Hot Tub Clubs And Igloos: This Entrepreneur Is Taking His Nightlife Concepts To Miami And Beyond
He took inflatable hot tubs, decked them out with neon lights, and put them on a rooftop next to a bar. He also set up a movie screen, like a drive-in cinema. The resulting concept was called Jakuznya. Given the weather, though, his business was only viable two to three months of the year.
After running it for about three years, Hahonin expanded the concept to South Florida, opening Hot Tub Miami over the summer. After early success — despite challenges posed by property agreements and potential safety concerns — Hahonin is looking to expand the concept in New York and Las Vegas by partnering with hoteliers and property owners.
He also has another hospitality concept in the works involving transparent igloos — but first, the hot tubs.
“We held our first event in July in Miami Beach at 1111 Lincoln Road,” Hahonin said. The site is a well-known open-air parking garage designed by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron, which is often neon-lit and used for weddings and special events.
“Unfortunately from there, we had to move because the city demanded special permits because it is a rooftop,” Hahonin said. Hahonin moved his operation to Riverside in the Brickell neighborhood on a canal overlooking the downtown, but couldn’t agree on terms with management to stay.
Finally, a friend who owns Miami-based Slingshot car rental company Street Dream Rentals let Hahonin’s team set up in a lot in the trendy Wynwood district, at 451 Northwest 36th St.
In addition to securing venue partners, another business challenge for a unique concept like Hot Tub Miami is liability concerns and communicating sanitation standards with guests, especially since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
The company said after every use, each hot tub is drained and disinfected. Hahonin says the operation uses about 150 gallons of water per day per hot tub. He carries insurance, and also requires each guest to sign liability waivers.
Hot Tub Miami is open Thursday through Sunday nights with prices starting at $99 per hot tub, which fits four people. The venue is open from 8 p.m to midnight, with guests allowed to bring in their own food or liquor, the latter with a $10 fee.
Movies on tap for December are Home Alone, Elf, The Grinch and Juice.
The venue has already been featured in a music video by a viral TikTok group known as the Island Boys, and it has also served as a venue for private parties for rappers.
Hahonin said more hot tub clubs are in the works — Hot Tub Las Vegas and Hot Tub New York already have Instagram accounts — but he’s scouting future opportunities to team up with hoteliers and landlords to open additional locations.
The entrepreneur also wants to expand another of his concepts from Russia.
With Igloobar, each group of customers can reserve a private "igloo" — a private, transparent geodesic dome, like a cabana made out of film or polycarbonate.
Hahonin said he has in the past teamed up with New York rooftop bar 230 Fifth, which has been installing igloos for dining or drinking in colder months for several years. The rooftop was the first to make the trend mainstream in NYC in 2014, according to hospitality news site The Rooftop Guide.