MIAMI—Remember those Members Only jackets that were all the rage in the 1980s? Kudos, if you had one. The company’s tagline—“when you put it on…something happens”—made the wearers of the jacket feel like they were a part of something big. As the attire wore out of favor, it became nothing more than a passing fad that cemented itself in pop culture.
However, that strong sense of belonging to something only a select few can have still has allure. It’s a powerful pull and marketers who can harness it have the makings of a hit. At Miami’s 1 Hotel South Beach, membership has its privileges. The hotel is launching its newest membership program, which is also the first of its kind for the 1 Hotels brand. As a member, guests and locals alike gain exclusive access to 1 Hotel South Beach’s amenities including Spartan Gym, a curated wellness programming, and supervised activities for the kids.
On the property, there’s a unique architectural land asset that runs the length of the property below the pool decks and steps away from the Miami Beach boardwalk. The team had been trying to figure out what to create in that space, explained Kane Sarhan, VP of brand at 1 Hotels.
“1 Hotels Founder Barry Sternlicht saw a need for beach access for locals, where they could get out of the public eye can and relax alongside the tropical sand and sea of South Beach,” said Sarhan. “Inspired by our love for the environment and luxury, we’ve brought those two passions together under one roof.”
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Since the launch of its flagship property, 1 Hotel South Beach has consistently seen a significant amount of foot traffic from the local community who want to utilize the hotel’s wellness facilities and partake in the programming.
“After completing our 14,000-sq.-ft. Spartan Gym, and the first U.S. Bamford Haybarn Spa, we had all of the components needed for a curated members program that aims to nourish the mind, body and soul,” said Sarhan.
Sarhan noted that the metrics for this new program is more qualitative than quantitative. It’s about bridging the divide between locals and guests in a sophisticated atmosphere.
“As a brand that is committed to being sustainable and environmentally conscious, the engagement of our local community with the same passion to take care of and better the world we live in is an ROI that is already present in the South Florida market; 1 Hotel’s Beach Club is now their place to gather,” he said.
As of press time, the brand has not yet finalized a firm average price on the membership. “We plan to have about 200 members in the first year and add another 200 in our second year. The Beach Club space lends itself to a high volume of guests, ensuring the capacity for a comfortable environment is available,” he said.
And rest assured, guests wouldn’t have to worry about feeling trampled by locals. “No, our property is one for all,” he said. “We have a consistent flow from the local community throughout the year. The membership program is an expansion of the 1 Hotel brand experience.”