Known around Manhattan as the "go-to" guru for New York events, celebrity event planner and hospitality consultant Arthur F. Backal has in the course of his two decades in the industry managed more than 20 event spaces in New York, and has consulted and participated in the development of new hotels, restaurants and event spaces around the world. In an innovative management strategy unique to the hospitality arena, Backal has several branches - Backal Hospitality Group which now includes Apella, an Alexandria Event Space, TBar Restaurant; Event Management Firm State of the Art Enterprises, the Mandarin Oriental New York Hotel, VERSA Restaurant and Rooftop, and recently opened CNVS, a Midtown West Event Space - through which to imprint his unique vision onto the hospitality landscape, a "ringmaster" with a multi-ring operation. .
Backal has for many years enjoyed a reputation as one of New York's most experienced and talented food and beverage professionals, as well as an unparalleled artist in the arena of special events. He launched his own hospitality company, Backal Hospitality Group (BHG), serving as a vehicle through which to implement his hotel, restaurant and lifestyle projects, while his thriving event management firm, State of the Art Enterprises, Inc., has since its 2002 premiere provided Backal with a personal creative event outlet - stamped with his innovative, signature style.
Appointed Consulting Director of Catering for the Mandarin Oriental's New York flagship hotel in February 2003, Backal was credited by The New York Times for the enormous success of the Mandarin, as many of his high-end clientele followed him to his new venue.
Backal’s event and conference center Apella, is a collaboration between Backal Hospitality Group, Alexandria Real Estate Equities and Riverpark, a Tom Colicchio Restaurant. The Event and Conference Center offers ten thoughtfully designed private rooms that accommodate up to 300 guests, unprecedented contemporary interiors and expansive river views.
Backal was brought on as the Managing Partner of all Food & Beverage operations at the Renaissance New York Midtown Hotel which included a rebranding of the restaurant, VERSA, as well as a fully Private Events Floor has allowed Backal to bring a new level of professionalism to this unique project inspired by its Garment District location. Backal has brought his lifestyle vision to these outlets which include an 8,000 square foot rooftop.
Backal’s most recent venture as the Owner of CNVS, and all-in-one guest experience. Located just a few steps from Times Square, in one of New York City’s most sought-after and emerging neighborhood by the Hudson River, it’s blank canvas turns any vision into life. His top level event professionals provide a dedicated team for full event support and innovative food & beverage offerings. One of the few event spaces with a large video mapping wall with onsite technicians.
The native New Yorker graduated from the Hotel and Restaurant Program at Michigan State University, and worked from the onset of his career with some of New York's most renowned hoteliers - from Leona Helmsley at The Palace to Donald and Ivana Trump at The Plaza. He was in charge of the re-opening of the majestic St. Regis, overseeing the entire food and beverage operations, and was also credited with restoring The Pierre to its legendary grandeur during his time there as director of catering. Stints at The Waldorf-Astoria and The Rainbow Room rounded out his successful career.
"I thrive on discovering new niches, opportunities, and ways of creating new venues, properties and events that no one else has thought of - it's what I've always done, and I put tremendous passion and energy into it," says Backal.
"I also have the most accomplished and creative people working with me in each of these ventures," he adds. "The chance to integrate these diverse resources and pools of talent is remarkable and unprecedented in the hospitality industry. It's really all about creating result oriented teams, trusting them, and fusing them together whenever the opportunity arises."
Despite his busy schedule, Backal still makes time to be an active and caring member of the community. He is a leading philanthropist for several major charities including FARE (Food Allergy Research Education), City Harvest, Robin Hood, Navy Seal Foundation, Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation and several others.
Dividing their time between Manhattan and Brookville, New York, Arthur and his wife Liana enjoy spending their "down" time as a family with Amanda Backal and Liana's sons Robby & Cory. Arthur believes, strongly, that you cannot produce the very best for any client unless you know intrinsically what the very best is - from anywhere in the world.