Celebrating New Year’s Eve in StyleDecember 19, 2012 By: Alissa Ponchione
New Year’s Eve is a daunting holiday for everyone involved. People generally scramble last minute to find a party and bar and nightclub owners’ battle to attract those guest to their venues for the biggest night of the year. But at Jimmy at the James Hotel in New York, things are different. Owners are preparing an intimate holiday party. The catch: It goes to the highest bidder.
David Rabin, co-owner of Jimmy at The James explains that “last year, we did the normal groups of three, six and eight, but I think New Year’s is more fun with people you know.” Therefore, this year, the rooftop lounge is auctioning off Jimmy on New Year's Eve, to create a specialized and personal party for the highest bidder and 99 of their closest friends.
Bidding starts at $25,000 and the winner can invite up to 99 people to revel in the festivities. Rabin says that it can either go to one winner who had a "good year on Wall Street," he quipped and is willing to throw down a few grand, or it can go to a group of people pooling their money together for this ultimate night out. Bidding started just last week and will last until Dec. 20, Rabin adds.
The concept came from a “silly brainstorm idea," as a way to celebrate NYE in a unique way that is different from our competitors, says Rabin. “Rather than make money from ticket sales, we thought ‘let’s trying something cool.’ And it’s a fun thing to bid on,” he said.
Jimmy at the James is “such an intimate venue,” that it benefits friends more than random groups, he explained. “It would be really cool to have three or four people buy the night and have a real private party” with all their friends. It’s a small enough venue, with great views of the city, making it a perfect setting to celebrate, he said.
The party includes a four-hour open bar with hand-crafted cocktail by mixologist Johnny Swet, delicious food from Chef David Burke, as well as the services of the city’s top DJs. This all includes a Champagne toast at midnight.
But, is Rabin worried no one will bid on the spot?
“I’m not that afraid that it won’t work." Even if they have to change plans last minute, "we can sell 100 tickets from the 20th to New Year’s Eve” because most New Year’s sales come in those last seven to eight days, he said.
“People might really pick up on it,” he says of the auction. “I’ve never heard anything like this. That was the plan to be different and see if someone bites.”