News dropped today that Marquee, the almost decade old nightclub owned by Noah Tepperberg, Jason Strauss, Marc Packer, Rich Wolf and Lou Abin, would be opening an outpost at The Star Hotel and Casino complex in Sydney, Australia. Marquee will be the Star's second New York offering, joining David Chang's Seiobo in Sydney's only casino and entertainment complex. This will be the third Marquee, joining the New York original and the Las Vegas mega club that opened in 2011, although we hear that the plan was to turn this project into an Avenue outpost but that the Australian licensing rights could not be secured. Noah Tepperberg also told Eater that the space is already built out and they moved some staff from Las Vegas down to Sydney recently to work with the local operators, and that the next two months will be spent turning the unnamed club into a Marquee before the planned opening on March 30. Whatever that means.
Since Peter Gatien's days, New York's biggest nightclubs seemed to have about a five year cycle, operating at supernova status for a year followed by another two years of solid profit but without the cachet surrounding their opening. By year four, the cool customers have abandoned the club, leading the owners to hire outside promoters to wring every last dollar they can before they either stop paying the bills or something awful happens. But now clubs like Marquee, 1OAK, and the Box are following a new path with licensing deals, selling the name and agreeing to use their promotional muscle to local operators in other global cities, and voila, there is a brand new energy pumped into a dying New York club.
The licensing deals are low risk and high reward for the owners, and as long as the expansions are smart, then the clubs will be successful and they can keep signing up deals. If the expansion fails, well, then the New York people don't lose any money and they retrench back to New York. The worst possible scenario is that the expansions fail and everyone comes back to New York to run their own clubs and try and figure something else out.
It also says something about the saturation in the New York market right now. The last few years have seen a large increase in the number of venues without any of the older places closing down, meaning that there is little appetite for any local operators to take on a new project because they know there the demand may not be there. So instead of seeing the big players try to open anything else here, expect to see more Marquees, Darby’s, Tenjunes and Provocateurs coming to a city near you.
· Marquee Coverage [~ENY~]
· Nightlife Coverage [~ENY~]