Where are you staying?
That’s the number one question I get every time I am heading to New York, and it’s not just my prep school and college friends taking a defensive posture to ensure I’m not about to invade their couch in their cramped Manhattan apartments that remind me why I’m an Angeleno.
With a long standing relationship with MTV around the corner and other entertainment outlets, many in L.A. say, “Oh, I’ve stayed there,” when I tell them “the Paramount.”
Now, the boutique Times Square hotel (tucked in on a block leading to Times Square, with a killer pizza place just outside the door, the sponsor of this post, and host of my upcoming Super Bowl trip) is pulling back the curtain on how they’ve built a brand with entertainment professionals.
I asked Jeanette Stancato, Director of Sales and Marketing, to reveal their plan to win the biggest game in NYC – the Super Bowl hospitality windfall – and stay on the entertainment industry’s radar moving forward.
Q: What’s your strategy for leveraging Super Bowl week and weekend in New York?
We started 1 year ago.
I challenged my sales team to go out and find the right group over Super Bowl to fill up sooner, rather than later, for stability. New York has a huge amount of inventory. Many times in situations like these hotels wait and let the last minute opportunities come in and they can charge a higher rate.
The Paramount Hotel made the decision to not participate in the “High Demand” rates other hotels were selling due to Super Bowl. We wanted our repeat business clients and group meeting planners to feel comfortable returning and planning events knowing we would not take advantage of them.
Q: To what extent as an upscale hotelier, is there a mandate to be purely financial – sell every inch of the hotel for as much as you can as many times as you can – or do you see it this a chance to reach a different audience and position the property in a different light?
Great questions! We are positioned to take the right guest at the right price and to be lower in occupancy. Trying to fill every inch sometimes take you off brand and cheapens the feel, we are not cheap.
Q: Do you still have availability for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of Super Bowl weekend?
Yes, a small amount of rooms.
Q: It seems like everyone I know from LA and the entertainment industry has stayed at your property at one time or another. What are the property’s key relationships with specific media companies and brands?
We have strong partnerships with corporate accounts such as Viacom and (Super Bowl host/producer) Fox Sports.
The Paramount Hotel crossed over nicely from corporate accounts to business travelers from E! and MTV. The hotel also has strong relationships within the worlds of fashion and lifestyle including BRIKA, The Coveteur, The Global Poverty Project, NARS Cosmetics, Rainbowwave, Starter and Trendabl.
Q: How do you position the Paramount towards the west coast entertainment industry professionals who can be snobby about staying in Times Square or even midtown in general? Many have a preference to stay downtown. How do you address that?
The beauty about our property is that we understand the entertainment industry.
We cater to it on a daily basis. Our owner, Aby Rosen, owns the Gramercy Park Hotel as well and we are acutely aware of the needs of our clients.
Due to our recent re-imagination of the property, we are a world within a world. We may physically be located in the middle of Times Square central to all, but you feel like you are downtown. We are proud of who we are. We are central to the magic of New York City with easy access to literally any neighborhood in the city. It is the perfect marriage of both worlds. It is an unexpected feeling that you will only understand once you experience.
Q: What are you advising your guests on how to get the most out of the Super Bowl experience in NYC, avoid pitfalls, and cut through the madness that is coming?
I always tell people, “NYC is whatever you want it to be”, let us help you!
If you want to join the madness we are centrally located, if you want to avoid the craziness and get in and out of the city we can help you with that as well. I am proud of our experienced concierge, sales and guest experience teams that can make your 1st or 10th NYC experience unique every time.
Q: What’s your elevator pitch on the newly opened Diamond Horseshoe club in a neighborhood littered with theatre options?
The Diamond Horseshoe is neither simply a club or theater. It is an entire experience that brings together the patronage of Aby Rosen, the creative eye of Giovanna Battaglia, costume design by Thom Browne, set and scent design by Douglas Little, and a curated food performance by artist Jennifer Rubell and executive chef Jason Kallert.
The experience is completely unique and transcends the boundaries of a typical Broadway dinner and theater show.
The RFR Hotel Group has several other high profile properties you may have woken up in, including the Gramercy Park Hotel and the W South Beach.
This post was sponsored by The Paramount