Subway Franchise Owner Acquires Rights To La Sunset Tans

EDMOND | Friday, October 17, 2008

Edmond residents soon will have the tanning experience of characters on the reality television series, "Sunset Tan." During the next two years, 12 LA Sunset Tan salons will open in Edmond, Norman and Oklahoma City. Kansas resident Don Rottinghaus acquired the area representative rights for LA Sunset Tan in Oklahoma.

"There isn't anything like this anywhere. It has a very upscale appearance. Edmond has got the right demographics for this concept," he said.

Rottinghaus is not new to Edmond. He owns several Subway franchises in Oklahoma, including the store on Second Street between Broadway and University Drive.

"I love doing business in Oklahoma," he said. "We've always been successful." However, Rottinghaus said he does not plan to own the franchises himself.

"The plan is to franchise the stores in Oklahoma," he said. "We're looking for people with desire and ability." Rottinghaus said he was drawn to LA Sunset Tan as a business venture because the stores are well laid out, clean and visible from the street. He said customers are provided with professional, upscale salons with competitive prices.

"We want people to have a celebrity experience," said Marc Kiekenapp, president of LA Sunset Tan Franchising LLC. "We use very high-end tanning beds. Our low-end bed is the same as high-end in most studios." Rottinghaus said one unique option for customers is the LA Sunset Tan Cocktail, which includes tanning in a regular bed and then slipping into a spray booth to get the ultimate golden glow. LA Sunset Tan also was the first in the country to offer the California Tan Sunless Auto Bronzer Spray Towers.

Kiekenapp said a single tan might cost $35 or $18-$20 if bought in a package.

Jeff Bozz and Devin Haman founded LA Sunset Tan in 2003 on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood. Kiekenapp said they opened second and third salons shortly after. While promoting their new salons, producers of the E! Entertainment network heard about them and decided to make it the basis for a new reality television series, "Sunset Tan," which follows the lives of the salon's employees. Kiekenapp said the series definitely has helped the business's growth.

Erin Tietsort, a star on the show, attended Christian Heritage Academy in Del City.

"LA Sunset Tan's expansion throughout Oklahoma is incredibly exciting not only for the company, but for me personally," Tietsort said. "I have no doubt the new salons will be tremendously successful as they provide my fellow Oklahomans with the most unique tanning experience Hollywood style!" LA Sunset Tan partners, including George Maloof, owner of the Sacramento Kings and the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas, and Larry Rudolph, Britney Spear's manager, contacted Kiekenapp after the show's success to see if LA Sunset Tan could be turned in a franchise. Kiekenapp has owned Kiekenapp and Associates for 28 years and worked on franchise ventures for 50-60 businesses, including Max Muscle, Right at Home Senior Care, Burger King and Sears.

On Nov. 1, 2007, Kiekenapp helped roll out a packaged franchise option for LA Sunset Tan. He issued rights to area representatives with experience, which is why he chose Rottinghaus to represent Oklahoma.

"Don is very experienced and one of the larger owners of Subway," he said.

Franchising opportunities range from single to multi-store packages with an average store costing $247,900 to $652,500.

Kiekenapp said a longer plan includes opening 500 stores nationwide. He said they are trying to open 10 to 12 stores in the next year, 50 in the second year and the rest in the three years following.

FOR MORE information, visit www.sunsettan.com. For franchising opportunities, contact Kiekenapp at 866-696-8521 or e-mail [email protected]

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