Another hotel in New York City, The Roosevelt, has announced that it is closing permanently. It becomes the 5th major hotel in this city to give up since COVID became part of our conversations. Mostly high end hotels have been affected so far, but others are sure to follow because the hotel industry has reportedly lost $46 billion since the pandemic began last March.
The Roosevelt has been in business for 96 years. It opened in midtown Manhattan in 1924 and was named for the the man who would become President Roosevelt 9 years later. The Roosevelt was a legendary hotel for an upper income clientele. Several popular films like Men in Black III were shot there. Near Times Square, which has been especially hard hit by the COVID crisis, The Roosevelt was owned by Pakistan International Airlines.
Other New York hotel properties that have gone out of business since last March include the Hilton in Times Square, the Maxwell Hotel, one W New York, and the Omni Berkshire Place. The Hilton was on 42nd Street and had 487 rooms. Its employees numbered 200, so these jobs have been permanently lost unless a miracle happens, like a COVID vaccine. The Maxwell, another high end hotel property, gave up and closed last April. It was the original W Hotel in New York City. There are 3 Ws surviving. The ones at Union Square and in Times Square are still in business. So far. However, the downtown location shut for good on October 13, 2020. The 3rd W Hotel in the area is in Hoboken, NJ. Another hotel casualty in New York City was the Omni Berkshire Place in midtown where the musical Oklahoma was written by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein. The Courtyard by Marriott on West 35th and 5th Avenue has also closed.
The Business Journal reports that 20% of New York City’s hotel rooms might go away before the pandemic eases. That’s about 25,000 rooms. And New York City might not be the only city affected. I wrote about the new St. Jane Chicago replacing the Hard Rock Hotel on Michigan Avenue in my last published blog. Chicago’s legendary Palmer House is threatened with foreclosure. Chicago’s 2nd largest hotel, the Palmer House has defaulted on a more than $333 million mortgage but still may survive.