Risky Business: Nightlife Pro Lindsay Risk On Joining B.R. Guest and Launching Kibo

When I used to actually run joints, people were often surprised that I did "day" work. They though the night life was showing up at 10pm, acting suave and sophisticated and witty, and then engaging in a spiral of booze and drugs that ended with a crash, burn, rinse, and a repeat. I have met very few successful people in this business that can pull that kind of act off. Those types get left by the cab stand pretty early. The norm in the business is educated, hardworking, creative business types that maintain office hours and desks and have a large support staff. What happens at night is the work of long hours by day, which includes analysis and often lots of risk and soul searching.

When speaking of risk, my mind always wanders to my pal, Lindsay Risk, a nightlife professional who has had enormous success with the Gerber Group until recently popping over to Steve Hanson’s empire B.R. Guest. She is a 24-hour create-a good-party kind of person. When she dreams, the music and the clang of glassware are always there. She wakes up raring to go…to get to her new challenge and succeed. Success drives her car and she is bringing this drive to the old Japonais space. She is, as the song goes, “spinning" this property "right round like a record baby.” She is making the necessary changes while balancing the parent companies’ mantra. She is spinning it all on The Loft, a sexy perch overlooking the restaurant, which has been renamed Kibo. It means "the wish,” or something. Lindsay’s wish is to reinvigorate this great off-Park Avenue property and then move on to the next. Real night-lifers have to keep moving on…to the next.

You have come over to Steve Hanson’s company after a very successful stint working with Scott and Randy Gerber. What is it about you that has these empire builders wanting you on board? And why are you attracted to working for these top-tier companies?
My favorite quote that my father preached was "The best or nothing – that is what drives us.” I grew up with the Gerbers and they will always be my family. They threw me challenges from age 18 to 29 that were, at the time, unattainable, especially "being a girl in a man’s world," but they trusted me. Guest came about when I was the GM at The Living Room TSQ/ Whiskey from 2007-2009. I made relationships with the managers at Blue Fin/Steve Hanson property. I saw the intensity and the perfection of the operation and always had it in the back of my head that "Wow, they really define hospitality." BR Guest took a liking to me, because of my appetite for creation, my ability to invigorate, and my favorite saying: "MIH"-Make it Happen.”

The property you are working on was the once-successful Japonais space of Park Avenue South. How will you reinvigorate this property? What are the hurdles you see before you? What are the pluses of Kibo?
Kibo is a space that is off the beaten path of Park Ave., which is a hurdle, but people find secret underground coves for "speakeasy" cocktails, so I have written this off as an actual obstacle. It is a monster in terms of size and it is absolutely beautiful! The Loft space is a nook that is now unveiled and it has become my baby!  It is simply peerless and slightly secretive. It is a perfect date spot mid-week, and on the weekends it’s not cheesy or pretentious.

You have had some great early success at Kibo. What is your goal with the property?
Our recent success has been a collaborative effort: an amazing dinner by Joel Roubuchon in Kibo, cocktails in The Loft. Most of our guests stay for the duration of the night because the music is that good, but some look for late-night club spots: 675, The Bunker Club. Regardless, the experience at Kibo is sexy, fun, stress-free, and a repeat destination.

Tell me about your music programming. At Gerber, that would have been someone else’s specific job. Do you have more freedom to put your stamp on Kibo?
I was given the freedom to "put my stamp on Kibo.” which has been amazing! We’ve had a tremendous amount of positive feedback in terms of our music selection.

I’ve eaten there two times so far and the experience was wonderful. How do you add a nightlife component without negatively impacting the food program?
The "nightlife" aspect at Kibo is an added component that is rapidly growing. Kibo is a destination restaurant for the cuisine. My vision is a one-stop destination. You enjoy an amazing meal, and then you party in the The Loft with the option of bottle service, a glass of rose, or a cold beer.

Industry Insiders: Raphael Chejade-Bloom, Mr. Hospitality

As managing partner and director of marketing and entertainment at Gerber Group, Raphael Chejade-Bloom is in charge of the guest experience for the company’s many sleek nightspots, including the new Lilium at the W New York – Union Square. We asked him to divulge a few secrets to staying on the top of the nightlife game, and he didn’t disappoint. 

 
Where are you from?
I was born in San Diego, went to high school in Princeton, New Jersey, and college at American University in Washington, D.C.
 
