of July. At that time she had no plans to sell the business that she and her late husband Tommy started in 1985.
Calling it the “end of an era,” Rice wrote in her announcement that “Tommy and I started this business from nothing to what it is now and I want to preserve this legacy in my dear Tommy’s memory.”
Troy Schwartz, however, didn’t want to see another local business close its doors for good. So after a few conversations, Rice agreed to sell the business to the Schwartzes as long as the name was slightly changed.
“It seemed like a good business opportunity,” Schwartz said. “She’s been in business for 38 years, and I hate to see businesses shut down in Owensboro. I knew Dee, and I asked her why she was closing this … and I asked her if she ever thought about selling it. She originally said no. We sat down at a meeting with my wife (and agreed to do it).”
Oasis will remain under the ownership of Rice through July 31. The Schwartzes will take over the next day, and the salon will remain where it is through Aug. 31, when the lease for the space is up. Schwartz said Rice has agreed to help ensure a smooth transition.
New Oasis will then move to 4032 Frederica Street in the strip center just north of the bypass. It will be in the space that formerly housed Book and Music Exchanger. Schwartz hopes to have the new site open and fully operating within 2-3 days of the move.
Schwartz said he’s buying all of the current Oasis equipment, but that he will also be adding new spray tan beds. Renovations are currently underway at the new space, which will be totally redesigned.
Schwartz said he hopes to retain all the employees and clients. He said he thinks anyone with minutes will still need to use them by July 31, and that plans will start fresh once the business transitions to New Oasis.
“We just want to keep the same customer base and just keep it rolling as well as it ever was. I know we won’t ever fill Dee’s shoes, but we’re sure gonna try,” Schwartz said.
In her announcement earlier this month, Rice wrote “Thank you and appreciate you for doing business with us all these years and I will miss each and every one of you! This was an awesome ride, and this wasn’t an easy decision. Thanks again for all the love and support you have shown us these past 38 years of business!”