Matt Joblon has developed hotels in Cherry Creek.
But not one of those.
The Denver-based CEO of BMC Investments, which grew almost entirely in Cherry Creek – including its Halcyon and Moxy hotels – is preparing to launch the Clayton Members Club & Hotel on May 6th.
The property at 233 Clayton St., which was the former Inn at Cherry Creek building, has 63 guest rooms. However, on the upper floors there are also several restaurants and bars as well as rooms where you can socialize and not be announced yet.
This is the space reserved for the people who choose to pay $ 3,000 a year to join the members’ club. And that’s the side of business Joblon likes to talk about.
“We want to include all kinds of people with different backgrounds and perspectives,” said Joblon. “We want to create a space where you can be your absolute authentic self without judgment. And you can get great food, drinks, and experiences. You tie it all together and I think it can be really fun. “
It’s not SoHo House – but it’s similar
The best-known name in the industry that Clayton is joining is SoHo House.
Founded in 1995 and based in London, the company has dozens of locations in major cities around the world, from New York to Toronto to Hong Kong.
Clayton is not affiliated with the company. But it’s similar to SoHo’s locations in many ways, from the general price range (with discounts for younger adults) to the rules (no photography inside) to the fact that the club is paired with a hotel. And Clayton’s member director Rachel Smith used to work for SoHo.
If SoHo wanted to get to Denver, Joblon probably had the connections to be involved. His brother, he found, is developing the company’s Austin site, which will open later this year.
SoHo didn’t respond to a request for comment as to why it wasn’t expanded to Denver. However, Joblon attributed this to SoHo’s focus on what the company sees as “creative class”.
“You honestly didn’t think Denver had a deep enough creative class,” he said.
According to Joblon, Clayton wants members from a broader range, which he views as three categories: creative leaders, social leaders, and corporate leaders.
Thomas Gounley, BusinessDen
The Clayton Members Club & Hotel is located at 233 Clayton St.
Don’t call it the country club
SoHo didn’t invent the idea of a members-only club either.
There are of course country clubs. Not interested in golf? The University Club in Uptown dates back to 1891, has a fine dining restaurant and is intended for those who “share a common passion for social, intellectual and philanthropic engagement”.
Clayton isn’t even the only Denver membership club right now. The X Company, based in Chicago, has opened a huge apartment complex in Union Station North and is marketing memberships for $ 275 per month to those who don’t want to move in but want access to the rooftop coworking space, restaurant, and pool. Members must be 45 years or younger.
If you think of a high-end gym with a passionate following as a kind of membership club, then another comes after Cherry Creek. Equinox is preparing to take a seat a few blocks away in another building Joblon is developing.
Even so, Joblon and Smith said the town “has no bearing” when it comes to what Clayton will be, meaning education was a big part of the launch.
“Country clubs aren’t usually known for amazing food and service, are they?” Joblon said. “The food, the service here will be amazing.”
Thomas Gounley, BusinessDen
The winter garden on the second floor of the building.
The general public is restricted to the first floor
Clayton has seven restaurants and / or bars. Three are located on the ground floor of the building, which is open to the public:
Of A Kind, a gourmet eatery with Californian cuisine with a Mediterranean influence
OAK Market, where guests order dishes from pastries to ice cream, salads to sausage boards at a counter
Five Nines, a speakeasy-style lounge set back from the street and equipped with a small stage for entertainment.
The OAK Market opened at the end of last week and Of A Kind will open at the end of April, before the hotel and club components are presented in early May. Five Nines is expected to open in June.
The public cannot pass the first floor unless they are a member of the club or accompany you or they have a hotel reservation.
Chicago-based Aparium Hotel Group will operate the hotel and Rich Warnick. 4240 architecture was the project architect. Haselden Construction was the general contractor.
On the second floor, where there is a library and a room where members can sit and work, there is a bar and restaurant in the adjoining rooms. On the top floor there is another restaurant with a wood stove. Menu items include flatbread and whole grilled fish. Outside there is a final bar by the small pool surrounded by day beds that members can book.
The building also has a gym. A range of programs, from fitness classes to lectures, are designed to encourage members to drop by.
“We want members to want to spend all day,” said Smith.
Personal interaction is encouraged. There is only one room on the second floor that allows members to speak on their phones. And yes, no photos.
“We want people to come here and relax and be who they are,” said Smith.
Thomas Gounley, BusinessDen
The interior of Of A Kind, the gourmet restaurant on the first floor of the building.
The 40-member committee decides who comes in
The club already has members.
Joblon and Smith said they completed the club’s 40-member membership committee about a year ago.
These members were asked to nominate 10 to 20 people to be “founding members” of the club, and the founding members were each asked to nominate two or three additional people.
“This is really the organic way to build membership from the ground up,” said Joblon.
In addition, the club has offered free or discounted membership to those who have donated art or whose products are used or sold in the building.
Only in the past few weeks has the club put its membership application online so that those without an invitation can apply. The form asks about half a dozen questions, “What does generosity mean to you?” to “What was the last new thing you tried?”
She does not ask about the applicant’s finances, but notes that acceptors pay $ 3,000 per year, or $ 1,800 per year if under 30. It is half the price if the applicant’s spouse is already a member. There’s an additional $ 500 joining fee, though it’s half if you pay annually instead of monthly.
This gives you access to the building. The food and drinks are extra, as are the hotel rooms.
When motions are received, the membership committee will meet quarterly to decide who will make the cut – and who will just stay in suspense.
“Nobody is ever denied, rejected,” said Smith. “You’re just being put on a waiting list. All the time. And the membership committee will review it regularly. “
Smith declined to reveal how many members the club will open with, saying she will likely never release a character. According to Joblon, clubs typically have 3,000 to 5,000 members, but the size of a club depends on many factors, including the frequency with which members join.
“We will have members who never come here,” he said. “They just want to become a member, they come here once a year. That opens up the possibility of having another member who comes here more often. We’ll think about it every quarter. “
The waiting list is something of a point of pride.
“Our original number, we tried to become a member and now we’re building the waiting list. There will be a substantial waiting list until the opening on May 6th, ”said Joblon. “Considerable.”
Thomas Gounley, BusinessDen
The interior of Five Nines, the lounge on the first floor of the building.
An exclusive club that wants the opposite
Member clubs are exclusive by definition. However, Joblon and Smith also emphasize that the club wants to be the literal opposite of that word – including.
Applicants are asked to note that they agree to an eight-sentence commitment, according to which the club “looks for and removes obstacles that exist in the private club industry” and that racism and bullying, among other things, will not be tolerated.
Denver “is a very separate city,” said Joblon. And he doesn’t deny that Cherry Creek, where Clayton is located, is far richer and whiter than the city as a whole. However, the location of the club does not challenge the goal of attracting a large number of members.
“Incredible, it has become our greatest asset,” said Joblon. “And the reason is that because we did it here and open our arms to all parts of the community, people are more excited about it and get involved because we are forcing more change here than we are anywhere else in the world could the city. “
Half of the club’s membership committee are women, Joblon and Smith said.
“This is not like the country club and this is not my group of friends,” said Joblon, noting that he is not on the committee. “I know less than 10 percent of the members who have been accepted.”
Joblon and Smith said the club also offers free or discounted memberships, especially for artists or those with skills the club needs – think of a fitness trainer willing to teach classes – and for those he considers looks good in the community.
“I think we can improve the whole model of the member club and I think we can do the same in other cities,” said Joblon.