The developer behind Kimpton’s hip Ink 48 is bringing hip to New York’s suburban highways.

Michael Yanko’s latest hotel project will bring a loft-like, music-infused NYLO hotel – complete with a rooftop bar and music recording studio – to Nyack just off the New York State Thruway.

For a night’s stay, expect to pay in the $150 to $175 per night range.

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Nyack is a small town with a population of about 7,000 people located less than 20 miles north of Manhattan and the Tappan Zee Bridge. It has few hotels. When the hotel opens, it’s pretty safe to say that it will be the hippest hotel in town – and one that’s filled largely with Thruway drivers.

Before I tell you about the Yanko’s interesting plan for the hotel, I wanted to fill you in on the NYLO story, which is one that I’ve covered for years.


NYLO is one of the hip, stylish brands – like Starwood’s bigger Aloft brand – that was launched before the recession and faced challenges once Lehman Brothers famously collapsed in September 2008. The crash proved especially troublesome for NYLO since Lehman was one of its key stakeholders. Its first hotel opened in 2008 in Plano, Texas.

NYLO has since opened four more hotels, including one on New York’s Upper West Side (79th and Broadway).

Yanko: So why NYLO?

A developer always tries to identify the hotel brand for a property that will get the best results for the location’s demographic and traffic. In this case, Yanko told me, he saw only one choice given that the building included a warehouse that wouldn’t comply with other brands’ rules.

“I don’t see any other brand specifically for this warehouse,” he said.

He also has faith in the brand.

“It doesn’t bother me at all,” that it has been slow to take off, Yanko told me, nothing that there will be about 10 NYLO hotels within two or three years.

No cookie-cutter style

He was looking to create a chic atmosphere with clever design and great food and ambience.

“If I’m driving on the Thruway looking for a hotel coming from Canada … I could come to NYLO because for the same price, I don’t have to stay at a cookie-cutter Hilton Garden Inn or Marriott Courtyard. The last thing we would build is a big chain (hotel).”

NYLO: Steakhouse, DJ, recording studio

Expect the hotel to have an emphasis on music and food.

“We’ll have a DJ in the lobby with a glass booth so people can see him working nightly,” he said.

The hotel will also have a recording studio that young bands should like.

All of this is possible because the NYLO is being built inside a warehouse that long ago housed an injection molding factory. The landlord later rented it out to a record company, and they partnered up with local AAA-format radio station 107.1 to do Live Nation Live at the Factory, Yanko told me. Indie bands would come about once a month – a formula that this hotel will keep. Bands that have appeared there include the Sheepdogs, Churchill and Dispatch.

“I’m keeping the Factory alive,” he said. “It’s going to be a vibrant NYLO,” he said.

Readers: Do you ever wish it was easy to find a different style of hotel on the highway?

Rendering of future NYLO hotel courtesy of WY Management; photo of groundbreaking site by George Pejoves Photography.