Monthly Archives: April 2021

The Best Job I Ever Had


Yesterday on the ABC television network, the entire day was devoted to programming of the Academy Awards.  This is always one of the most coveted days of the year for me, having grown up in the entertainment business and living in Beverly Hills.  I love the stories and the glitz and glamour.  The dresses!!  The hair, the make-up, the shoes! 

This year is especially exciting since the Academy Museum is opening, honoring the legend and legacy of Hollywood films.  I am completely humbled and honored to have conducted the market and financial feasibility study for the museum, as it underwent many twists and turns on its road to being born.  This is a re-blog of an article I wrote in 2018 and I think it is appropriate today.

“About 16 years ago, I got a call from a perspective client, a newly hired director from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, asking if I would be interested in conducting some market research for a new attraction/museum themed on the Academy Awards.  Would I?!?!  I had been the one lucky enough to do the work for the Dolby Theater at Hollywood & Highland where the ceremony takes place, so it seemed a good fit and logical that I continue on to do the museum feasibility.  But my joy, my heart, for Hollywood, no one knew that!  My family had always been in the entertainment business, with my father tangentially involved on the business side, having been a pioneer in the cable television industry.   And my aunt was always working for this or that movie star as an executive assistant.  I was lucky enough to visit the backlot of 20th Century Fox before it was Century City!  I spent countless hours watching movies being filmed, then sitting in theaters watching them roll by me on the big screen. 

Would I be interested?  Heck, yea!!

Since that time, I have been the consultant called upon to do the background market research, analysis and financial projections for the site selection, sizing and operation of museum.  I learned a thing or two during those years.  I gained a deep knowledge of large museums and what keeps them thriving; I learned how an endowment can shrink during a deflation; I learned that money earmarked to never-be-touched has a way of disappearing in hard times.  And I learned about the conundrum of keeping things fresh so that resident visitors will keep returning time and again.  I am thankful that my job always changes and that I always learn, no matter the engagement.

Over the years, we have wrestled with all the issues associated with new development including disagreements about what it should look like, what its mission should be, where it should be sited, who is its targeted audience (please don’t say everyone!), and what’s the best way to keep the project on-time and on-budget.  To be clear, these issues are complex and are made more difficult when there are many masters to serve.  Still, when the project is to reflect the points of view, hopes, dreams, and legacies of America’s most important cultural export, cinema, careful consideration must be given to each one. “


Sex, Drugs and Rock n’ Roll – All Over Again!

Last week’s Sunday New York Times reported that as more adults over 50 are vaccinated, and as new rules from the CDC emerge, the renaissance of Boomers leisure-fun times are loosening prohibitions in social behavior.

This market segment is still huge!  Currently, approximately 74 million Americans make up the Boomer category, (57 to 75 years), which is approximately 22% of the U.S. population:

Age Range  Population
55-59 21.9
60-64 20.6
65-69 17.5
70-74 14
Total 74.o
Source:  U. S. Census Bureau, Statistica & JB Research Company

Many Boomers are still affluent.  According to the most current U.S. Census, “Current Population Census 2020,” households in the 55 to 64 group earn $91,687 annually.  This compares to the national median of $86,631. 

Age Range Median Household Income
45-54 $105,047
55-64 $91,687
65-74 $74,71
U.S. Overall $86,631
Source: U. S. Census Bureau 2020, Current Population Census and JB Research Company

Further, Boomers as a whole are the top earners among United States households.  They own 53.2% ($59.96 trillion) of US wealth.  That’s twice the $28.5 trillion that Gen X holds and 10 times more than Millennials, who hold just 4.6% ($5.19 trillion) of US wealth, as reported by Bloomberg, citing recent Federal Reserve data.

Now, with almost 50% of Americans 65 and over fully vaccinated, older Americans are traveling, attending parties, going to bars and hosting dinner parties.  They are sitting by their swimming pools with friends, drinking fruity cocktails and premium wine, and exploring the world once again. 

Besides foretelling what’s to come when all Americans who wish to get a vaccine have received one, this party-hearty attitude could signal a roaring 20-ish kind of atmosphere for the foreseeable future.  Airline travel is up; retail sales and nonfarm payrolls increased by 379,000 workers in February; and the unemployment rate was 6.2%. Most of the hiring came in the hospitality sector, which saw 355,000 new jobs.  This segment is roaring back!   The national Retail Federation predicts that 2021 retail sales – excluding automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants – will grow between 6.5% and 8.2% over 2020 to between $4.3 trillion and $4.4 trillion. That could top 2020’s growth of 6.7% (despite the pandemic), which broke the previous record of 6.3% set in 2004. 

My husband and I are fully vaccinated.  We have seen our grandkids a bunch of times now including visiting poolside on a family vacation.