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Thread: NYC Hotel News

  1. #676
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    Ran away from mom all those years ago ...

    Doesn't mention her in regard to his annual returns to Taiwan ...

    Needs a spanking.

  2. #677
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    Braced for Change with BCRE on Soho's Grand

    July 17, 2008
    by Pete

    The planned hotel (inset) that will rise on the Grand Street site.

    Hotels are the thing to build downtown these days, and developers will go
    to great lengths - and depths - in order to get them up. When digging
    down in this flood-prone corner of Soho massive steel bracing is the
    only way to go. One such project is the glassy BCRE hotel going up on
    Grand Street. Construction here gave the neighbors at 17 Thompson a
    case of the shakes, but DOB sent a message to the developer and things
    soon settled down. This is the same gang from Brack Capital that is
    partnering with architect Peter Poon on a new hotel on West 35th in
    midtown. Not to mention their swell Tiffany jewel box of a condo at
    15 Union Square West. And then there's that mystery project the Brack
    boys have in store for the Bowery. Clearly, BCRE is braced for the future.

    The Grand Street site braced, with Poon's Watts Street Hotel and Trump's condo-tel beyond.

    The BCRE site lies at the edge of what was once the swampy Lispenard Meadows.

    The neighboring building at 17 Thompson, now fully braced.

    Detailed view of steel against brick and mud.

    Looking north across the braced site towards Grand Street.

    The ground is so unstable that even the trees need bracing.

    Everything is braced for the changes Brack hath brought.

    · Braced For Change at 2 Renwick Street [Curbed]
    · More Glass for Soho: Grand Street Hotel First Look! [Curbed]
    · Poon All Over Manhattan [Curbed]


  3. #678
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    Garden Inn Takes Over York Street

    July 22, 2008

    The new Hilton mid-scale hotel, soon to open in Tribeca.

    Imagine the Mega-McSam Empire joining up with Hilton Hotels to make a move
    on the ultra-modern One York condo down in Tribeca. Fear not, that glassy
    playboy pad hasn't fallen to the forces of the self-described party monster
    Sam Chang. What we have here is the soon-to-open Hilton Garden Inn Tribeca
    at 6 York Street, and it comes from the architectural sketch book of the
    ever-busy Gene Kaufman. He gives us six stories of pre-cast brick wrapped
    around 150 guest rooms, plus the ubiquitous business centers, exercise rooms and
    swirling whirlpools. Reportedly this one also has a pool hidden away somewhere.
    Imagine it up top, with direct views of One York's terrific terrace-top pool across
    the way. Now picture partying Sam, with cocktail in hand, calling across to the
    new neighbors lounging behind the bamboo. A tale of two cities, to be continued.

    Gene Kaufman's 6-story hotel for the McSam gang, with One York rising beyond.

    The Garden Inn is one of many new hotels soon to open downtown.

    · Sam Chang, 'Developer of the Year' [Curbed]
    · A (Very Private, Very Expensive) Forest Grows in Tribeca [Curbed]
    · Sam Chang on Sam Chang [Curbed]

    6 york

  4. #679
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    in Limbo


    Former Carter Adviser Leon Charney Building Bryant Park Hotel

    Leon Charney.

    by Dana Rubinstein | July 22, 2008

    Leon Charney, a 69-year-old developer and attorney whose colorful career has included stints as President Jimmy Carter’s foreign policy adviser and convicted spy Jonathan Pollard’s lawyer, and who now moderates a public affairs show called The Leon Charney Report, is building a hotel near Bryant Park.

    Mr. Charney, who had just returned from China when he spoke with The Observer, said he will replace the five-story office building at 120 West 41st Street—now vacant but for the Simply Pasta restaurant on the ground floor—with a $90 million boutique hotel, which will rise “about” 22 floors and contain a bit more than 100 luxury rooms, a spa and a swimming pool.

    Mr. Charney and his partners in Charney-FPG purchased the property last year for $20 million. Charney-FPG also bought nearby 115 West 40th Street last year for $162 million.

    “We’re talking to one of the leading hotels of the world,” said Mr. Charney, when asked who would operate the establishment. He estimated rooms would run between $500 and $550 a night and that the project would be completed within a year and a half.

    It’s quite a cushy endeavor for a man who has spent an unusual amount of time engaged in gritty international intrigue. Press reports from the 1980s place him at President Carter’s side during the Camp David peace talks. And in a Jan. 2, 1990 Jerusalem Post article reported by none other than Wolf Blitzer, Mr. Charney admits to meeting with then P.L.O. leader Yasser Arafat in an effort to, in Mr. Blitzer’s words, “win the release of Israeli soldiers missing or held prisoner in Lebanon.”

