Ian Schrager Redux

On why Ian Schrager originally entered the hotel business: “I felt there was a void in the marketplace. Since I had come from the nightclub business and I had nothing to distinguish what I did other than the visual excitement that I was able to create, I thought that there was an opportunity to come in here and do innovative, original next generation of hotel that said something to the world about what my lifestyle and my culture is.

In addition to that, what also happened at the same time was that Donald Trump and Harry Helmsley were both opening hotels [in New York] at the same time. Harry Helmsley was opening the Palace Hotel and Donald Trump was opening the Grand Hyatt. The media was playing up the new generation vs. the old generation and that drew me right in. I wanted to do ‘our’ generation of hotel, the kind of hotel I wanted to stay in. It wasn’t a rejection of the hotels I had been staying in or the ones I stayed in with my parents. I just wanted something to reflect what I had done and no one was doing that.

I would never do another nightclub because I don’t have anything to add, I don’t have any contribution to make. I still have things to say in the hotel business. I always thought the market was much, much bigger than it is, I think the market is what Gap thinks it is and what Ikea thinks it is. It’s huge. Everyone wants an elevated experience. Apple, Sony, their products sell because they are sophisticated and innovative and their markets are huge. So when Marriott says they are going to do 100 hotels, I would be disappointed if we only did 100 hotels.”

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