Thompson Hotels’ Nightlife Motto: Party. Sleep. Repeat.October 14, 2010 By: Sean Evans
Jason Pomeranc spends a ton of time thinking about ways to improve nightlife. As a hotelier, and one of the brains behind Thompson Hotels — now nine locations strong across the U.S. (and one venue in Toronto) — Pomeranc sees evening revelry as crucial to any hotel’s success. He shares his thoughts with Nightclub Confidential behind his dominance in the Los Angeles market, especially through Teddy’s (pictured) inside the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.
Fads aren’t everything; sustainability is key. “Anything can be hot for a split second. The longevity of a hotel nightlife spot has to be far greater than a normal club’s. And remember, this was never meant to be a volume business, so numbers in and out aren’t as crucial as the experience itself. Take Teddy’s, the club in our Roosevelt Hotel. It’s been open for five years, which is a lifetime in LA. People now enjoy it simply because it has this institutional feel after that long. Sure, the in-room experience keeps the guest happy and makes them a repeat customer, but the kind of nightlife on premise is what gets them in the door in the first place. It’s truly the face of the hotel.”
Door attitude can make or break a guest’s night. “It’s impossible to run a multifaceted, artistic hotel without hitting problems sometimes, especially within our nightlife sectors. The mark of a good product is how you handle those snags, and the best guest experiences come from overcoming an issue. Sometimes you have to say ‘no’ [at the door], but it’s how you say ‘no.’ You can do it in such a way where the guest doesn’t feel slighted or scorned. And through that, you make sure they will come back some other time to spend the evening with us.”
Be as imaginative as possible. “Our cabaret venue in the basement of the Roosevelt is going to be fantastic, and it’s something completely new for us. We’ve teamed up with [Vegas showman] Jeff Beacher and David Arquette to bring in a version of Beacher’s Madhouse that’s more burlesque than normal. When it opens [around Thanksgiving] the programming of entertainment will change with every show, but the shows will be provocative, yet legal, and have a Parisian element of elegance that’s sometimes missing in burlesque acts. We chose sensuality and humor over sexuality, so there’ll be funny flourishes like Beacher’s renowned oompah loompahs. The more extreme on the outlandish behavior scale [for this show], the better it is for the guest.”
Variety, as always, is the spice of life. “If you’re coming in from out of town, we have enough of a varied nightlife scene where you won’t need to leave our hotel in order to experience something new each and every night. But if you’re an LA local, in a town like this, you need a good reason to leave your house and not entertain at home. And again, our various concepts will get people to travel to check them out. So whether you’re an emerging actor or you grew up in LA, or you’re in town on business or just here to audition for your big break, we expect you’ll have just as much fun hitting up the burlesque show on Thursday night as you will at Teddy’s on Friday evening.”