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Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from across the tri-states. This edition highlights developments in Dubuque; Platteville, Wis.; and Cascade, Iowa.
A new party bus company is rolling onto the streets of Dubuque.
VIP Transport is now accepting bookings for its party and charter bus services. The Dubuque-based company is co-owned by friends Dionte Stewart and Ryan Elliott.
Both Stewart and Elliott have worked for party bus companies in the past, and each believed they could provide the service with extra perks and increased reliability on their own — but the idea to open a business together materialized essentially by chance.
One day, Stewart sent a text message to Elliott with a somewhat spontaneous recommendation that the two start their own business. While the suggestion started out in the realm of “maybe someday,” Stewart said it quickly picked up steam.
“I sent (Ryan) one message about it, and I figured it would just die there, … but we started talking with more people about it, and it just really began to pick up,” he said. “We already have people booking well into next year. I really can’t believe it.”
The company currently has one bus ready for use with plans to add two more. The current bus is a full-size motor coach that previously served the Kansas City, Mo., area. It can seat up to 40 people and includes perimeter seating and an on-board bathroom.
VIP Transport’s party bus service can be booked for private events such as weddings or birthdays, or individual seats can be reserved for transportation to certain sporting events, concerts and other special events. Charter services are also available.
“We want to offer people a really reliable, high-quality experience,” Elliott said. “Quality seating, safe drivers, an awesome speaker system, we really have everything you could possibly want right at your fingertips.”
This holiday season, VIP Transport plans to host events such as community Christmas light tours and bar crawls.
Stewart and Elliott also plan to purchase a traditional charter bus to offer a shuttle service to O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Ill., among other destinations.
VIP Transport is licensed for business nationwide, so the shuttle service could also be booked for further afield destinations.
“We’re hoping to bring something a little different to the transportation scene in the tri-state area,” Stewart said. “There’s this perception that party buses are just for weddings, but we can really do a lot.”
For booking information or any other questions, VIP Transport can be reached online at viptransport.biz or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration is now open for its first public event, a “Thanksgiving Eve” bar crawl set for Wednesday, Nov. 22.
Pet grooming business opens near Platteville
A new pet grooming business has opened near Platteville, Wis.
Cullen All Dogs opened last month at 1884 West Timber Drive near Platteville. The full-service spa offers a variety of services for dogs and cats without restrictions on age, breed or weight.
The business is owned and operated by Christian Cullen, and services are offered by appointment throughout the week. Cullen decided to start the business after her youngest child went off to school.
“It’s my dream job to spend all day with cats and dogs,” Cullen said. “I‘ve always been drawn to animals, even as a kid. I always wanted to save every baby bird I found on the ground and pet every dog.”
To prepare for opening her own grooming business, Cullen attended a 15-week grooming program in Davenport, Iowa, and worked frequently with the pets of friends, family and neighbors.
In addition to offering baths and haircuts, Cullen also trims nails, cleans teeth and more.
Since opening the salon, Cullen said she’s received tremendous support from the Platteville community. Several customers have expressed excitement at finding a local groomer who is accepting new clients, as many other local options are booked solid.
“There’s definitely a demand for it in the area,” Cullen said. “Dog and cat people are my kind of people, so I’ve already met a lot of awesome owners.”
Appointments can be scheduled at Cullen All Dogs by calling 608-331-7644 or by Facebook Messenger to the business’s account.
Dubuque dance studio to open second location
A Dubuque dance studio is expanding its northeast Iowa footprint with the addition of a satellite location in Cascade.
Xtreme Dance is set to open its new studio at 1724 First Ave. next year with the start of January classes. The studio also will host a skills camp Dec. 16 for dancers to get a feel for the space.
“Our program has grown tremendously this year. The (Dubuque) studio is just bursting at the seams, so we’re really excited to open up some of these classes in Cascade,” said owner and head studio director Kylie Goedken.
Xtreme offers a variety of recreational and competitive classes for dancers ages 2 through 18. The family-run studio opened three years ago and now teaches over 250 students in ballet, jazz, hip hop and more.
Goedken said the studio is best known for its competitive program and regularly competes in national-level competitions. However, she said Xtreme also has a wide range of recreational classes for dancers across all skill levels.
“We have our foot in every little genre of dance, and we are widely known across the country,” she said. “But we do have a lot of recreational opportunities, too. Not every student has to be at that super high level.”
The Cascade location will mostly focus on recreational dance classes to open up the dancing floor to a broader group of students, Goedken said. The studio will be overseen by studio director Tessa Medinger.
Members of Xtreme’s competitive team who live nearby also can take their individual technique classes at the Cascade studio.
As with the Dubuque location, Goedken said the goal of the new space is to help kids build confidence and social skills through dance and learn the importance of giving back through service events or community performances.
“I truly have seen kids go from being super shy and reserved to finding their dance home and finding their best friends,” Goedken said. “We just want to help them become kindhearted kids who want to give back.”
Registration is already open for the Cascade studio’s January classes and can be completed online at xtremedancedbq.com. Additional questions about the studio can be directed to the website or by emailing email@example.com.