On Thursday, a 105-room hotel was opened in New York City, catering to the gay community. THE OUT NYC is a sleek, three-story building with a glass front located between 10th and 11th Avenues in Hell’s Kitchen, putting it close to the Theater District, Times Square and Chelsea.
Parkview Developers owns the hotel, and managing partner Ian Simpson Reisner says that he had a vision to create a gay property five years ago that would be in a convenient location. However, he said he also wanted it to be a relaxing home base and retreat where guests could eat, play and stay. A lot of his inspiration was taken from Andre Balazs and Ian Schrager, whose elegant properties have cutting edge décor and are very gay friendly. THE OUT NYC is similar in style and concept, but it’s a gay hotel that’s straight friendly. Marketing it as such sends a clear message that the hotel welcomes guests no matter their sexual preference, as well as both locals and tourists.
THE OUT NYC room will be priced at $250 per night and include workplaces, mini-bars, flat screen TVs, MP3 docking stations and wireless high speed internet. Also available will be valet parking. The hotels will also feature eight “Sleep Shares”, which are rooms styled like hostels and can sleep four, will have four full-sized beds, a bathroom, privacy curtains and personal televisions. Reisner says these innovative shared rooms are designed to help make the rooms affordable for younger guests and will be priced from $99 per person.
The property will feature multi-use function spaces that can be used for business meeting and conferences, as well as for weddings, large events or intimate private dinners. These spaces include an 11,000-square-foot XL Nightclub, a 5,000-foot wellness center and three courtyards. In May, the hotel is set to open a full-service cafe and restaurant, KITCHIN, which will serve upscale comfort foods. Customers will be able to dine at big communal tables and enjoy picnics made by the staff. Reisner says that he hopes the welcome-to-all atmosphere and philosophy will help make the restaurant more of a “neighborhood cafeteria”.
Out Now Consulting senior consultant Darren Cooper said that THE OUT NYC is part of a worldwide trend. Traditionally gay-operated or owned hotels and guesthouses are usually located in holiday resorts and cater nearly exclusively to gay leisure travellers. Since 2003, however, there has been growth in the bigger, upscale, metropolitan, boutique hotels that are mostly aimed at the LGBT community but are marketed as straight friendly as well. The gay community is announcing that it’s part of the mainstream but caters to straights as well.
He also cited that research from Out Now suggests the hotel will do well. In a study that collected data from 18 nations across the globe last year, it found that worldwide LGBT travellers rate New York as their top city destination. In his opinion, a hotel catering to this market is bound to happen in New York sooner or later.
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