Do you consider yourself an East Coast or a West Coast guy? Your temperament is kind of laid-back, but you do have that New York energy.  
That’s what I like to be. I have a funny, laid-back West Coast disposition, but I had some formative years on the East Coast. I can’t exactly say that Princeton was much for cutting my teeth, but it was better than hanging out on the beach all day.
 
How long have you been with the Gerber Group?
It’s been three years this month.
 
What is your job title and your main responsibilities?
I am the managing partner and director of marketing and entertainment. Day to day, I oversee everything consumer-related for the company throughout all of our properties. I work a lot with strategic partnerships and I’m booking all the entertainment. I like to say that if Gerber Group is a bar, I’m doing the front of the house.
 
When you book entertainment are you talking about DJs or live acts?
Both. We’ve had a lot of success in the last couple years doing live music. We try to work with artists before they get huge. One example would be Jessie J. We had her perform live for the first time in the United States before her album dropped. I think she did SNL a month later, so that was exciting for us. We’ve been doing a lot of events with artists who come in and do a show and then they will do a DJ set and then throw an after-party at one of our venues. We’ve had Foster the People. We’ve had Iron & Wine, and by the time this runs we will have had Young the Giant.
 
Do you work with all the venues—every Gerber venue in New York and beyond?
I oversee the entire portfolio. I do have a very dear friend by the name of Rob Goldstein and he is the southeast marketing director and I oversee his work, but he is pretty much running point in Atlanta, where he lives, Fort Lauderdale, and New Orleans.
 
The Gerber Group strikes a nice balance in New York nightlife. All of its bars are upscale and special-feeling, but there’s never a sense of snobbery at the door. They’re pretty welcoming.
Thank you. We are definitely not in the business of exclusivity. We are in the business of longevity. Consistency is key for us. It’s the benchmark of our brand. We are a classic brand, and we’ve been around for twenty years. We celebrated our twentieth anniversary last year and I think the welcoming attitude comes from the top. I’ve been taught that this is a business of hospitality first and foremost, and that’s what’s going to perpetuate the brand for another twenty years. 
 
This might be a sensitive question, but which is your favorite Gerber bar?
I am a little biased because I started as a manager at Whiskey Park, so I really like that one. It’s kind of the Cheers of the portfolio. Lilium is quickly becoming a favorite as well, because everyone loves the redo of the former Underbar. But Whiskey Park is where we all go if there’s a Giants game on or if we are going to hang out and just relax.
 
The music at Lilium is really great. The tracks they pick really hit the right notes. It’s such a comfortable place to hang out at, yet still quite chic.
Funny story. Before Lilium opened, I sent out an email to all of the top DJs throughout the company, and I said that we were opening this new bar and I want everyone to get together at Whiskey Park so we can do a musical test run. I want you to give your interpretation of a one-hour set for a Sunday night at Lilium. We tried to keep it under wraps, but I got a call from our corporate office saying that someone just called asking if they could enter our DJ battle that we were having at Whiskey Park for Lilium. And I’m like, what’s going on here? And I guess somehow it had leaked to a New York nightlife blog, which posted “DJ Battle at Whiskey Park for New Lilium DJ,” so that was pretty funny. The point is that we went above and beyond to make sure that the sound was right. And that’s for our core hours. We have extended our music offering on Friday and Saturday nights after 11 pm because people want to hear different things. But when you are going in there for our core customer hours – after work on a Tuesday or Wednesday, for example – you are going to hear the Lilium soundtrack, which I appreciate that you liked.
 
Any particularly memorable moments in the line of work?
I think having Foster the People at The Living Room at the W Times Square was pretty exciting. We had decided to pump a little more energy into the bar, and that opportunity came about with perfect timing. We had a line down the block. Foster was really hitting their stride at the time. It was right after BlackBook did its bit with us and Foster the People and they were right at the point of breaking out. It was really exciting. And then, on our twentieth anniversary, we had Fitz and the Tantrums perform live at Stone Rose Lounge, so that was pretty great. More recently, during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, we did the after-party for Betsey Johnson. Stone Rose Lounge was the official lounge for Fashion Week, and that was a formidable party. It was probably the most packed that I have ever seen Stone Rose.
 
Do you enjoy what you do? Are you having fun?  
Absolutely. I love the camaraderie of this business. That is really the most exciting thing. And, you know, I look at myself really as an industry apprentice. I’ve got great people that I work with. Scott is an amazing mentor. I feel very, very lucky. 
 
