File this one under first-world problems. The elite millenials club Magnises has created a rift among its membership. Boo-hoo.
You might recognize Magnises as the uppity entity behind the “members-only penthouse” at the Hotel on Rivington. They began meeting here two years ago, moving from a West Village townhouse, and paying non-exclusive rent that permitted access to the tiered balcony. Three years after making its splash – all the local tabloids on- and offline boasted coverage – its membership is pissed off.
The whole premise of Magnises is to provide access. A ladder to the upper crust. Newbie social climbers are apparently recruited with promises of hard-to-get tickets to events, restaurant discounts, access to “hot” nightclubs, and luxury getaways. In exchange for the hefty annual dole of $250.
Now its members are accusing the organization of failing to deliver (the world).
[There are reports of] not receiving tickets on the timeline promised, of having to rearrange plans multiple times because of the startup’s scheduling snafus, and of trips being canceled outright — sometimes the day before they were scheduled to take place. Several of the members said they received unwanted charges to their credit cards from Magnises, which in some cases took more than a month to refund their money.
Magnises members pay a $250 annual fee that allows them to attend happy hours and other events. The company works with concierges who can arrange restaurant reservations, book travel, or make suggestions for things to do in your city.
Magnises’ customer-service reps generally blame the company’s shortcomings on its being a fast-moving startup that’s constantly responding to customers’ requests for new features.
The social club for aspiring entrepreneurs (yuppies) – founded in 2014 by bros Billy McFarland and Martin Howell – began as a wannabe version of the invite-only American Express Centurion card (aka the Black Card) which carries a $5,000 initiation fee plus $2,500 in annual dues. The Membership numbers are around 40,000, with 60% living in New York City; there are offshoots in San Francisco and Washington, DC.
It’s also worth shining a light on the venue of choice – the Hotel on Rivington. This lodge is considered by some residents as one of the worst quality-of-life offenders in the neighborhood with its plethora of nightspots within. Noise, traffic, and crowds collectively punish those in direct earshot. And it seems to operate with impunity. One need only look to the constant reinventions over the years – nearly all failures – the liquor licenses of which are rarely (if ever) publicly heard by the community or CB3. So, it’s not such a stretch that the lodge would pimp its penthouse to an organization for the monied.