    But back to the New York hospitality industry. Is Mr. Charney concerned that the depressed economy will endanger his hotel project? Not a chance.

    “Our location is superb, across the street from the new Bank of America building, next to Bryant Park,” Mr. Charney said. “It’s a prime location.”

    © 2008 Observer Media Group

  5. #680


    Its not good but I can't believe it, that McSam/Kaufmann combo actually is non-offensive, a first.

  6. #681


    August 2008

    Plush hotels stay flush

    New six-star inn to break dry building spell that's been good for hospitality upper tier

    Aby Rosen is planning a new, six-star hotel.

    By Kerry Murtha and Jennifer Karp

    Something rare is coming to Fifth Avenue: a new, six-star hotel. The unnamed hotel, to be built by Aby Rosen's RFR Holding, "is one of the first luxury hotels to be built on Fifth Avenue since the 1920s," said Mark Gordon, a principal and head of Sonnenblick Goldman's U.S. hotel group, which is arranging financing and looking for equity and operational partners for the hotel.

    Six stars represent the highest level of hotel service and amenities, Gordon said.

    The hotel could have as many as 250 rooms, as well as residential and retail components, and will be built at the site of two or three low-rise buildings in the 40s. Gordon declined to name the precise address, and Rosen was unavailable for comment.

    The project breaks a dry spell for Manhattan as a whole. "The last luxury hotel built in Manhattan was the Mandarin Oriental in the Time Warner Center in 2002," Gordon pointed out.

    So while Sam Chang might be putting up budget hotels left and right, a lack of new luxury hotels appears to have insulated the high-end hotel market from the economic slowdown that is eating into the New York City economy.

    According to Smith Travel Research, the average daily room rate for hotels classified in the luxury end of the market towers over the market as a whole, with a rate of $444 versus $268.

    Occupancy rates for luxury hotels are higher. The rate for luxury hotels in the city is 82 percent, down just 1.8 percent from this time last year, according to Smith Travel Research. The overall New York hotel market has a slightly lower occupancy rate of 80 percent.

    A month-to-month comparison finds room rates for New York luxury hotels rose 4 percent from April to May this year, the same increase seen in the overall New York market, according to the latest data available.

    "Traditionally, the luxury market lags behind the overall market in terms of rate increases," said John Fox, senior vice president for PKF Consulting. "But in the last few months the luxury hotel market has been keeping pace and growing at a slightly greater rate than usual."

    Still, the average luxury room rate pales in comparison to what is being charged at the very upper end of the spectrum. At the Four Seasons Hotel, which charges the highest rate in Manhattan, rooms are priced at $1,265 a night. This fall the Mark Hotel, located at 77th Street and Madison Avenue, will open its doors after an extensive renovation of its 118 rooms. Rates start at $1,000 a night.

    At the Robert DeNiro-owned Greenwich Hotel, which claims that none of its 88 rooms are alike, rooms go for $750 a night. A seven-story, 93-unit hotel at 145 Perry Street in the West Village, which is being billed as a "low-key" luxury hotel, has rooms that will start at $500 a night.

    And a $220 million hotel on West 53rd Street, where a branch of the New York Public Library is now housed, is planned for 2011. Its rooms will range from $750 to $2,000 per night.

    Mark Hotel co-owner Izak Senbahar said the expense of building here could be blamed for creating a shortage of high-end hotels.

    Costs to build a luxury hotel in Manhattan range from $800 to $1,000 per square foot, according to Ted Brumleve, a principal at the hospitality consulting firm Warnick + Company. In contrast, the cost of building a lower-budget hotel is around $500 per square foot, he said.

    There are approximately 10,000 new hotel rooms planned for the Manhattan hotel market over the next three years, said Tom McConnell, a senior managing director for Cushman & Wakefield. "In reality only about 5,000 will come to fruition and only a third will fall into the [luxury] category," he said. The new hotels will be evenly distributed between Midtown and Downtown, according to McConnell.

    Market uncertainty has some luxury hotel builders putting their projects on hold. Brumleve said about five of his Manhattan clients with plans to build higher-end hotels in Manhattan have shelved their projects to see what the market brings over the next year.

    Despite the limited luxury inventory, there is no shortage of global hotel brands looking to enter the New York City market, according to Gordon. In fact, international lenders are likely to use the current slowdown to gain market share. Gordon said the city could see more deals similar to the Dubai Investment Group's 2005 blockbuster buy of the Essex House Hotel for $440 million. The property, now called Jumeirah Essex House, became part of a multi-million dollar global hotel and resort business.