What are the most challenging parts of your job? What takes the most leg work to accomplish?
Keeping up with the programming can be a challenge. Everyone in the nightlife business is fighting with each other to get the hottest new act, the best new DJ, the new acoustic set, or the most exciting impromptu performance. The challenge for someone like me in the marketing space is maintaining the right energy and keeping consistent with the core values of our business.
 
A lot of people would like to do what you do. What advice would you give to a younger person that wants to get into the space that you’re in? What do you need to know to succeed?
Much of it is maintaining a sense of hospitality. You have to be wired for this business. Yes, at times you’re attached to your phone, but more often than not, you have to be receptive to personally interacting with people. If you’re a nice person and you enjoy taking care of people, you can go far.
 
What do you do in your spare time? Any hobbies or leisure activities that help you unwind?
I love working out and running, and I definitely like to spend my time exploring and traveling. I am a huge travel junkie. Last year I went to so many music festivals and special events, everywhere from Art Basel to Night Club and Bar in Vegas to Coachella, South by Southwest, Ultra, Lollapalooza. This year I will be going back to Coachella and back to South by Southwest. Anywhere I can go I’ll go. It’s important to get out of the city sometimes. 

DJ Danny Rockz On Life As a Professional Party Starter

Tucked behind a booth, with his headphones, signage-emblazoned laptop, and two-disc turntable, stands the up-and-coming leader of the New York party scene: DJ Danny Rockz. Seen – and heard – at his resident spot at Provocateur, as well as such lauded New York hotspots 1OAK, The Darby, and Gansevoort Park,  this master of the mixes subconsciously dictates the tone and rhythm of our every groove, drink, and dance floor- rendezvous. Where there’s slamming tunes, there’s Danny Rockz. 

First things first: where did your name come from?
My DJ name was actually a nickname from high school, I had a few people that used to call me: D Rockz, I simply expanded that to Danny Rockz.
 
How did you first get involved in DJing?
It was something I started in high school. Freshman year I would go weekly and collect vinyls. It was kind of like a side hobby, something I was always interested in but I never directly involved myself in until college, when I got thrown into it. I was more into hosting parties with a friend of mine, and then one day our DJ didn’t show up, and my friend was like, "We really need a DJ for tonight, you have to take over." From that night on, I got thrown into it and I really started to enjoy it.
 
What where some of your first gigs?
The first residency I had in 2010 was with the Gerber Group. I was doing Whiskey Park for them on Fridays, playing all indie-dance and rock and roll, which built into doing Provocateur, which is my main place. I’ve been at Provocateur now for well over a year and a half, four nights a week. That’s my home away from home. I love the venue, the people, the staff. I don’t like their exclusive door policy, but if that’s the worst of it, I’ll take it.
 
Do you ever DJ out of town?
Yeah, out of town my main section is the Dominican Republic. The guys down there are so nice, the people are amazing, the food, the weather.
 
What’s the New York DJ scene like?
It’s just so flooded and crazy. You have to make yourself stand out in some way. I was honestly borderline going to give it up at the end of 2009; I had a full-time job, granted I wasn’t that happy doing that but I also wasn’t really that happy with the way the DJ world was going…the parties I was doing, the caliber of the people. So in 2010, I clean-slated everything; I dropped my job, stopped DJing, and just so happened to break-up with my girlfriend. I took the first two months of 2010 to think about what I want to do, what direction I want to head in. I started with a whole new image, new music format, started doing parties that I like, playing music I like, and it all just grew from there. The venues just started coming in.
 
What kind of music do you play now? What’s your sound?
I like playing a good rock and roll, indie-type set. I also like doing a true open format set where it’s not so slanted toward one particular genre or another, where it gives people a real diverse mix. I’ll play a few hip- hop songs, a few ’80s, ’90s, ’70s, ’50s, ’60s, house, rock, everything.
 
Is this influenced by what you grew up listening to?
All the music my parents and grandparents used to play, I despised. They listened to everything, from Sinatra, to Dean Martin, disco, to rock ‘n’ roll, ’90s dance, such a diverse mix. And I think that’s what’s affected me, because it’s all the music I like that now. I laugh about it now, because I go from hating it, to loving it, to playing it.
 
Besides the music you play, how else do you stand out in the flooded scene?
With your look, the job you do, your personality. Personality is the one thing I feel like a lot of people lack. Most people that stand out, stand out for a reason, and personality definitely plays a role. I’ve come across people that are looking to make it in the industry and it’s like talking to a serial killer or something.  
 
