By Ziggy Ziegler, January 23, 2022
Early Family Entertainment Background
Born in Minnesota, I was the 6th child in a family of eight. We had four boys and four girls and my father believed that holding the family together was important, so he required we all be home for Sunday dinner. Each week we would take turns, the boys setting the table and cleaning up after dinner while the girls worked on the weekly entertainment, putting on a play, games, or some kind of entertainment. The next week we would switch places. I think that’s where my love for being on stage came from. I got my first guitar at 7 and by the age of 12 had my first band put together. Throughout my life, I have played rock and roll, country, folk, and even a little punk.
At age 23, I moved to Santa Barbara, California. (Please don’t hold my time in California against me, down inside I’m a boy from the midwest.) There I started my first Company “Da Vinci Painting”. A few of my clients were the Beach Boys, Randy Newman’s family as well as several other entertainers.
That experience connected me to a group of music industry people and I started a company called “Back Stage Entertainment.” We produced music demos and put on several concerts.
I got married in Santa Barbara, California before heading south to San Clemente and then up to Idyllwild, in the mountains above Palm Springs, where we lived and raised our family for many years.
I then purchased an employment agency and established offices in Palm Desert and Hemet, California. Our executive search division specialized in placing people in the former Soviet Union. After several years of doing that, I made my first visit to Moscow and Kiev. I ended up moving my family to Kiev, Ukraine in 1991 to open an employment agency. Some of my clients included ATT, PepsiCo, Phillips Morris, as well as providing staffing needs for many of the new embassies relocating in Kiev.
I served as Secretary for the first U.S. Chamber of Commerce in the former Soviet Union and was the co-chair of Junior Achievement, a program to help children understand what free enterprise was all about.
After living there for three years, my family decided it was best to return them to the United States, specifically, Idyllwild.
I continued to commute back and forth for the next few years. Before leaving Kiev, I built a 700-seat, Mexican restaurant and cowboy bar called “The Cowboy.” Jack Palance christened our opening with a bottle of whisky broken over the front door. I said it was the wild west meeting the wild east. I always end this story with the statement “I got out alive.”
I then lived five years in Costa Rica where my son and I built and sold a tourist agency and several homes. I then moved to Uruguay where I built and opened a Jazz Club. Then on to Chile where I decided to retire and lived for five years. After Chile, I spent a year in Japan and six months in Korea before returning to the U.S. Through most of this travel I kept my music going by playing in small clubs, hosting open mic, and playing at a few festivals.
A couple of years ago a friend contacted me about playing music on Cruise Ships and I accepted a gig on a 14-day cruise starting in Tahiti and ending in Hawaii. One hour before my flight was scheduled to take off, I received a text that the Norwegian Cruise Line was no longer sailing due to covid. I ended up in Honolulu, where I lived for six months before realizing the cruise industry was not going to recover for some time.
Finally, Hot Springs Village
I called a friend of mine, Steve Fowler, who I thought was in Texas. Steve told me he was enjoying a great life, living with his family in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas. I thought I would visit for a couple of weeks; that was a year and a half ago.
I, like most who live here, fell in love with this community and everything it has to offer. I now own two lots and recently signed a 20-year lease on the old Regions Bank building, here in the village. This is located at the Commercial Center at 101 Calella Road.
I would love to relocate my kids and grandkids here in the future. I will say that everybody from the POA, my neighbors at the commercial center, and the owners of the property, Claire and Anthony Nicolosi, have been amazing to work with.
After spending several months demoing the interior of the building, I am now in the process of building out a 1950s-style diner and dance hall called, “Ziggy’s”. This project is taking longer than I anticipated because I have decided to do most all the work myself. So far I feel like I’ve saved several hundred thousand dollars doing that.
We have been hosting an open house, so people can follow our progress, every first Sunday of the month from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. for five months now with a great turnout every month. I am shooting for a spring opening and to be in full operation by the summer.
I’m looking forward to creating a place where the community can gather, dance, listen to live music, eat a great burger and fries, drink malts, and thank God they live in this great place called Hot Springs Village!
– Ziggy Ziegler
Click on the photos below to enlarge and then click the arrows to scroll through the slideshow.
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Christmas Eve 2021 – Silent Night With Ziggy
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The Ballad of Hot Springs Village – Rockin’ at Ziggy’s
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