Tony Saporito

Tony Saporito

General Manager at ZERO

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Location:
123 elm, Dallas, Texas, United States
Company:
ZERO

General Information

Experience

General Manager  - Sterling Hotel Dallas

Co-Owner  - Reflections Leisure Club

General Manager  - Ramada Plaza Hotel

Recent News  

Few have had more sour grapes to spill over condemnations related to the new Cowboys complex than Tony Saporito, co-owner of the Ballpark Inn and Reflections Club.The transplanted New Yorker -- a bartender turned club manager turned hotel executive -- in particular had wanted to salvage his locally famed nightspot."It's a hangout for the 40-plus crowd," Saporito freely and profitably admits.Saporito admits that when he first took over what was then the Holiday Inn and its in-hotel club that he had a more traditionalist view of what a nightspot needed to be, that being an in spot for the younger crowd."Trouble was, the club was virtually empty," he recalled.Saporito promptly remodeled the Holiday Inn club in as blatant an imitation of Studebaker's as he could manage, dubbed his new place Reflections, set a dress code of casual dressy and made it clear that the over-40 crowd was more than welcome.He mixed in canned music with piano players, blues soloists and assorted rock-'n'-rollers, although the featured performers for the past decade have been mix-of-music masters Marcia Rose and Glen Bailey.Studebaker's and a dozen or more clubs of its ilk have come and gone in Arlington since.Reflections has prospered, its floor space twice expanded to the current 5,000 square feet."We have people get married because of people they've met here and get divorced because of people they've met here," Saporito says with a chuckle.What happens now that the end is near?As it turns out, Saporito and a group of investors plan to purchase an unidentified north Arlington hotel in a deal scheduled to close this weekend.Somewhere between mid-February and March 1, Reflections will open again."We plan to move everything from this location to the new Reflections -- the furniture, the bar, the waitresses, the bartenders, the dance floor, and Bailey and Rose," Saporito said."They think they've dodged a bullet because they were just outside the condemnation area," Saporito said."But they haven't.Come back in five years, and none of them will be there."As for Saporito, despite his earlier complaints about losing the hotel and club, he's now adopted a mellowed, more optimistic perspective."We'll still be in Arlington and still be bringing in plenty of tax money for the city," he says.

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But that kind of talk upsets Tony Saporito, general manager of the Ball Park Inn, a 186-room hotel on a business strip on what will be the sports complex's western boundary.The hotel, which for 13 years has had a contract to house American Airlines pilots in town for training, has pumped millions of dollars into the economy, he said.Now it's to be replaced by a parking lot and the jobs it provides Saporito's 65 workers will evaporate."What are we going to do?We don't know, we're worried about it," Saporito said, pointing to his assistant manager, a 35-year-old single mother of four children.

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Tony Saporito, general manager of the Ball Park Inn, said he has his fingers crossed that his hotel will be spared.He said the owners have spent money to renovate the rooms and pool area and plan to spend $2.5 million on exterior improvements if they are allowed to stay. "I think it'll be a relief to everyone to know what they'll have to face," Mr. Saporito said. Even if the Ball Park Inn survives, the owners could choose to sell if the price is right.Mr. Saporito said one real estate agent has already asked the owners what it would cost to buy a property that could be next door to a Cowboys stadium. "This would be the perfect location for a high-rise hotel," Mr. Saporito said.

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