Modeled after Union Internationale des Concierges d’Hôtels (Les Clefs d’Or International)—the international professional organization of hotel concierges—and Les Clefs d’Or USA—its U.S. chapter—the New York City Association of Hotel Concierges Ltd. was established in 1987 as a New York tax-exempt, not-for-profit corporation. Although NYCAHC was not the sole organization to attempt to represent the hotel concierge community in and around New York City, it is the only one to have had the longevity to become the pre-eminent professional organization serving the needs of area concierges.
The concierge profession has its origins in the Middle Ages, when the concierge was a trusted member of the royal staff charged with holding and protecting the keys to the palace. It wasn’t until the 1800s, however, that the concierge became an accepted, permanent component of hotel guest services, as burgeoning ship and rail travel created a growing need for upscale hotels and travel assistance. With a reputation for wisdom when making travel arrangements and information on how to obtain tickets to sold-out performances, as well as an ability to secure last-minute reservations to the best restaurants in town, the concierge quickly became a much-in-demand expert at the world’s better hotels.
Notwithstanding the profession’s long history, concierges only began to become prevalent in modern U.S. hotels during the mid to late 1970s. At the time, few (if any) professional organizations had been established in the United States to serve this growing community. Recognizing a need, a committee of concierges from San Francisco headed by Tom Wolfe (a native New Yorker and later president of NYCAHC) petitioned Les Clefs d’Or International in 1977 to establish a U.S. chapter.
The resulting organization—Les Clefs d’Or USA—committed itself by the mid 1980s to host an international meeting of concierges in Washington, DC in 1987. Given the immensity of this endeavor, concierges throughout the United States found themselves needing to organize to better support this expanding national organization. To that end, during a congress held in New Orleans in 1985, Manny Mulero, Herb Tepper and John Neary volunteered to host a national meeting in New York the following year. With the help of Bruno Brunelli and others, this ad hoc group of New York concierges was able to pull off a successful event, complete with a Broadway show and a gala at Windows on the World in the World Trade Center.
Shortly thereafter, the organizers of this event began to discuss ways to capitalize on the momentum generated in order to formalize a local association of concierges. In early 1987, a committee of five volunteers met at the Essex House to begin planning this new organization, which would officially incorporate as NYCAHC and file for its tax exemption later that year. The committee drew straws to pick its leader, and, with that simple act, John Neary became NYCAHC’s first president.
In 2003, NYCAHC expanded its mission by forming the NYCAHC Charitable Fund, a Section 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization, to enable NYCAHC concierges to give back to the community and to become a more vital part in the continued growth and improvement in the quality of life of the citizens in the New York Metropolitan area. The NYCAHC Charitable Fund itself expanded in 2012 by establishing the NYCAHC Crisis Fund in an effort to better serve NYCAHC concierges experiencing financial hardship from the temporary loss of job or income, involuntary separation or death in the family.
We are extremely proud of NYCAHC’s rich history and all its accomplishments over the last 30+ years.