FARMINGTON -- Davis County officials hope their glasses will overflow with revenue as they enter the lounge business by way of the Davis Conference Center/Hilton Garden Inn.
The county commission recently amended its contract with Western States Lodging and Management LLC, managers of the Hilton Garden Inn and conference center, to allow the county to add to its side of the ledger the operation of a low-key lounge within the hotel.
Officials hope the lounge will open by March 1, Davis County Community and Economic Development Director Kent Sulser said.
The operators of Club Fahrenheit, who previously leased lounge space out of the hotel, moved three months ago -- taking with them their liquor license -- to a new Layton location west of the conference center, said Scott Lunt, general manager of the Davis Conference Center/Hilton Garden Inn.
The county, which retains the rights to the name Club Fahrenheit, is now interested in re-establishing the club within the hotel, with proceeds from the lounge going to the county rather than to a third party, Sulser said.
"So there will not be a another third-party vendor in there, it will be us," he said.
The club vendor there before was making money, Sulser said, so he expects the county will make money as well.
Since the county is already having mixed beverages served within the exhibition side of the conference center and at the hotel restaurant, Sulser said, officials wanted to amend its contract with the hotel and conference center managers to capture the proceeds from the beverages served in any hotel lounge or club as well.
"It will be a positive source of revenue for the conference center that we have not had in the past," Sulser said.
This seems like the best resolution for the continuation of that lounge space known as Club Fahrenheit to be used for what it was built, with conference center staff now monitoring how that space is best used, County Commissioner Louenda Downs said.
"Overall, this will be a better option," she said.
In addition, the county will make its 1,500-square-foot lounge a rentable space in order to generate additional revenue for the hotel, Sulser said. The lounge will also serve as an entity that is sought out by certain groups looking to book a convention at a conference center.
Western States Lodging will obtain the liquor license needed to operate the lounge, with the lounge to be staffed by existing service and support staff, Sulser said.
The original vision was for Club Fahrenheit to be a low-key, upscale hotel lounge for guests at the hotel and conference center, Lunt said.
"But that wasn't working for (the third-party vendors operating the lounge), and wasn't working for us," he said of the late-night lounge hours that were disturbing some hotel guests.
Western States Lodging has agreed to manage the lounge on behalf of the county, with its first hurdle trying to acquire from the state a liquor license for the lounge, Lunt said.
"It's a convenience factor. We have staff in place. For us, it just makes sense," he said of their present staff managing the lounge. Sulser said the county does not yet have an estimate of how much revenue the lounge might generate.