Ha! What do you say to them?
I’m like, "I have no idea what you’re doing, but you’re obviously in the wrong field. You need to be outgoing, you need to be enthusiastic." Everyone has their bad days, but if you go into this market with a negative outlook and negative mindset, or if you’re just a negative person, it’s really not a good way to go. You’ll be sick before you even get started.
 
How do you balance the pre-party music prep with your DJ hours? 
I DJ from 11pm-3am or 4am, but all the pre-party work that goes into it all is a full-time job in and of itself during the day. I pre-arrange the music before the party so I can just go to this one crate, organize new music, search for new stuff to play. One of my roommates has witnessed me doing an eight-to-nine hour shift, just searching for new songs.
 
How do you find new music?
I’ll go through different blogs in French, Spanish, Russian; you name the language and I’ve probably been on a blog that’s in that language. I’ve found some amazing music, some alright music. Most of my music comes from there. I buy stuff from iTunes, Beatport, websites like Hype Machine. Sometimes even YouTube, believe it or not. I’ll type in an artist or remix that I like and I’ll see what comes up in the suggestions and go through those.
 
And do you let those people know that you’re playing their song?
That’s the thing, it’s sketchy. As long as you’re not selling it or giving it away as a promotional tool, supposedly you’re in the clear. But that’s also why I put it on websites like Dubset; supposedly the artists get some money out of it all.
 
I’d imagine, even if you have most of the party music prepared, you’re constantly looking ahead to the next song just in case you change things up. 
Yeah, I like to be two songs ahead in my mind, so I have one song playing, one song queued up, and I’m looking at the song after that and the song after that. I bring a folder, and I’ll have them arranged in a specific order, start the party off at a modest vibe, and then build the energy up and maybe do a little rollercoaster effect where you have your ups and downs.
 
How are you hired for these parties?
Networking. Being social. I talk to people, meet people, follow-through. A lot of times you have to stay on top of people, but in the sense that you’re not overwhelming or creepy about it. You just want to be cool, just say, "Hey, what’s going on? How are you we going to make this happen," and it’s also hard too because a lot of people like to go for a manager, have somebody represent them. Now, I’m debating taking on a manager. I’ve basically done everything myself.
 
Is that rare?
It is kind of rare, especially to be working this much. One weird thing I don’t do that lots of DJs are involved in is this whole PR scene. They like to have themselves in huge papers and what-not. I’ve never been about that, not because I have anything against it, just because I feel like it doesn’t do anything for me and it’s a little tacky sometimes.
 
What’s the craziest experience you’ve had DJing?
I’ve seen everything I could possibly see. For me to see something that shocks me nowadays, it would have to be over-the-top. I couldn’t even put it into words what it would have to be. I’ve seen people get hit with everything in fights – tables, chairs, bottles- to people getting knocked-out. Years ago, I saw people get shot and stabbed.
 
Stabbed??
But I’ve also seen nice things, where people at partiespropose. Off-hand, one of my favorite parties was a corporate party for Halloween during that crazy snow storm. I thought no one would show up; the weather was horrendous, they were expecting 200 people. All 200 people came, in costume, ready to rage, at 8pm. It was the most amazing holiday party I’ve ever DJed in my life. They were such an exciting crowd. One guy dressed up in this wolf costume. It was an amazing outfit, and I kept playing the A-Track song "The Big Bad Wolf." Just imagine this guy in a wolf outfit, jumping around the room, people cheering him on, people getting hyped and crazier and crazier.
 
What’s the one song everyone wants to sing to, dance to, hear?
There are so many songs, it depends on the party. My new thing now is playing songs like "Rockefeller Skank" by Fatboys Slim. It’s such a ’90s breakbeat-ish song, but it has such energy and I love watching people rock out to this, saying, "I haven’t heard this song in so long!"
 
Do you write any music yourself? Play an instrument?
I used to play piano a little bit, but now I’m getting into music production which is pretty crazy. There’s a lot that goes into that. I’m gonna be creating my own tracks from scratch. I do it all at home using Logic.
 
Do you feel comfortable in the scene now?
Yeah, I’m very content. I’m happy to see how this year alone, my stats and traffic have grown on things like Dubset and my Twitter.
 
