Avalon renting premises to become profitable again
Nightclub Avalon, which rents out its premises to companies to hold events, claims it has cleared most of its debts
What is happening to mega nightclub Avalon?
When it opened on one of the floating crystal pavilions at Marina Bay Sands in 2011, it was touted as one of the big names in the clubbing scene, with its Hollywood branch popular among celebrities.
When The New Paper visited Avalon last week, its signage had been replaced by French luxury fashion brand Louis Vuitton's.
Louis Vuitton is holding its Series 3 Exhibition in Avalon's premises till Dec 23.
When TNP contacted Avalon's director, Mr Peter Coney, he said that the nightclub was still in operation, but its premises would be rented out to companies that want to hold events there.
He said that this is so that Avalon would not make losses for the remainder of the 10-year lease that it had signed with Marina Bay Sands.
The Australian, who came on board in late 2012, told TNP that his goal was to make Avalon profitable again after it went into the red.
He said it has been trying to pay off creditors.
Mr Coney claimed that Avalon is not making losses, thanks to the new way it is being marketed.
"We have partnered with other organisers and held events such as pole dance night and belly dancing night," he said.
"We have also rented out Avalon's premises to other companies to hold their events and we will continue doing so.
"Following the Louis Vuitton exhibition, Avalon will be reinstated next month."
Mr Coney said the newly refurbished Avalon will be very different from what patrons of the old Avalon were used to.
He declined to give details on its transformation, adding that it would be a surprise.
When asked to respond to allegations that Avalon owes unpaid salaries and unpaid dues, he said: "We have asked the people who are owed money to accept a payment plan.
"We needed time to make back the money and pay them.
"Those who were not patient, like TurningPoint Solutions, took us to court and we lost.
"The company did not understand that we couldn't have dragged the cash out of nowhere."
He claimed that he and accountant Andy Yap have cleaned up around two-thirds of Avalon's debt.
As for unpaid wages, Mr Coney claimed that he was unaware of any such case.
He urged those who claim Avalon owes them wages to contact Mr Yap so that they can sort the matter out.
We have also rented Avalon's premises to other companies to hold their events and will continue doing so.
- Avalon's director Peter Coney
Companies try to claim $1.5m
At least 14 lawsuits have been filed against Avalon's owner, Crystal Pavilion Marina Production.
According to court documents, the total amount of money that the plaintiffs are suing the company for is more than $1.5 million.
One of the plaintiffs is business events and live communications agency TurningPoint Solutions.
In August, the court ordered the defendant, Crystal Pavilion Marina Production, to pay TurningPoint Solutions $26,883.83.
TurningPoint Solutions' director Peter Pecotic told The New Paper: "Our Singapore office entered into a contractual relationship with Crystal Pavilion Marina Production (CPMP) in April 2013, providing services including marketing, business development and business event execution.
"One example was a particular multinational company awards dinner with around 1,500 guests.
"These events were executed outside of normal nightclub operating hours."
Mr Pecotic said Avalon stopped paying its dues around September 2013, but they continued working together on Avalon's assurance that it would pay up in due course. But the promise never materialised.
Mr Pecotic said his company ceased working for Avalon in January last year.
In September last year, he engaged a lawyer who formally commenced legal proceedings and issued demand letters to CPMP.
"After we received judgment in August, our lawyers, under our instruction, had applied to garnish one of CPMP's bank accounts in September and found that said account to be empty."
Mr Pecotic said that taking action against CPMP has taken up a lot of his time and energy, but he is going to pursue it as a matter of principle.
"We have always found Singapore a safe and great place to do business.
"We believe it beneficial both to our company and the greater Singapore business community that they (CPMP) are held to account."
There were also allegations of unpaid wages.
A man, who asked to remain anonymous, claimed that he had wage problems since 2014.
He said: "I have not taken legal action against Avalon yet because the lawyer's fees may amount to more than what I am owed."