The world of nightlife hospitality continues to grow as lists of properties expand. However, the web of heavy hitters seems to be diminishing as top management groups have begun to merge. The partnership of New York's EMM Group with Las Vegas' Angel Management Group (AMG) is one example of the mash up of the titans. EMM and AMG teamed up to launch nightlife into the stratosphere with Atlantic City’s newest entry– Revel – a 6.2 million-square-foot resort.
Leading the way, the 40,000 square-foot HQ Nightclub is sure to turn heads. Now Vegas has its charms but it doesn't sit next to an Ocean. With four levels, each exuding different experiences, and the adjoining HQ Beach Club on the Boardwalk, HQ will transform the Northeast party scene.
Angel Management Group operates 15 properties including PURE Nightclub at Caesars Palace; WET REPUBLIC Ultra Pool; Tabu Ultra Lounge and Hakkasan Las Vegas (opening later this year) at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino; LAX Nightclub and Savile Row at Luxor Hotel & Casino; among many others. NY based EMM Group operates Abe & Arthur’s; SL; Tenjune; Lexington Brass and the new Catch, Catch Roof and the Chandelier Room at the W Hoboken.
Nightclub Confidential sat down with Eugene Remm, co-founder of EMM Group and Neil Moffitt, founder and CEO of AMG about this exciting merger.
Nightclub Confidential (NCC): There have been a lot of what ifs facing the success of new properties in Atlantic City that have come to fruition. With that said, is Revel the ultimate test of Atlantic City's viability for the NY revelers market?
REMM: In my opinion, Revel is the ultimate embodiment of cosmopolitan ideology. It is a total experience in and of itself, with food, beverage and entertainment outlets woven throughout the property in a way that is both seamless and dynamic. Like any major city, it successfully juxtaposes diversity with fluidity to achieve a sense of community and I am confident this exciting balance will appeal to the cosmopolitan crowd.
MOFFITT: I don't know if you can say it's the ultimate test, because I think both ourselves and Revel would be more than happy if further development happened and the properties kept getting larger and more elaborate in Atlantic City. What we can say is that Revel represents the finest resort product available today not only in Atlantic City, but on the East Coast in general.
NCC: Will Revel "up the game" to the crowd visiting Atlantic City or depend on other or new patrons?
REMM: I think a combination of both factors will drive traffic to the property. Patrons that already frequent Atlantic City as a destination location will have access to a more premium product with Revel. Simultaneously, Revel will attract new customers and appeal to a demographic that may have otherwise felt Atlantic City did not have enough of a premium product to offer. We think the Revel experience will appeal to the high-end gamer's and high-end resort consumers from both sides of this spectrum.
NCC: Las Vegas has changed the game and provided a quick trip destination full of nightlife extravaganzas. Has the Vegas boom helped explain or sell the new Atlantic City? Is Atlantic City a close alternative to a Vegas Lifestyle?
REMM: If Las Vegas has changed the game, then I think Atlantic City has emerged as the one to watch. I'm confident the guest experience at Revel will absolutely match any high-end Vegas experience.
MOFFITT: I think the emergence of a greater focus on nightclubs and dayclubs as well as a new wave of dining experiences, in terms of their importance to the success of casino resorts, has paved the way for resorts like Revel to be introduced into gaming markets. The ratio of food and beverage revenue to gaming revenue is vastly different between Atlantic City and Las Vegas, and so Revel's owners have made the intelligent decision to focus on that untapped potential.
NCC: What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Atlantic City is considered less "loose” and a more conservative environment. What are the differences and is the beach a real seller for Revel?
REMM: I don't think that the Atlantic City experience can be defined as more or less conservative than the Vegas experience. As with any market, there are different experiences for different customers and that is a huge part of what makes a property like Revel so appealing to a diverse audience. I personally believe that the beach will be a huge attraction as it gets people outside of the traditional pool, restaurant, nightclub and casino experience. Adding the beach puts an element of Miami into the mix which, when combined with the high-end gaming and excitement traditionally associated with Las Vegas, transforms the Revel dynamic into something that I think is very interesting and unique.
MOFFITT: I think Vegas did a great job of creating the perception that the city is a no holds barred playground, but in reality having done business in Vegas for the past 10 years; I can tell you that the laws governing entertainment are just as strict there as they are in Atlantic City. The challenge for us is to replicate the excitement of Vegas venues in Atlantic City, which we're confident of doing. The Beach will certainly be a huge component of that. It's an element, which never has and never can truly be offered in Vegas, and we're excited to combine a beachfront location with the type of dayclub experience that we're renowned for in Las Vegas.
NCC: What is the goal of the clubs and the interfacing with the hotel and its amenities?
REMM: I think our goal and main focus as operators within this setting is to create a one stop shop for our clients and facilitate a seamless experience from the moment they walk in the door of the hotel to the point of departure and everything in between, including their interactions with the rooms, casino, spa, pool, beach, theater, restaurants and night clubs.
NCC: How deep will this merger run and how will it manifest itself in brand identities and operations? Secondly, how do you manage it all... are you cloning yourself or have you not slept in years?
REMM: Between EMM Group and AMG we have spent years developing very strong teams of operators and executors throughout properties in New York and Las Vegas. With this foundation firmly in place, we're very comfortable expanding our brand into the Atlantic City market.
MOFFITT: I think both companies have done a great job of building teams of very talented, very driven people. There is a huge machine behind any organization, which operates multiple venues, and neither of our companies would have gotten to the position we're in without understanding the need to work with strong teams. What we're also able to do is recognize each other's talents, and I think with this deal we saw two companies with very complementary strengths that we felt could combine to form something extremely powerful. Revel is our first outing together but we foresee many partnerships in the future in several locations.