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Ian Schrager touts new hotel as Times Square standout

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NEW YORK -- Edition has opened its second property in New York City, with brand co-creator Ian Schrager dubbing the location "the first luxury hotel ever in Times Square."

The claim is highly debatable, as many would point out that the nearby Chatwal and InterContinental New York Times Square are luxury hotels, too. Perhaps Schrager was limiting Times Square to a very tight area, as the new Edition is right in the thick of it in the 20 Times Square development on Seventh Avenue.

The project is the latest from Schrager and Marriott International, who collaborated to launch the Edition lifestyle concept in 2007 and debuted the brand's first New York City hotel in the NoMad district in 2015. 

The Times Square Edition has 452 guestrooms, including 27 suites and an 1,880-square-foot penthouse unit. Schrager indicated that the hotel brings a touch of class to Times Square.

"Times Square used to be the cultural mecca of not only this city or this country, but perhaps the world, and then it stopped being that," said Schrager during a media launch event in New York on Wednesday. "It was always a combination of high-brow and low-brow, and then the high-brow left. But [location] has never ever been an issue for me. If you build something special, then people will come."

One of the Times Square Edition's standout features is the Paradise Club nightlife and entertainment venue. Schrager emphasized it "is not a nightclub." The 3,000-square-foot space will showcase theatrical programming from Brooklyn-based collective House of Yes, with performances running the gamut from cabaret, circus, live gospel and classical ballet to aerial performances, magic and opera. 

"Nightclubs have a short shelf life, so it doesn't really pay to do them," added Schrager. "The door policy and things like that, I don't think people want to really do that anymore. But by adding a level of entertainment and art and visuals and making it available to everybody, because the product being offered does its own screening process automatically, I think that's the future of doing lifestyle [concepts] at night."

The property houses several food and beverage outlets, including the 701West restaurant and cocktail lounge and the Terrace restaurant. Food and beverage is spearheaded by John Fraser, a chef who owns the Michelin-starred Nix, a vegetarian restaurant in New York. 

The Times Square Edition brings the flag's portfolio to a total of nine locations in New York; London; Miami Beach; Barcelona; Shanghai and Sanya, China; Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; and Bodrum, Turkey. Edition's next hotel is scheduled to open in West Hollywood later this year. 

"When we first launched, we figured Edition could grow to around 100 hotels," said Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson. "Then the recession came and cooled things a bit. But now with nine hotels open, 18 in the pipeline and around 18 more [in talks], we do think the brand may have more room to grow than we originally planned."

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