Ian Schrager touts new hotel as Times Square standout

NEW YORK — Edition has opened its second property in New
York City, with brand co-creator Ian Schrager dubbing the location “the
first luxury hotel ever in Times Square.”

The claim is highly debatable, as many would point out that the
nearby Chatwal and InterContinental New York Times Square are luxury hotels,
too. Perhaps Schrager was limiting Times Square to a very tight area, as the
new Edition is right in the thick of it in the 20 Times Square development on
Seventh Avenue.

The project is the latest from Schrager and Marriott
International, who collaborated to launch the Edition lifestyle concept in 2007
and debuted the brand’s first New York City hotel in the NoMad district in

The Times Square Edition has 452 guestrooms, including 27
suites and an 1,880-square-foot penthouse unit. Schrager indicated that the hotel
brings a touch of class to Times Square.

“Times Square used to be the cultural mecca of not only
this city or this country, but perhaps the world, and then it stopped being
that,” said Schrager during a media launch event in New York on Wednesday.
“It was always a combination of high-brow and low-brow, and then the
high-brow left. But [location] has never ever been an issue for me. If you
build something special, then people will come.”

One of the Times Square Edition’s standout features is the
Paradise Club nightlife and entertainment venue. Schrager emphasized it “is
not a nightclub.” The 3,000-square-foot space will showcase theatrical
programming from Brooklyn-based collective House of Yes, with performances
running the gamut from cabaret, circus, live gospel and classical ballet to
aerial performances, magic and opera. 

“Nightclubs have a short shelf life, so it doesn’t
really pay to do them,” added Schrager. “The door policy and things
like that, I don’t think people want to really do that anymore. But by adding a
level of entertainment and art and visuals and making it available to
everybody, because the product being offered does its own screening process
automatically, I think that’s the future of doing lifestyle [concepts] at

The property houses several food and beverage outlets,
including the 701West restaurant and cocktail lounge and the Terrace
restaurant. Food and beverage is spearheaded by John Fraser, a chef who owns
the Michelin-starred Nix, a vegetarian restaurant in New York. 

The Times Square Edition brings the flag’s portfolio to a
total of nine locations in New York; London; Miami Beach; Barcelona; Shanghai
and Sanya, China; Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; and Bodrum, Turkey. Edition’s
next hotel is scheduled to open in West Hollywood later this year. 

“When we first launched, we figured Edition could grow
to around 100 hotels,” said Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson. “Then the
recession came and cooled things a bit. But now with nine hotels open, 18 in the
pipeline and around 18 more [in talks], we do think the brand may have more
room to grow than we originally planned.”

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