The Tasting Panel magazine

Oct 09

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Page 59 of 92

october 2009 / the tasting panel /  59 The Gibson Amphitheatre at Universal Studios introduces Ultimat vodka to its top-shelf outlets For the past 13 years, Al Camuso has been the force behind the food and beverage program for Universal Studios, including the Gibson Amphitheatre and several properties on City Walk. L ive Nation has transformed the concert business. The mega-group (www.livena- is the world's largest produc- er of live concerts, owning and operating many of its own venues—45 amphitheatres and 35 clubs—in which a stunning 22,000 events are staged annually. One of the company's landmark venues in Southern California is the Gibson Amphithe- atre at Universal Studios, open all year long and averaging 5,500 to 6,000 seats for each superstar-studded show. While Live Nation books and operates the am- phitheatre, Al Camuso, who works for Universal Studios, oversees the food and beverage program for the busy concert hall. He has recently made his own executive decision in changing out some of the spirit brands at the venue, and in particular has chosen a new top-shelf vodka for his high-volume bars. Camuso has made the Ultimat choice so that his customers can do the same. One of the newest concession areas at the Amphitheatre complex is the Gibson Lounge, a tented open-air space just outside the theatre, where concert-goers can enjoy Southern California's blissful climate. While the lounge offers full-service food and drink, two large monitors and a sound system keep the concert inside alive outside. Ultimat—the luxury Polish vodka made from a blend of potato, wheat and rye (the only vodka on the market that combines all three)—is experienc- ing a string of successes in its celebrity billing at the Gibson. Displayed just above eye level, the stunning gemstone-blue bottle with the crystal top is gaining recognition with an entirely new audience. —Meridith May Star Bar, Revisited photos by Cathy Twigg-Blumel

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