Franchise Finance & Growth Conference Has a New Hip Home
One floor above the casino, the Franchise Times Finance & Growth Conference attracted a sea of suits that conflicted sharply with the more casual, and dare we say, more skimpy, clothing on the main floor. In case you, like my daughter, think I exaggerate, I can back up my observation. When we checked in late Sunday afternoon, two 21-year-olds were returning from visiting the strip in bikinis. I know they were 21 because one wore a beauty contestant’s sash that announced: “I’m 21, bitches.”
This year’s event is being held at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, March 14-16, and as Mike Rozman, CEO of Boefly.com, a co-sponsor of the event, told the crowd, “I think this hotel may be a bit hip for me, and maybe for all of you as well." Only one audience member glared back his disagreement.
I, however, felt right at home. My room had something I’ve never seen in a Vegas hotel before—a library. Below the big screen TV were five thin volumes on advertising, fashion and design. By the bed was another book on design and on the coffee table were two oversized books on fashion and one on architecture. The desk had a holder filled with sharpened colored pencils—what purpose they serve is not important. It was a cool touch.
The bathroom had a tiled shower "hallway" that connected the shower to the soaking tub overlooking the Vegas skyline. A measure of a good hotel room is its bathroom amenities.
Another cool touch in the casino is Victorian velvet couches with an old-fashioned rotary phone under a sparkly crystal chandelier. Most of the hipsters, however, probably don't know what a tethered phone is. Crystals, whether captured in chandeliers or in strings cascading from the super-high ceilings, are everywhere.
The three floors of conference space is home to a well-endowed display of quirky art. Everything from photos of sunglasses dipped in melted chocolate to a series of original Do Not Disturb signs. My favorite artwork experience was an oversized stiletto shoe. Two young women, not content to just admire the art, climbed inside the shoe, giggling so hard they had to cover their smiles as a stranger snapped their picture. A ring of five larger-than-life dog sculptures served as a backdrop for selfies—a new purpose for public artwork.
But the best part of this conference space is that it’s just a few steps from the guest room elevators. It’s hard on people with Fitbits who want the extra steps, but appreciated by franchise executives in dressy shoes. And especially appreciated by anyone who used to have to walk the 50-mile trek from the guest rooms to the IFA’s convention at the MGM more than once a day.