Will Day Destroy the Night?
Although fundamentals apply, nightclubs are an ever-evolving business. New nightlife events are devised to add revenue, and when something is relatively successful it is refined and redefined by its creators as well as others in the business. Bottle service, which originated a long time ago in Korean clubs and areas catering to Europeans, took off in the United States in the mid-’90s after moderate success in New York City. Bottle service, as modern club-goers know it, eventually spread to every corner of the globe; it even became a culture, a science and, some say, an art form.
One new development helping expand nightclubs’ bottom lines is the dayclub. In The Doors song “Break on Through (to the Other Side),” Jim Morrison postulates, "You know the day destroys the night; night divides the day." Nowadays, nighttime may no longer be king of the heap. It seems that except for some liquor laws in places like New York, where bars must close at 4 a.m., or Los Angeles, where the cutoff is 2 a.m., there is nothing to prevent operators from opening their venues when working stiffs are stiff at work.
The emergence of dayclubs, which often are centered around a swimming pool or brunch, is creating beaucoup revenue bucks. Miami and other warm weather cities have always had pool parties, but they only have been noticed by the industry at large in the past few years. Like many trends, dayclubs and pool parties started as a ripple or a rumor. In 2009, whispers told of $150,000 revenues from daytime pool parties at the Gansevoort Hotel in New York City’s Meatpacking District. There, napkins tossed in the air punctuated loud beats from local DJs; every pool deck in town began to seem ripe for warm weather promotion. Although party promoters Tony Theodore and Richie Romero didn't invent the pool party, they showed nightlife operators that patron loot could be harvested during daytime hours. Now pool parties feature superstar international DJs and are no longer a side business but big business.
LMFAO performs during a day party at TAO Beach at The Venetian in Las Vegas.
Hospitality company Dual Groupe’s twin heartthrobs Daniel and Derek Koch did not invent brunch, but they showed the nightlife world that it could be a huge source of income. In the past year, LAVO NYC has taken things to another level with its packed-to-the-rafters brunch. Las Vegas has expanded the game, and soon every casino/hotel/resort worth its weight in sand will follow suit.
Is the term “nightlife” becoming obsolete as operators develop a culture that has spread to brunches and pool parties that have much the same values as evening events? "Nightlife will always be nightlife; however, a good operator will always look to ‘fill the gap’ in their hours of operations,” says Derek Koch, partner of NYC-based Dual Groupe and founding partner of the Day & Night brunch brand. “Creativity and uniqueness are components that differentiate the ordinary from the extraordinary. Day and nightlife can potentially offer similar experiences. The difference is in the execution. We have found that a brunch-club concept can work well anywhere given the right formula: a good location, tasteful spirits, a culture of fun, great food, beautiful people and impeccable service.”
“In nightlife, a lot can be masked,” he continues. “The venues can play with light and shadows, and people can do the same. You enter in the darkness, party in relative dark and the music can hide the dialogue or lack thereof. In contrast, daylife is about shared experiences. Your appearance and your conduct are on stage. The conversation takes center stage as life and laughs are shared at a round table.”
TAO Group Partner Andrew Goldberg offers, "I believe we are adding another dimension to the party world by including the daytime hours into the portfolio. There is a demographic of people that prefer to drink by day and be in bed by a sensible hour. Nightclubs will never be obsolete as most people work by day and have free time at night, and that is where nightlife thrives. Having nightlife during restaurant hours run by restaurant staff only makes us stronger as an organization! As far as a breakfast party goes, I can see a ‘kegs and eggs’ party on the horizon soon. Any room for revenue is something we will always explore."
“There are some cities where nightlife does not stop,” Koch notes. “For instance, in Mexico, they feed you eggs and tequila as a mariachi band starts playing at 7 a.m. In Saint-Tropez, it’s rosé all day and Les Caves until dawn. NYC has limited options for the 4-a.m.-to-midday gap, but we are ever closer to moving the fun to 24-7. We strongly believe though that there should always be a beginning and an end to celebration; otherwise, what is there to look forward to?”