On Tuesday, April 4th, the Big Apple turned a new shade of red as Virgin Hotels New York City celebrated its official opening with a full day of festivities. Of course, Sir Richard Branson was on site to ring in this occasion as opening a hotel in New York City has been a longtime dream of his.
“Virgin Hotels New York City really is magnificent. From Virgin Megastores to Virgin Records to our airlines, New York has always been a special place for the Virgin brand and it’s brilliant we now have a place to call home in the heart of Manhattan. The team has done a terrific job building the hotel from the ground up and it has been wonderful to see our customers enjoying the stellar Virgin experience,” said Sir Richard Branson, Founder of the Virgin Group.
“The Virgin brand resonates with the vibrant energy pulsing through New York City. From the young to the young at heart, we wanted our first hotel in New York to have something for visitors and locals alike,” added James Bermingham, CEO of Virgin Hotels. “We were conscious in creating a concept that was unique yet thoughtful, fusing together the cultural landscape of the city with our signature Virgin touch.”
“We’re thrilled to team up with Virgin Hotels for this exciting moment. We are so proud to continue our unwavering investment and commitment to New York City, our home and the best city in the world. We hope that this hotel will make its mark on this incredible city for many years to come,” said John Lam, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lam Group. “It has been an honor to work with Sir Richard Branson and his team to bring our vision to life in the heart of New York.”
The day kicked off with Sir Richard Branson welcoming the big crowd on 30th Street to introduce Colton Ryan, the lead from the new Broadway hit musical New York, New York. Colton and crew took over the hotel’s front entrance (on the corner of Broadway) to perform the iconic song “New York, New York.” The performance was followed by a ribbon cutting ceremony with Sir Richard Branson, Colton Ryan, Virgin Hotels’ CEO James Bermingham, General Manager Candice Cancino, hotel owners John Lam, Hung Luk, and other members of the Lam Group, complete with a confetti drop. Spectators helped Richard countdown from 10 to cut a Virgin Hotels-branded red ribbon with huge gold scissors and officially open the hotel. Richard then used the same scissors to cut owner John Lam’s tie.
Later in the evening, the party continued with an unforgettable grand opening event spanning multiple floors of the hotel. The night commenced with an incredible Chinese Lion Dance in Everdene, the entertainment-anchored culinary space that occupies the hotel’s entire third floor, followed by a lively welcome from Sir Richard Branson and hotel owner John Lam of the Lam Group. Guests including fashion designers LaQuan Smith, Carly Cushnie, Natalie De’Banco, DJ Shaun Ross, Actress Ana Villafañe, Bravo stars Dorinda Medley, Lindsay Hubbard, Carl Radke, Andrea Denver, Chris Leoni and more explored the hotel’s 3rd and 4th floors to find tarot card readers, live painters, stilt walkers, jugglers, and performers in larger-than-life sized martini glasses, a Tyra Banks’ Smize Cream ice cream cart, and signature drinks curated by Tequila Don Julio including a Spicy Blanco Margarita. Party goers were then invited to the 38th floor event space, where they continued to dance the night away against a backdrop featuring spectacular views of Manhattan from the Empire State Building to the Statue of Liberty.
Guests were treated to a surprise, exclusive preview performance from the newest Virgin Voyages show, followed by a series of epic DJ sets from the likes of DJ Lovie, DJ Stretch Armstrong, Natasha Diggs, Eli Escobar, and DJ Moma.