You are the one of the most prolific Tweeters I’ve ever seen.
I just try to be random and put whatever is on my mind at that time. I’ll mention music, parties I’m doing. Watching lots of growth makes me feel good. It makes me feel like I’m heading in a good direction.
 
What do you like to do in your spare time?
This past week, the only night I had off was Sunday, and I was looking forward to lying in my bed, watching a movie, and that’s it. This winter, I plan on doing several ski trips. I love just being outdoors. I do a lot of walking. Sometimes I’ll just find myself roaming around town for the heck of it, even if it’s just to clear my head.
 
I’m sure you have lots of followers and groupies. What’s the most memorable thing someone has said to you while DJing?
I had someone tell me recently they watched me DJ for a whole night and said, "I’ve seen other DJs play often, and I’ve never seen anyone quite as happy as you. You just have the cutest smile on your face the whole night." That made me feel really good. It’s definitely my happy spot.

New York Preview: Lilium

I’m excited about the impending opening of Lilium at the W New York – Union Square, and not just because it’s a stone’s throw from BlackBook’s editorial offices. No, it’s because Lilium is the 25th venue to emerge from the Gerber Group, and I’ve never had anything less than a grand time at their other bars, which include, but are not limited to, Stone Rose Lounge (where Patton Oswalt and I sampled gin-based cocktails) and Whiskey Park (where Vinny Guadagnino and I recently tasted winter warmers).

Lilium has a lot going for it. Its location makes it convenient as both an early-evening spot for pre-dinner drinks and a proper late-night destination to add to your downtown bar-hopping repertoire. It was designed by Gulla Jonsdottir, with all kinds of eye-catching flourishes, and will feature nightly DJs spinning good old rock ‘n’ roll. As for the libations, bartenders will ply patrons with classic cocktails and hearty pours of small batch whiskeys. And if it’s true to the DNA of both the Gerber Group and the W, it will achieve that perfect balance of uptown class and downtown cool we’ve come to expect.

Lilium opens on December 12.

The Earth Quakes in the South, We Feel It in the North

An earthquake in Chile left me limp. The world seems to be doling out one disaster after another. We are bombarded with bad news on a daily basis, to a point where we are anesthetized to reality and we seek out mind-numbing reality TV or a zillion western world distractions. Crises like Haiti, global warming, Iraq-astan, health care bills, Governor Patterson’s campaign or massive chunks of melting arctic ice, go in one ear and out the Grey Goose bottle, unless we are able to put a face on it. Celebrities usually provide that face and we come to know the magnitude of the disaster through their words. Rarely do we know someone personally affected. In the club scene, we happen to have a Haitian friend or two, in the form of a club owner, DJ or promoter, who made it a more personal tragedy for us. There is no such connection with Chile, a place so foreign and far away to most of us that it seems almost mythical. Yet a quake 500 times the magnitude of the quake that devastated Haiti, has left at least 700 dead, many more injured and people sleeping on the streets of Chile for fear of aftershocks. We barely blink. Figure skating and snowboarding scores are far more important to the world.

Clubdom does have at least one familiar face in Chile. On February 10th, a date that seems such a long time ago, this column congratulated Scott and Rande Gerber for the opening of three new properties within the W Hotel in Santiago. Our friend Lindsay Risk, (an incredibly appropriate surname), is down there opening those joints up. Back then I wrote, “If I ever find myself in Santiago, Chile, maybe visiting my friend Lindsey Risk, I’ll stay at The W and visit the Gerber Group’s Whiskey Blue, W Lounge and Red 2 One. I know I can expect high design and great service.” Just a couple days ago, prior to the disaster, she asked when I was going down to visit and I replied “Never.” She told me she’d be “coming home to Soho real soon.” Her Facebook page has been a major source of communication for us while she was down there, now her Facebook page is filled with concerned friends and family trying to reach her.

Last month’s distraction, Rachel Uchitel, pleaded with Lindsay on her Facebook page to contact us. She wrote, “LINDSAY. YOUR PHONE ISNT WORKING. UPDATE YOUR FACEBOOK PAGE AS SOON AS YOU CAN SO EVERYONE KNOWS IF YOU’RE OKAY. I’M CALLING THE W NOW…” Lindsay finally responded to everyone, “Love u, thanks for reaching out. So scary. Felt like the world was ending, but everyone is OK here. So much help needed. Will send you fundraiser info. Xoxox” That was Saturday night and there has been nothing since. My prayers go out to Lindsay and Chile and to all of us. Our world seems to be teetering under the weight of our psychosis. All this just feels like the tip of one of those giant icebergs that have just broken off Antarctica.