    Gordon said his firm has a list of about 25 international hotel brands that would like to be in New York, but he wouldn't name any names.

    © 2008 The Real Deal

  7. #682


    New York Hotel Rates Rocketing Ever Higher

    by Chris Shott | August 12, 2008

    Anna Del Gaizo.

    New data from the city's tourism agency, NYC & Company, indicates that nightly hotel rates shot up to $350 on average in May. That's an increase of $50 from the same time last year.

    Suddenly, the current minimum $249 nightly rate at the dumpy Hotel Pennsylvania (pictured right) doesn't seem quite so steep.

    Tonight, according to, you can also stay at the Paramount, Hilton, New Yorker and Roosevelt hotels for less than $300.

    Book now!

    © 2008 Observer Media Group

  8. #683





    Posted: 5:54 am
    August 27, 2008

    Two big hedge funds, run by billionaires Steven Cohen and David Shaw, tightened their grip on Orient-Express Hotels yesterday in an effort to get the Bermuda-based owner of the famous '21' Club to eventually put itself up for sale.

    The two funds, CR Intrinsic and D.E. Shaw, which own a combined 14.3 percent of Orient's shares, have called for a special meeting so shareholders can vote to collapse the company's dual-class ownership structure, which is standing in the way of a possible takeover.

    In a letter sent to Orient's board of directors on Monday, the funds introduced two proposed changes to the company's bylaws that would essentially eliminate all of its super-voting Class B shares, which are controlled by several members of Orient's board of directors including founder James Sherwood.

    Unlike other dual-class voting structures, the directors who control the Class B shares own less than 1 percent of the company.

    The high-end hotel owner, which counts the Cipriani in Venice among its properties, is expected to fight off the funds by challenging their right to call a special meeting under Bermuda law.

    But if D.E. Shaw and Intrinsic can eliminate the super-voting shares, they will have a stronger hand in pushing Orient to put itself up for sale.

    The company's two largest shareholders, Tata Group of India and Dubai's Jumeirah Assets, have both bid for the company and sources say they remain interested.

    Last September, Dubai made a public offer at $60 a share, but was rebuffed by Orient's management including CEO Paul White.
    Since then, Orient's stock has fallen by nearly 50 percent as takeover prospects diminished and investors fretted about the downturn in consumer spending.

    Shares closed up 1.4 percent to $34.57 yesterday.

    Tata Group, which owns the Taj group of luxury hotels, including The Pierre in New York, also made a bid of around $60 a share but was rebuffed, according to people familiar with the bid. Tata, whose automotive unit recently acquired the Jaguar and Land Rover brands from Ford, is Orient's largest shareholder with an 11.5 percent stake.

    In an effort to get management to the table, Tata tried to strike a strategic alliance with Orient, but was again rejected by management, which also made disparaging remarks about the Taj brand. That prompted Tata's Vice Chairman R.K. Krishna Kumar to demand a public apology.

    Orient then called the move "bizarre."

    In May, White said there had been no recent discussions between the company and Tata.

    D.E. Shaw and Intrinsic said in their letter that if the board does not proceed to convene the shareholder meeting within 21 days, the members of the group intend to hold the meeting.

    They also said they plan to solicit proxies in favor of the resolutions to collapse the dual-class ownership structure.

    Copyright 2008NYP Holdings, Inc.

  9. #684


    Sam Chang-Affiliated Chelsea Holiday Inn Trades for $66 M.

    by Dana Rubinstein | September 1, 2008

    Sheesan Hotel LLC, an affiliate of economy hotel tycoon Sam Chang, has sold the new Holiday Inn Manhattan Hotel in Chelsea for $66 million to a Rhode Island-based hospitality group, according to records uploaded on Friday to a city Web site.

    The buyer, MMG-26 LLC, affiliated with Magna Hospitality Group, closed on the 23-story, 226-room hotel, at 121 West 26th Street, on June 30.
    This isn't the first time Mr. Chang has sold property to Magna. This year alone, he sold the Rhode Island firm 8 Stone Street in the Financial District, 60 West 36th Street and 231 East 43rd Street.

    These sales appear to be part of an effort by Mr. Chang to restructure his assets to better weather the economic downturn. In April, Mr. Chang told Crain's New York Business, "The tightening credit market is slowing me down."

    Sheesan purchased the West 26th Street site in 2005 for $9.1 million.

    © 2008 Observer Media Group,

  10. #685


    Now this is the kind of Architecture that puts a smile on my face!

    Soho's Crosby Street Hotel Revealed

    Click the image above to view the full photogallery.

