The Man of the Hour: Neil Moffitt

CEO of Hakkasan Group

neil_moffitt_by_andrew_james_01_WEBACHIEVEMENTS As CEO of Las Vegas-based Hakkasan Group—specializing in restaurants, hotels, daylife and nightlife—it appears Moffitt is on a course for world domination. He has led the company to acquire or open more than 29 venues in 19 cities in less than 24 months. In 2015 alone, another 15 restaurant openings are planned (including Searsucker at Caesars Palace, adjacent to Omnia, Hakkasan’s Group’s new nightclub), and his hands are full with hotel projects in various stages of development around the globe, including Dubai. “The company and I have a lot to thank Las Vegas for,” Moffitt says. “[We are] taking what we learned here and not only capitalizing on it—I genuinely believe Las Vegas is the center of all food, beverage and hospitality—but exporting our knowledge and brands throughout the U.S. and overseas.”

JOINING THE CLUB Moffitt began his career in England in the 1990s, turning distressed food and beverage establishments into moneymaking assets. But it was his involvement in superclub and events brand Godskitchen and, later, the Global Gathering Festival—both heavily influenced by electronic dance music—that led Moffitt to the masses.

SEND ME AN ANGEL In 2005, Moffitt formed Angel Management Group, whose venues introduced the city to EDM superstars such as Tiësto. Nearly a decade later, AMG was acquired by Hakkasan Group, which soon announced plans to develop nongaming hotels in a partnership with MGM Resorts International. At the helm of it all? Moffitt. “To me hospitality [is defined as] a fantastic arrival experience, room experience, restaurant experience and beverage program,” he says. “Now with all the brands that we are associated with, we can develop a hotel product and we can put in a Hakkasan Restaurant or a Searsucker, and when a guest checks in, they not only drop their bags but they want to make a reservation at the restaurant in the hotel. That leads to myriad offerings from bars to lounges to nightclubs.”

COMING INTO THE LIGHT Hakkasan Group has a deal pending to add the 22 venues owned and operated by The Light Group to its portfolio (as of publication, the deal is not yet finalized). Speaking to the bigger picture, Moffitt says he believes the relocation of Hakkasan Group’s worldwide headquarters to Las Vegas and their aggressive expansion will have positive effects on the city. “We are going to open Omnia in a matter of weeks, and that has created hundreds of jobs,” he says. “We have a lot of fantastic plans in Las Vegas that are globally renowned. We believe now we are uniquely poised, alongside our partner MGM Resorts, to exploit our sizzle factor.”

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