For example, he let the public help decide the name for the Pump Room (fortunately, the good people of Chicago decided to keep the iconic name rather than go with Gold Coast Kitchen.) He even made a home video, with his son wearing a Bulls jersey, to announce the Pump Room's "new" name.
Cashing in on the group buying trend, he also offered up a special room deal for Public on LivingSocial.com (interestingly, hometown site, Groupon, was not used.) All this is practically a 180 from the work that Schrager did for Morgans Hotel Group with the stark, minimal guestrooms and the too-cool staff attitudes. We know we've said this already but here's hoping he can roll out more Public Hotels in 2012.
Now for our usual hotelier suspects, while there have been some notable achievements by a few, not much is award-worthy.
Andre Balazs made some moves with the Standard East Village and his forthcoming London Hotel. Jason Pomeranc has had a big year too, with the merger of Thompson and JDV Hotels, and with the pending opening of The Belgraves. Meanwhile, Nick Jones, our hotelier of the year last year, has laid sorta low after a busy 2010.
We're actually finding ourselves getting more excited about what other hotel groups will be putting forth in 2012, like Hyatt House, more Hotel Indigos, new Andaz Hotels, a couple of exotic Mondrian Hotels as well as new Ace Hotels and the burgeoning King and Grove Hotels. We didn't realize this until just now, but we're really excited for 2012, aren't you?