SBE Entertainment Founder, CEO and Chairman of the Board
With an uncompromising entrepreneurial instinct and personal style, SBE Founder, Chairman and CEO Sam Nazarian has been a transformative force in revolutionizing contemporary hospitality. In only a decade, Nazarian has defined “the scene” in Los Angeles and beyond, driving SBE to become the creative wellspring for some of the world’s most sought-after luxury lifestyle brands in North America, including SLS Hotels and Casinos, Katsuya by Starck, The Bazaarby José Andrés and Hyde Lounge.
Nazarian’s career began in the tech industry with a wireless company he co-founded and later sold after leading its rapid growth and record sales. In 2001, Nazarianbegan to hone his expertise in development and hospitality by successfully diversifying his family’s assets into real estate holdings across virtually all sectors of the market. It was during this phase of his career that Nazarian began to see a demand for a different approach to hospitality-one that would fundamentally change the industry moving forward.
From the launch of sbe’s first nightclub in 2003, Nazarian has evolved the privately-held sbe into the definitive name in luxury with a collection that includes some of the most exclusive and high-profile hospitality and lifestyle destinations in the world. To create sbe’s award-winning portfolio, Nazarian has aligned with internationally acclaimed design and culinary talents such as Philippe Starck and Matthew Rolston and chefs José Andrés and Katsuya Uechi. Nazarian’sbusiness savvy and creative vision have also attracted the interest of Wall Street, as well as active participation from a “who’s who” of financial institutions, includingMerrill Lynch, JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, Lowe Enterprises, Colony Capital and Stockbridge Real Estate Funds.
The youngest executive to be named one of the “Top 100 Most Powerful People in Southern California” by West, the Los Angeles Times’ magazine,Nazarian was also named among “The Influentials” in Los Angeles Magazine and was recently honored with the Mondavi Wine & Food award and named the “2012 Hotelier of the Year” by HotelChatter.com. He is an active member of the Southern California Institute of Architecture’s Board of Directors and a generous supporter of the Beverly Hills Education Foundation. In July 2009, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa appointed Nazarian to the Board of Airport Commissioners of Los Angeles World Airports.
Nazarian studied at New York University and the University of Southern California and currently divides his time between residences in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York and Miami.
His SBE owns several Los Angeles nightclubs and lounges: Create, Greystone Manor, Emerson, Hyde, XIV, Colony, Eden, MyHouse, MyStudio and The Abbey. He owns each club outright without other investors. These venues continue to see a high level of popularity and celebrity patronage, as well as being frequently visited by the characters of HBO‘s Entourage. Nazarian made an appearance as himself greeting the main characters of the show in the episode “No Cannes Do“. Nazarian’s SBE brand has also been featured on episodes of The Hills.
He has secured partnerships with Philippe Starck and chefs Katsuya Uechi, José Andrés and Michael Mina. His partnership with Katsuya and Starck resulted in the restaurant Katsuya, with locations in Brentwood, Hollywood, Glendale, downtown Los Angeles and downtown San Diego. XIV, in partnership with Chef Michael Mina, opened on the Sunset Strip in October 2008. (XIV closed in August 2011.) Nazarian opened The Bazaar with José Andrés, which is integrated into SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills, in 2008. SBE is also invested in hamburger chain Umami Burger.
In 2007, SBE acquired the Sahara Hotel & Casino. He has also invested in several other hotels, such as Viceroy hotels and resorts; Chamberlain West Hollywood;Sheraton Delfina Santa Monica; Sheraton Gateway LAX, and Hilton Garden Inns in resort locales in Southern California and Florida.