Wed, Dec 24, 2008 - Page 2 News List

Despite the economic downturn, Taipei nightlife remains vibrant, owners say

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

With most businesses in Taiwan facing a serious revenue slump, the capital’s nightlife has apparently bucked the trend and remains as busy as ever, management at several Taipei nightclubs said.

“We have not seen an impact from the economic downturn on our business as it has in other [sectors],” said Moon Feng, supervisor of the Marketing and Promotion Department of Room 18, one of the most popular night spots in Taipei.

Feng said the number of patrons had remained steady, with turnout averaging 1,500 every open night.

Other indicators such as frequency of visits and nightly expenditures on food and drink have also remained steady, she said, and Christmas could be even stronger than in past years.

With the pub’s 25 private rooms completely booked and various promotions offered to coincide with the holiday, “we are confident that more than 2,000 people will attend our holiday event,” Feng said.

“People probably want even more to seize the opportunity provided by the holidays to have fun and be merry [even] when the economy is not doing so well,” she said.

Meanwhile, Joanna Su, marketing manager of LOOP Production, which owns Luxy, another popular venue in downtown Taipei, said her club had also been relatively immune to the impact of the sluggish economy.

The club’s advanced sales for its Christmas Eve festivities have been strong, she said, with pre-sold tickets to its three ballrooms nearly all gone.

With free drinks offered before 11pm as well as the planned appearance of a popular local singer, Su said she hoped attendance tonight would also exceed 2,000.

Taipei-based Primo said the club had not suffered from a drop in consumer spending. In fact, business has boomed.

Primo project planner Manson Yu said the club, which caters to upscale customers such as celebrities and entrepreneurs, saw business double in the past month compared to February, when it opened.

With privacy a major concern for most of his patrons, Yu said that “exquisite attention to service” played a pivotal role in gaining customer trust and loyalty.

For example, each new club employee must sign a “privacy clause” that forbids them to leak the identities of club guests. At the same time, Primo has 20 security guards covering an area of less than 660m².

The club has also cultivated repeat business through its membership system, Yu said.

“We know what a customer’s favorite drink is and we will also offer to throw him or her a birthday party when that special day arrives,” Yu said.

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