The new iceberg has been described as being the size of Luxembourg in Europe, or the state of Connecticut in the US. This could spell trouble for the oceans, scientist told media on Friday, as it could affect global ocean circulation with the melt from the ice.

And we’re worried about a little snow.

An Interview with Gerber Group’s Mystery Man, Scott Gerber

A few years back, when I was a partner in SLDesign, I had the pleasure of working with Scott and Rande Gerber, who hired us to work on their rooftop at the W Hotel Buckhead. Rande Gerber is, of course, that former ex-model who is married to Cindy Crawford and is the face of such brands as the Whiskey, Whiskey Blue, Whiskey Sky, Whiskey Park, Whiskey Bar and Grill, Wetbar, Underbar…you get the idea. He also heads up those Stone Rose joints. With somewhere near 30 properties worldwide, Gerber Group is one of the world’s top hospitality brands.

The Gerber group just opened three new venues in the new W Santiago and a Stone Rose Bar and Grill at the JFK Delta terminal. They also offer the midnight bar collection, which is a complete line of seven essential cocktail mixers “made with all the finest all natural ingredients.” With all these amazing achievements and projected developments, Rande Gerber and the Gerber group are household names. However, my Chihuahua has almost as much name recognition as Rande’s brother and partner Scott Gerber.

A google search of his name took me to a ton of Rande links. But Scott Gerber is responsible for directing all of the business operations, including new business development, negotiating partnerships, liaison with property owners, overseeing management and coordinating construction of the properties. He is a gentleman and a scholar with a BS in finance from the University of Arizona. I caught up with Scott yesterday and shot him a couple of questions. He’s a very busy guy.

I googled you and found practically nothing. It basically just refers people to your brother Rande or the Gerber group. Why do you prefer being in the background? It’s much safer that way. [Laughs]. I run the business end of the business. Rande is more involved with the design and aesthetic.

We all know that Rande is much more than just a pretty face. Is there a clear separation of duties? Yes, there’s a clear delineation. Rande wouldn’t get involved with the day-to-day operations.

How many places are you operating and how many more are in the works? We operate 30 properties and we’re having conversations about 10 more. Probably we’ll start up 5 of these this year.

This JFK Stone Rose Bar and Grill fascinates me. Nowhere in my experience is food and service worse than at an airport. I guess that’s changing. Tell me about your synergy with Delta. Our midnight bar collection is being served on Delta flights. Instead of just getting a little bottle and a mixer we make margaritas and cosmos. We teamed with Delta on this and it’s an in-flight revolution. I travel every other week and I know what has been available to a traveler. Were often waiting for a plane for one, two or even five hours. At Stone Rose we have a full bar and menu so you have a relaxed and stylish spot while you are waiting. Our menu gives you a great sandwich or steak and a variety of bites like buffalo mozzarella salad, buffalo wings. Much more than the typical traveling fare.

I guess with increased security we are all forced to spend more time in the airports waiting. Did that extra time factor into your decision to open an airport location? Of course. Travelers are told to be there two hours before their flight. Everyone comes at least one hour early. We wanted to provide something besides the cheesy places that are currently the norm. You can now get a great drink and food while you wait for your plane. Delta asked us to get involved as they try to take their brand more upscale. They even have David Barton exercise facilities at their terminal at JFK.

As hospitality drives the major hotel chains, the Gerber group is the big kid on the block. The Stone Rose in JFK raises the bar and creates a whole new market for food and beverage brands. I’m sure that very soon other hospitality groups will get into the act. Will it be long before we see Pure at the Las Vegas airport? Or Tao, LAX? How about La Esquina, LaGuardia? Customers want things the way they want them, and that means everywhere. They want Whole Foods not Met Foods. They want high end design and style in their boutique hotel, not just in the room, but in the clubs and restaurants that bring the beautiful locals to them. Luxury, boutique brands, with increasingly enhanced amenities, will be available to them wherever they go. Thank god I have a place to hang and eat at JFK. The Delta brand means something more to me today than it did the last time I traveled. What a great idea. If I ever find myself in Santiago, Chile, maybe visiting my friend Lindsey Risk, I’ll stay at The W and visit the Gerber Group’s Whiskey Blue, W Lounge and Red 2 One. I know I can expect high design, great service and an understanding of my needs.