(Note: This story appears in the March 2022 issue of ED Magazine)
Holo-Walls and their product Holo-Floor has made appearances in countless gentlemen’s clubs because they please patrons, entertainers and operators.
Holo-Walls was born — like many prosperous endeavors are — from a phone call. Rick Uzubell of Cabaret Design Group was looking for a durable stage floor for a gentlemen’s club in the Chicago area he was designing.
“He wanted something unique,” says Kevin McCarthy of Holo-Walls. “It all started with that little spark and it was game on from there. That was more than 15 years ago.”
ED Magazine spoke with McCarthy of Holo-Walls about their products, maximizing interior decor and the wisdom of considering their products as a long-term investment.
ED: What is your best-selling product right now for clubs? What do you think makes it so?
MCCARTHY: Our bestselling product for clubs for over 15 years is the Holo-Floor engineered stage floor tiles. There is nothing else like it anywhere and we are the only company in the world that produces this product. Every club has a stage, a bar, a wall. They want it to stand out and make a statement. A stage that is beat up and worn down, brings down the look and vibe for rest of the club. The stage and the dancers have to be one where it’s a package and that package needs a look that brings in the customer and keeps them there. It’s all about appearance, presentation and customer experience. A stage that doesn’t compliment the club or the dancers looks out of sync. Compare it to a reputable restaurant delivering you a prime steak served on a paper plate — it’s just not right.
Customers have applied our materials in many other areas inside the club. A DJ booth, bar and stage facing, counters, drink rails, VIP rooms, foyers, and even in the restrooms.
ED: You mentioned you stick with what works — what’s working best for you and clubs right now?
MCCARTHY: Our process is creating durable, long-lasting stage floor tiles and wall films. There is no compromise on this. For stage flooring, our Holo-Floor tiles are high grade, impact, scratch resistant, transparent polycarbonate that is one quarter of an inch thick. There is nothing else on the market that is more durable than polycarbonate. It’s not cheap material but it works. Once a club installs our stage tiles, they are good for years and we don’t hear from them again for a long time. We’re happy with that.
ED: Why is durability such a focal point for your products? Why should clubs consider your product(s) a long-term investment and why is that the wise move vs. compromising with more inexpensive, less durable products?
MCCARTHY: Clubs see a lot of traffic and everything has to be robust. The dancers can really beat up a stage as the activity is relentless. Our polycarbonate material will not chip or crack even with the pounding it takes day in and day out. We can use cheaper material but it will not last long and can be hazardous if it cracks. Our safety switch is always on and we don’t want any inferior product to cause injury from a stage floor breakdown. We hear this too often when an inexpensive product is used. Dancers take pride in their craft and also have to feel comfortable performing — the stage is the vehicle for their art.
Club owners and operators sometime think we have to come out and install the Holo-Floor. This just isn’t the case. Anyone can install them and we make it as easy as possible for them to do that. We now add a permanent adhesive to the back of every Holo-Floor product so there are no messy adhesive glues they have to use to apply the tiles to the sub-floor. Just peel and stick.
A stage that doesn’t compliment the club or the dancers looks out of sync. Compare it to a reputable restaurant delivering you a prime steak served on a paper plate — it’s just not right. — Kevin McCarthy
When a club uses our stage tiles, they have made a sizable investment. We have some clubs that are going on over 10 years with our stage tiles. In reality, that’s kind of our Achilles heal. It’s too good but we won’t do cheap. For example, Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club in Las Vegas installed our material over ten years ago and covered the stages, drink rails and bar tops. It still looks fantastic and obviously holding up well.
Simply for reasons of budget, some clubs will want to get by with using inexpensive materials such as a parquet wood or vinyl floor tiles for their stages. We get that. These materials are not made for the daily, high energy activity these stage floors get every day. So it is back to closing the club, spending more time and money to resurface the stage. Doing this year after year is a financial burden on the club, plus they are not really doing anything new, special or different for their customers or dancers.
ED: You mentioned an industry shift to custom-print stage floors — what does this do for clubs? What kind of opportunity does it present to clubs for self-promotional branding?
MCCARTHY: Although these are typically one-off events, a new advanced process allows us to print directly onto the polycarbonate for stage floors that makes it more plausible for branding or something really club-décor specific. We can print almost any design be it abstract, foliage, mosaic patterns, club logo, corporate branding and so on. You can incorporate any liquor or beer brand, for example, into the floor print and it can pay for itself. When your core consumer is seeing your logo all night, there are benefits to a brand that wants that kind of exposure and impressions in a club. This is a new product we are offering but a natural for us because of our unique fabrication and lamination process.
ED: For club owners that may feel lost, how do you guide club owners/operators on implementing the best walls/products for their decor?
MCCARTHY: Pictures or video can not convey that this is very special material. Sending out samples for customers to see and feel is important and, honestly, we do not like to take any orders unless the customer sees the product in their own club under their own stage lights. We have to help new customers make the right decision for their club. It is actually the best part of the process: to send samples and have them call us and tell us how incredible the product looks in person.
If a club is going to make this type of investment, we look at it as if it was our own money. This is unique and special, not something ordered online. We walk everyone through the process so they are comfortable with their decision. We wouldn’t have it any other way.
ED: How does the right club lighting complement Holo-Walls products? What can the right blend of lighting and Holo-Walls product(s) do to encourage repeat or increased customer traffic?
MCCARTHY: The biggest advantage to the Holo-Floor and films is that they react to any club lighting system. Nothing special needs to be added as they react to any light — natural or man-made. One of the things we tell owners when they get samples is to simply light them up with a flashlight. The films immediately come to life, like a CD disk. The back of the disk doesn’t look like much until you hit it with light and it suddenly becomes this spectral phenomenon. Our films react the same the way. Total eye candy.
Customers positively react to our Holo-Floor on the stage, as club owners have told us, and will stay longer and return increasing club revenue. Also worth noting is the dancers are happy as they have something fun to perform on and they, too, make more money. If it was failing to do the job of helping a club be successful, we would do something else. But it works and there is nothing wrong with that!
For more information, call (818) 735-3565 or visit holowalls.com.