ROOMS FOR IMPROVEMENT: A rendering shows the proposed hotel next to Masonic Cleveland. (Bialosky)

Plans could help build on mixed-use concept for clubs

It makes business sense, and not just in branding synergy terms, that a venue that sees live music performance as having a higher purpose would partner with a hotel chain whose very name embodies the aspirational. TempleLive, the Rogers, Ark.-based venue brand, and Dream Hotel Group out of New York have announced plans to develop a 207-room hotel adjacent to the 2,500-capacity Masonic Cleveland.

“Nobody does hotel and food and beverage better than Dream,” said Mike Brown, vice president of TempleLive, who has a background in the hotel industry. “They just get the experiential hotel offering.

“The local community frequents the venues inside the hotels, the guest rooms are appointed by people who understand exactly what guests want and they’re cool. They’re the cool kids you want to sit with at the lunch table. They’re in LA, New York, Miami and Thailand, and they’ve announced Cleveland, Memphis, San Antonio and Tulum (Mexico) — they’re a very smart brand.”

Owned by Beaty Capital Group, TempleLive’s business model features live venues housed in former Masonic temples in Wichita and Fort Smith, Ark., in addition to the 99-year-old Cleveland property, which opened in 2018.

“It’s exciting to look beyond this recent period of anxiety and uncertainty to bring such an iconic project to Midtown Cleveland,” said Beaty Capital Group President Lance Beaty in a statement. “As you could imagine, the project has been delayed by recent events, but we feel that it’s important for the city of Cleveland, the live music and performing arts, the hospitality industry and the country as a whole to regain confidence and move forward with our lives.”

If TempleLive and Mike Brown sound familiar, it may be because both were instrumental in promoting — and fighting for — the first live ticketed comeback concert since the coronavirus pandemic shuttered the live business and much of the U.S. economy. On May 18, Travis McCready, with Brown leading the charge, played the Fort Smith TempleLive, making headlines across the globe.

The GM is a passionate fan who puts the live music experience on par with the sacred. His taste extends from the classic rock acts he first experienced live such as ZZ Top and Pink Floyd to more contemporary rock fare like Illiterate Light and Reignwolf to country artists such as Ashley McBryde and Cody Jinks. “Music performance is a religious experience,” Brown said. “It’s spiritual.”

The concept of live entertainment firms extending their brands to hotels built next to their venues isn’t new. House of Blues in Chicago, for example, in a partnership with Loews Hotels, opened the House of Blues Hotel next to the club in 1998 as part of redeveloping the Marina City complex before selling the property in 2006. The hotel is now part of Marriott and called the Hotel Chicago Downtown Autograph Collection. The link to the Masonic temples is a twist on that model.

“If you take a 2,500-cap room that does 60 shows a year, even at 70% sell-through, you’re bringing in more than 100,000 a year to the building” Brown said. “Out of that 100,000 they’re all going to want to eat before a show. If they’re coming from out of town they’re sleeping somewhere after the show. So why not make it the one-stop shop? You go to the show, you get dinner, you have drinks. If you want to stay and make an extended weekend, you’ve got pools, you’ve got gyms — everything you want to do right there.”

Local architectural firm Bialosky is the designer and executive architect for the property. Cushman & Wakefield’s Dan MacDonnell and George Qiao represent Beaty Capital Group on the project positioning and construction financing.

When the hotel opens in 2022, Brown said, it will offer a variety of packages that will include tickets to a show, meals, accommodations and potentially entry to a famed nearby attraction: “A ticket to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame,” he said. “There’s endless possibilities we haven’t activated yet.”