JESÚS M. SOBRINO

Photograph by Alex Soto July 2015 USHUAÏA Read in PDF format N6/2015
JESÚS M. SOBRINO A KEY PLAYER BEHIND THE STRATEGY OF PALLADIUM HOTEL GROUP SHARES THE SECRETS OF USHUAÏA’S SPECTACULAR SUCCESS – AND ITS PLANS FOR INTERNATIONAL EXPANSION

Ushuaïa has been a huge success – can you tell us how many visitors come here each year?

Yes indeed, it has been a success and we thank all our followers, team and partners who have made this possible. Ushuaïa, as a hotel and entertainment venue, is visited every season by around 600,000 people. Every season close to 80,000 people enjoy one of our restaurants at the complex, while we also hold around 110 live music and open-air parties with the world’s top-ranked DJs and 650 artists. Just to give you an idea of how big and spectacular our shows can be, let me give you some more figures: in the venue we have installed 380,000 watts of power, 80,000 watts of sound and 200 projectors for special effects. Also, every summer we use around 12,000 units of pyrotechnics, 1 ton of confetti, 3,000 miles of streamers and 2,400 bottles of CO2.

How do you think Ushuaïa has shaped the nightlife scene in Ibiza?

Honestly, it has not been only us at Ushuaïa who have done all the work here in Ibiza, but we have certainly been key players and first movers in such a change. Back in 2009 and 2010 we began seriously to think about the Ushuaïa project as a new adults-only amusement park to offer the correct balance of open-air live-music experiences, extraordinary food and beverage outlets, luxury accommodation and a real lifestyle experience. All of these allow people to enjoy the daytime in one of Ibiza’s most unbeatable spots, by scheduling parties and shows from 5pm until midnight only. Since we opened in 2011, this simple concept of daytime entertainment has truly been a game-changer for the island, which for years has been famous for its late and overnight club parties and after-parties. We take the entertainment and music experience to a whole different level by allocating a lot of resources into the show around the music or DJ, and the venue itself, making sure that no-one who comes to Ushuaïa will leave disappointed.

How does Ushuaïa differ from the other hotels in the Palladium Group? What makes it unique?

We care about all our portfolio of brands and do our best to provide unique experiences for our guests in each one of them – but it is true that Ushuaïa is the most appealing and the most fun to work with for many reasons. Starting with the target market: most of our other brands are family-oriented or adults-only, in the sense of delivering a relaxing and romantic experience, but Ushuaïa is targeting the more adventurous adults who are looking for fun, music, lifestyle and VIP experiences – those who are comfortable in a more daring atmosphere, where anything can happen. In short, what makes Ushuaïa unique is our ability to mix and balance attributes to create an unforgettable experience for our guests.

Why hasn’t the Ushuaïa brand expanded to other destinations during these last five years? What is so special about Ibiza, and what would it take to convince you to set up another Ushuaïa in a new location?

A good thing is worth waiting for! We really take the expansion of the Ushuaïa brand very seriously and for this reason there is no rush. We have compiled a list of potential locations that comply with what is needed and there are less than 10 places. Ushuaïa is not for everyone and for everywhere. We have been working on standard procedures, brand manuals and business models that could work outside of Ibiza, and, most importantly, we have been allocating resources and thinking hard about how to build the brand internationally. We are ready to move on and will do so shortly!

What do the next five years hold for Ushuaïa?

One thing is for sure: we will keep surprising people and guests every single day, honouring our DNA of bringing unexpected experiences to life. Keep an eye on us, because we certainly have plans for Ushuaïa and will keep evolving and revolutionising the industry and our guests’ experience. During the following five years, Ushuaïa will be expanded to other destinations, not only as a hotel or beach club, but also in “small pills” of the Ushuaïa experience at relevant cities around the world.

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