The famous Liberace Museum Collection has drawn thousands of viewers and top attraction reviews in recent years
Covid 19 threatened that success
With critically acclaimed exhibits at the Paris Museum of Modern Art, the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art and the MET Gala; with artifacts making key appearances on the 2019 Monte Carlo Fashion week, 2019 Grammys and the 2020 Oscars; with Liberace’s image licensed for television and film including Mozart in the Jungle, the Jim Gaffigan Show, The Simpsons, Family Guy, HBO’s Behind The Candleabra and Ridley Scott’s Bladerunner 2049; thousands paid well for private tours of the Liberace Museum Collection at Thriller Villa and Liberace Garage. But by mid February, 2020, the Chairman of the Foundation had seen the writing on the wall. Covid 19 was coming.
Ahead of the Game
Monitoring practices of the Asia tourism markets, Chairman Jonathan Warren shuttered the Liberace Foundation’s Collection tours on March 6th, a week ahead of mandatory closings in Las Vegas. He likewise placed on hold the opening of a new Liberace-themed restaurant, as well as a Liberace show in the works. Warren, who is also the Honorary Consul of Monaco, published his opinions, based on communications with other consuls around the world, submitting that if the Corona Virus became a pandemic, it would require major public messaging and infrastructure investment to effectively combat.
“Consul Warren was among the earliest in Nevada to promote universal masking/face coverings by the general public, as a means of preventing transmission of the Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2 virus) by asymptomatic infectious persons”
– Dr. Christina Madison
“Consul Warren was among the earliest in Nevada to promote universal masking/face coverings by the general public, as a means of preventing transmission of the Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2 virus) by asymptomatic infectious persons,” Says Dr. Christina Madison, past President of the Nevada Public Health Association, Founder and CEO of the Public Health Pharmacist, PLLC public health consulting business. Dr. Madison is a clinical public health and infectious disease expert often appearing on Local, State, and International Media outlets. She frequently consults with businesses on Covid-19. “Five months before Las Vegas mandated masks, (Warren) was watching Macau and other tourism locales, posting these recommendations, that were not heeded,” reminds Dr. Madison, “He asked for medical opinons from all over the planet. His business plans are 5 months ahead of the herd.”
Who would open a restaurant during the Covid 19 pandemic?
The first of those business plans has been a complete re-engineering of Liberace Steakhouse, soon to open in southern California. The Liberace Foundation is the licensor of the brand. When Warren predicted the government shut down which put a stop to the owner’s planned May 16 grand opening, he was asked by the business owner, who intends to open other locations across the Country and has been a major contributor to the Liberace Foundation, to take a more active roll in the planning with regard to Covid 19.
The reduced staff of the delayed restaurant operation also meant adding to his workload in theme curation and installation. “The result,” says Warren, “Is the first post-covid restaurant in the area. There could not be a better licensee when it comes to the food, beverage, and customer service business, but It also employs the utmost cutting edge in Covid crushing practices, design and technology…I put in it what I myself demand from a restaurant now, and layered the clinical expertise of those in the trenches, like Dr. Madison.”
These requirements apprear to far surpass those of regulators, including opening up entire restaurant walls to the exterior, planning airflow so as not to have air pass from one table to another, setting time limits for dining parties, establishing scheduled seatings, clearing of the restaurant between seating for sanitation, including of the air itself, and re-configuring duties of staff. This features the addition of one specially trained and equipped expert whose job is entirely sanitation of customer areas, with sole authority to approve any table available for seating, prior to it being offered to customers. With technology including UV sterilization lights, masking and face shielding, table and chair sanitizing, and much more, the normal restaurant hygiene practices of six months ago have become medieval. But Liberace Steakhouse will open in August.
Liberace Museum Collection Tours set the standard in Covid 19 safety
Jonathan Warren has applied an even higher level of safety to the Foundation’s private tours of the Liberace Museum Collection. This small, private tour, typically led by Warren himself, has been transformed to an even more elaborate version, voiced-over and available on each participant’s smart phone, anywhere in the world. Pending a proposal with the City, guests may soon follow the digital tour as they walk through the Collection at Thriller Villa. Digitally or in person, Warren leads the tour in an elaborate interactive format with much more content than ever before. Any future live tours will be private, with no groups mixed. The guests will never double back, and never cross paths with others while traversing much of the labyrinthine Thriller Villa.
“The speaking is digitized and better augmented than my old narration. If we begin offering it in person, the toured area will be divided into seven stations, each with its own manager on site during visits. Everything will be sanitized between guests, even the air in the room,” says Warren, “Even our transportation won’t mix your group with any other, and employs every safeguard. We were the top rated tour and museum experience on Trip Advisor before, and were awarded their Travelers Choice Award for 2020, despite never being open to the public. This version is far better, with even the in-person version being much safer, and we’ve cut the cost in the process.”
The digital version of the tour of the Liberace Museum Collection at Thriller Villa can be booked beginning August 30th. Already open to the public, a similarly improved digitally guided, in-person tour with Covid-crushing practices, has been employed at Liberace Garage.
“…They never darkened the marquees of Las Vegas Boulevard for Liberace. As I walked the completely extinguished Strip one night in April, I realized Liberace, this time, is the last star shining.”
– Jonathan Warren
“The last time a deadly virus caused a panic in the US, it took him with it,” Remembers Warren. “In it’s ugly aftermath, even on his 100th anniversary in 2019, they never darkened the marquees of the Las Vegas Boulevard for Liberace. As I walked the completely extinguished Strip one night in April, I realized Liberace, this time, is last star shining.”