Basic Info

Name:
Shawn Kolodny
Contributor Status:
Native AdVice
Initial Contribution Date:
10/07/2014
Primary Location:
New York, NY, USA

Career Info

Primary Industry:
Events Services, Hotels / Hospitality
Personal Career Headline:
Managing Partner of Tri Hospitality Group
Business Description (One-Liner):

Hospitality company with a focus on marketing and event planning

Experience Timeline:
21-30 years of work experience

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Career Snapshot:

Shawn Kolodny is a serial entrepreneur, who has spent over 20 years in the hospitality industry. Shawn was the founder and operating partner of the Pink Elephant nightlife brand, which had locations in New York City, The Hamptons, Brazil (Sao Paulo and Porto Alegre) and Mexico (Playa del Carmen), as well as pop-up locations in St Barths, Cannes, Park City, and Miami. The Pink Elephant had over 120 employees and annual sales in excess of $20 million in the New York City and Hamptons locations alone.

Shawn was then poached by the Tao Group, where he became a Director.  He was tasked with running the front of the house operations for LAVO, the highest grossing restaurant and nightlife brand in NYC.  He left the Tao group to become managing partner of the Tri Hospitality group, which built and manages three brands: VIP ROOM, FC Gotham a sports themed pop up, and their newest restaurant property, Holden & Astor

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How did you get into the industry?:

I grew up in NYC.  After university I started work in a small bar as a barback, and worked my way up to bartender, manager, and eventually partner.  Sweat equity as they call it.  This was all by the age of 22.   I started with owning small bars, then eventually began opening nightclubs.  I have been fortunate enough to work with amazing people over the years and been involved with some of the most successful nightlife brands in NYC, including the Pink Elephant, LAVO and VIP ROOM

Emerging industry trends?:

The industry has begun to consolidate.  There are fewer small mom and pop venues.  Large hospitality groups are starting to open multiple venues in each city, gaining structural advantages over some of the smaller players.  Thats why it has been important for us to be connected with such a strong international brand VIP ROOM.

What's next for the Business in the near future?:

You will have to come and see for yourself

Your key initiatives for the success of the Business? Greatest Accomplishment?:

We make sure the guest experience is a great one.  That means great music, great service, Beautiful people, celebrities, great performances, over the top production, amazing light show and sound to match.  We look at nightlife as an experience, a show that our guests participate in every night, and work to make it the best show possible.

We are fortunate to be part of a very successful international brand founded by Jean-Roch, with locations in Paris, St Tropez, Dubai, as well as having successful pop ups  at the cannes film festival, the grand prix of Monaco and abu dhabi and sardinia to name a few. This gives us access to an amazing international clientele as well as big name talent.  Being part of the big international VIP ROOM family has helped make us a success.

Ideal experience for a customer/client?:

They are greeted at the door by the doorman or a host, escorted though the ropes, and brought to their table where a waitress or waiter is waiting to take their order and get their night started.  The waitress provides attentive service with an attention to detail.  Depending on the guests order perhaps some sparklers or their name in lights around the club on our 280 degrees of LED walls.  As the sparklers light up the table,  confetti fills the air, and the party ensues…..

Career advice to those in your industry?:

Understand this profession is as much a lifestyle choice as is it a business.  You work all hours, and everyone else’s play time are your work hours.  It is not for everyone

What Else To Know

Tell Us More:

Importance of location:

Very Important.  In NYC we are located in the meatpacking district, which is one of the main hospitality centers of the city, with a plethora of top restaurants hotels and nightlife. VIP ROOM is in the center of it all, giving us access to a great clientele.

What love most about nightlife:

I have met the most interesting people in the world.  From celebs to royalty, from financiers to entrepreneurs.  I constantly get exposed to interesting and fascinating people from all walks of life.

Favorite brands of alcohol/favorite drinks:

Dom Perignon

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