Vincent Van Gogh once said, “I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day.” For many people this quote couldn’t be more accurate in describing how they feel about nightlife. Perhaps Van Gogh was not directly referring to late night restaurants, buzzing bars, downtown Irish themed pubs and energetic nightclubs when he wrote that iconic statement, but maybe those are the images that first appeared in your mind when reading it, they certainly were for founder of The Society and University of Utah student Josh Webber.
“Shortly after transferring to the U, I noticed a pain-point, I would be talking with undergraduates, graduates, skiers, tourists and young working professionals, the question and problem was the same,” Webber said. “Where should I go tonight? What are the hottest, must-visit spots downtown? How can I enjoy the nightlife here like a real local?”
There was an obvious gap between thousands of people in these demographics and the local nightlife of downtown.
So the quest to find more answers continued. After meeting with dozens of managers at some of Salt Lake City and Park City’s biggest bars, clubs and restaurants, it was clear that their problem seemed to be related. How could they bring in more customers earlier in the evening and can regular consumers be transformed into loyal regulars?
A solution was found to bring an end to these pains and close the gap between local nightlife and the surrounding community. Through weeks of collaboration at the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, market research, talking to local nightlife business owners and finding ways to connect their venues with the people around them, The Society began to appear.
Webber explained, “We ultimately decided to take a chance and try something new, we had no idea if it would work, there really wasn’t a business or idea that had attempted to do what we wanted to accomplish.”
The Society Nightlife Card was created. The simple black card is a unique pass that when shown to your server or front desk at various nightlife venues grants exclusive rewards and perks like skipping lines, free cover charge, complimentary food/drinks, free show tickets and more. There is no subscription, no expiration and no limit to how many times the card can be used. Early Society members quickly fell in love with the benefits of going downtown, showing their card and reaping unique rewards over and over again.
“The idea took off, people like feeling special and being treated like a regular or a VIP,” said Eva Lopez, chief operating officer. “Local nightlife venues loved the increased business that the card was bringing them, we continue to add more locations each and every week.”
The Society team quickly formed to keep up with its growth, meetings were held weekly at the Lassonde Institute and the advice of industry experts propelled the idea into an effective business model.
The Society has since expanded to Park City, Boise, Reno, and aims to include Phoenix and San Francisco before the end of summer 2017.
So for those of you who agree with Van Gogh that the night is often “more alive” than the day, joining The Society sounds like the next best move before going out this weekend.
For more information on The Society and details about locations and available rewards to card holders visit their site at: thesocietyu.com.