Sweet and Sour

One can get whiplash tracking news reports these days: Just as one news source touts the economic recovery, another is shouting just as loudly about rising unemployment. Amidst these seemingly contradictory trends, our industry moves into the fourth quarter of the year licking its wounds but also scoping out new prospects for growth.

While we always focus on both the opportunities and challenges of this business, this issue of Nightclub & Bar perhaps reflects this sweet-and-sour state of affairs like no other. Our cover story (pg. 16) reveals Marriott International’s savvy strategy to make its bars a point of differentiation; other features cover the innate opportunities within energized cocktails, sparkling wines and celebrity-backed brands.

As for challenges, we’re all over the need to spark slumping sales with our story on alternative revenue sources (pg. 34) and our happy hour focus in our Marketing & Promotion section (pg. 8). We’ve even uncovered an opportunity born of the economic downturn: the availability of prime real estate for those with the cash and moxie to jump into new space (pg. 42).

Being a glass-half-full kind of publication (pun intended), we’re confident the drinks business will turn upward sooner rather than later. To celebrate those operators who are doing all the right things even in tough times, we’re kicking off our 2010 Nightclub & Bar Awards. Check out the program on page 4 and also at www.nightclubandbarawards.com. We’re taking entries until Nov. 4. The winners will be determined by a stellar panel of judges. What’s more, they’ll be celebrated in the magazine, online and at the Nightclub & Bar Show in Last Vegas (March 8 – 10). So log on and get in the running. Perhaps a taste of sweet victory will be yours.

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