Owner of Sammy’s shakes up Provo music scene

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The offices of Seventy3 Creative are abuzz with activity. It is after 9 p.m., and employees are putting the finishing touches on the upcoming Boyz II Men concert at The Complex in Salt Lake City. The event, expected to have more than 2,500 attendees, is two days away and still needs one more opening act.

Sam Schultz, second to right, and his employee pose with members of Boyz II Men at the concert his company helped organize. Photo courtesy of Sam Schultz.
Sam Schultz, second to right, and his employee pose with members of Boyz II Men at the concert his company helped organize. (Photo courtesy of Sam Schultz)

Despite the controlled chaos around him, Seventy3 co-founder Sam Schultz looks relaxed and at ease as he gives instructions to an event coordinator to find a new opener. Planning an event for thousands of people is just another day at the office for the man known throughout northern Utah as the face of Sammy’s.

Schultz’s connection to music has spanned his lifetime. Born in Rexburg in 1981, Schultz grew up surrounded by music with a father involved in the industry.

“Music was just always in my blood,” he said. “My dad moved us to LA when I was five, where he managed artists like Meatloaf and (LDS family group) The Jets. So it was basically ingrained in me from a very early age.”

While running a catering company in 2004, Schultz was hired by an investor to research the possibility of opening a club in Provo. When he realized the idea was not feasible without selling alcohol in the club, he began throwing events for college kids on the side.

“Doing these block parties and concerts was a way of jumping into college kids’ brains to understand what they want and need and think,” Schultz said. “After that, Sammy’s just kind of fell into my lap.”

Sammy’s, the popular burger joint famous for its ‘pieshakes,’ opened in 2008 as a hit among the college demographic and now has locations in Provo, Rexburg and Cedar Hills. However, Schultz is quick to admit micromanaging a restaurant chain isn’t his first priority.

“I actually hate managing Sammy’s,” he said. “I’m kind of ADD, and I know it could be more profitable if I wasn’t the owner. But I see Sammy’s as a brand and an experience instead of just a place to get a burger.”

From there, Schultz transitioned into working with local artists and bands, from David Archuleta and Ryan Innes to Imagine Dragons and Neon Trees.

“I always wanted to work in music but didn’t know how to make money at it,” he said. “First it was promoting events and concerts, and then it moved to artists asking me for help with their careers.”

Following a brief stint in 2013 as artist and repertoire director for Salt Lake-based artist development company Refinement Records, Schultz launched Seventy3 Creative, a business consulting company that focuses on musicians, college-friendly business and events.

Ashley Hess, an artist signed to Seventy3, said much of her success can be attributed to Schultz’s support.

“He saw potential in me and, literally from day one, has gone out of his way to help me and my career as a musician,” Hess said. “It’s hard to find people in the music industry who are behind you one hundred percent, solely because they believe in you and want to help you succeed without expecting anything in return. Sam is one of those people.”

Hess also said Utah’s growing music industry would likely look much different with Schultz at its center.

“He has really helped shape the local music scene,” she said. “He provides musicians with opportunity, support and resources to get their name out there and does it all out of genuine passion and interest in the industry. I’ve had nothing but positive experiences working with him.”

Mimi Knowles, a project manager at Seventy3, said the company offers an unparalleled breadth of resources for artists.

“It’s very comprehensive. (We) help artists with everything from branding, songwriting and music theory to setting up photo shoots, music videos and gigs,” Knowles said. “The artist’s creativity is always the focal point. That way, authenticity and personality can shine through and make for the best product.”

As midnight approaches at the Seventy3 offices, Schultz stares at the ceiling as he reflects on where his path has led.

“My company is the happiest I’ve been in my career, and I truly feel like I’m helping people live their dreams,” he said. “Some days it’s exhausting, but I’d rather be exhausted and happy than be rested and bored.”

 

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