Members can nibble on $38 pan-roasted Loup de mer (sea bass) in thriving respites, far away from bargain-hunting hoi polloi.
Page Six Magazine: In fact, the Soho House membership waiting list has ballooned to 3,000 people (there are currently about 5,000 members). At the Core Club, the private members-only lodge that exists behind an unmarked door on East 55th Street and Madison Avenue, suddenly “you can’t get a seat in the dining room at lunch,” says Jennie Saunders, who founded the club in 2005 when Wall Street was flush with cash and the real estate market was booming. The club, which costs $50,000 to join and then $15,000 annually, has maintained its 90 per cent retention rate (one recent dropout, however, is Bernie Madoff‘s son Mark although a spokesman for the club declined to say how the relationship was terminated). Members include business moguls Harvey Weinstein, William Lauder and Ron Burkle, as well as Bill Clinton and fashion designer Tory Burch, according to a membership list obtained by Page Six Magazine.
…”Every time I walk into the club for lunch, I say, ‘No recession here,’ ” says Fred Davis, one of the founding members of the Core Club and a senior partner at the law firm Davis, Shapiro, Lewit & Hayes. Fred, who works with clients such as Kanye West and Linkin Park, says these days he’s using the club four times a week, and even hosted the reception for his 140-person wedding at the club last October. Another member, lawyer Adam Gottbetter, says, “I wanted to host a corporate event at the Core Club in December, but they had zero availability for me throughout the month. You hear about everyone cancelling their Christmas parties, but no matter what date I chose, the club was booked.” On a Tuesday afternoon in early December, the five treatment rooms were all in use, and the hairstylist was booked through the New Year. In comparison, the Frédéric Fekkai salon on Fifth Avenue had availability every day of the week.
It’s not just the newer clubs in NYC that are seeing an uptick. The college alumni clubs that dot West 44th street are busy, too. The thinking goes that people may no longer want to go to, say, Lever House for lunch and what doesn’t sound chic about, “Let me take you to my club for lunch”?
It should be noted that the 100-plus founding members of the Core Club—including venture capitalist Vivi Nevo, Blackstone Group chairman Stephen Schwarzman and developer Aby Rosen and his wife, Samantha Boardman—each invested $100,000 and were supposed to be paid back in full, with interest, after five years, in 2010. Today, there’s concern that their money is gone for good. Founder Jennie Saunders tells Page Six Magazine that the club is “converting the founding membership to a lifetime membership with a collection of valuable soft assets” such as spa services and using the facilities for personal events, to pay the founders back.
Oh… “soft assets.” Very creative, Core Club!
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