Did you have a great time last time you went out in Charlotte? Chances are good you have Noah to thank (if even indirectly). Noah Lazes, 39, Co-Founder of ARK Management isn’t someone you’re going to find on Facebook. You can’t follow him on Twitter, and you can’t hit him up on MySpace, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t seriously connected. In fact, the empire Lazes has built has been reinforced by his networking abilities….he just doesn’t do it the way everyone else does (now). He is,however, largely responsible for Charlotte’s booming entertainment scene.
In the present instant-gratification society, it can sometimes be hard to see beyond now. Especially from an entrepeneur’s point of view. Supply and demand, the economic backbone of business, dictates how to allocate resources to maximize profit based on current market movement. Which makes perfect sense in most cases, but when supply and demand is evaluated, what is really being assessed are conditions right now.
Good thing Lazes isn’t Mister Right Now. Experience, research and foresight seem to be the roadmap Lazes’ company used when he envisioned NC Music Factory over a decade ago. Early into the project, there was negative speculation about the project, but he chipped away diligently, blending his experience, knowledge, and funding from prior successes and avoiding the formulas from the not-so-successful ideas. For example, while another area developer tore down the Charlotte Convention Center and turned it into the highly anticipated Epicentre, Lazes had already noted that multilevel megaplexes were not turning long-term profits and kept his NC Music Factory grounded.
There was early speculation that the faster moving Epicentre project was what the NC Music Factory had been intended to be, but it didn’t deter Lazes because it simply wasn’t true. This kind of speculation and comparing between the two nightspots seemed to paint a picture of a corporate pissing match, but when asked about the “competition” early on, Lazes humbly shook his head, chuckled, and explained how important it was to have diversity in the entertainment scene. Noah Lazes does not trash talk his competitors, he embraces the opportunity to differentiate. That in and of itself makes himself and his team unique.
As the Epicentre falls deeper into financial woes, NC Music Factory remains debt free. ARK Management leases the space out to tenants who are generally sound debtwise as well. “I’m not a fan of debt.” , Lazes says frankly. Earlier into his career, worked hard to turn profits – and believes that only a business owner that has lost his money can fully comprehend and put to use the drive to succeed at future ventures.
He also doesn’t forget those he meets along the way….and it’s probably safe to assume they don’t forget him either. Lazes is an amazing communicator. He’ll tell you about his friends like Jeff (as in Gordon), people he’s met like Michael (as in Jordan) ,and Bill (as in Clinton) while telling you an amusing anecdote about being punctual complete with funny accent. Raised the son of a concert promoter, he has met countless A-listers, but admits he was starstruck by Mick (that would be Jagger). The whole time he’s telling you this, you’re still hearing that slight accent, you’re laughing at his jokes, and you don’t feel like you’re sitting next to an industry king. But you are.
Noah Lazes isn’t a look-at-me kind of guy, he simply takes care of business. He follows his own formula and, still in his 30’s has kicked ass professionally. He doesn’t “go with the flow” and isn’t an instant gratification kind of businessman. The NC Music Factory has come a long way, but is still young…constantly growing…still evolving and perhaps favoring historical supply and demand. What is hot today is often not tomorrow, and it’s obvious that Lazes has figured out the winning formula based on his most recent triumps.
Since graduating with a civil engineering degree from UNC Charlotte in 1993, Lazes’ contributions to the Charlotte entertainment and social scene included a Fat Tuesday’s bar/restaurant, World MardiGras until CityFair discontinued its run, Raceworld USA, and a decade of diligence to NC Music Factory. His company, ARK Management also has a close alliance with Live Nation, an international concert promoter. Live Nation promotes some of the world’s most famous artists including the infamous Lady Gaga and her Monster Ball Tour coming to Time Warner Cable Arena in September.
Lazes and his ARK Management team have put the Queen City on the entertainment map, providing Charlotteans with not just things to do, but experiences and choices. As Charlotte becomes a more notable player in the entertainment industry, new projects and ideas, developments and events are abound. One thing is for certain, Noah Lazes and his team are likely behind the scenes handling it in some aspect…and if they aren’t, we hope that they’re asking….What Would Noah Do?