    It's been nearly two years since we confirmed the new Crosby Street Hotel rising at the edge of Soho at 79 Crosby Street, and now we can show everyone what will cover this swank and comfy addition to the New York hospitality scene located across the street from Kelly Ripa & friends. In keeping with the industrial history of the neighborhood the new building is a case of simple brick and glass and stone at the base, with nothing too fancy on the outside. What the hoteliers want for the inside, though, is a different story. Due to manufacturing district zoning regulations, the developers have to jump through some bureaucratic hoops before they're allowed particulars like lobbies and restaurants and bars. So, to work out any potential kinks, the SoHo Alliance arranged a meeting between hotel reps and some Crosby Street neighbors, an account of which follows.

  11. #686

    Default Checking in with Bobby D.

    September 2008

    Checking in with Bobby D.

    Robert De Niro expands real estate empire with new Nobu mixed-use developments

    Robert De Niro

    By Adam Piore

    The Raging Bull of the cinema is turning into the Godfather, or maybe Goodfella, of real estate.

    In recent years, Robert De Niro has developed a global profile among foodies through his partnership in the Nobu restaurant chain. Along with celebrity chef Nobu Matsuhisa, managing partner Richard Notar and producer Meir Teper, De Niro has opened some 31 different restaurants in 16 different cities around the world, including Hong Kong, London, Tokyo, Milan and Mykonos.

    Now De Niro and his partners want to leverage their brand by creating Japanese-themed developments with chichi hotels and residences throughout Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa, among other places. It's an extension of a long-running interest in real estate for the Academy Award-winning actor.

    The first of the new luxury, mixed-used developments is slated to open in the Herzliya Marina, the "Riviera" of Israel's Mediterranean Coast, in 2010. And Downtown developer Kent Swig recently announced he will build a Nobu development in New York City at 45 Broad Street in the Financial District. The project will include a 62-story glass tower that will house a 128-room, five-star hotel, 77 luxury condos and a Nobu restaurant.

    Swig is the sole owner of the development site and the building. De Niro and his partners will manage the 128-room hotel and have a long-term lease on the Nobu restaurant, Swig said.

    "It's a logical extension for them," said Swig of the new developments. "Sushi restaurants are the most complicated to run, because everything has to be just right. They already have an accounting system, which is huge, and massive human resources. They do everything in the hospitality business now, except, frankly, making beds. And that's pretty easy to do."

    De Niro declined to be interviewed for this article. But the Nobu hotels are just the latest additions to the burgeoning real estate empire he has been building for two decades in New York, which has been largely centered in Tribeca. He first hit the local real estate scene with the Tribeca Grill. (He still reportedly owns a 30 percent stake in the venture.) In the 1990s, he also began using a Delaware company called Guess Again Realty to buy and sell condos at 100 Hudson Street, according to property records reviewed by the New York Daily News.

    Now, nearly 20 years later, his first hotel project — the 88-room Greenwich Hotel in, of course, Tribeca — has opened, with nightly rates beginning at an eye-popping $625.

    The hotel, which premiered April 1, hit some well-publicized speed bumps. The restaurant received a scathing review from New York Times critic Frank Bruni after staffers spilled wine on his date and kept him waiting almost an hour for a table. Meanwhile, De Niro was forced to appear at a hearing before the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission after preservationists complained that the hotel's rooftop suite did not match the design they approved in 2004.

    Still, by most accounts, the hotel and restaurant have been packed and are generating the kind of celebrity buzz De Niro has enjoyed since launching Tribeca Grill. Among the celebrity sightings, dutifully recorded in tabloid gossip pages: Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson, Ed Burns and Christy Turlington, and Mary-Kate Olsen, among others.

    "From what we're hearing in talking with people down there, the property is doing very well," said Eric Lewis, managing director of Cushman & Wakefield's hospitality and gaming group.

    Throughout his career, De Niro has leveraged his Hollywood name to draw attention to his projects. But he's also been careful to add to that brand by backing projects that target high-end markets and trade on Hollywood-style, velvet-rope exclusivity.

    In 2005, he and a partner developed the Loft Residences at 116 Hudson Street, a five-unit condo development with 4,000 square feet of retail space. The pair had purchased an existing building and an adjacent lot, and merged the two to create double-wide, full-floor lofts, shelling out some $14 million to develop the property.

    The design, which integrated the old and the new with a glass curtain wall façade, won architecture awards, said the exclusive sales agent on that development, Sean Turner, executive vice president of Stribling & Associates. The lofts quickly sold out, with the top property breaking a record for a non-doorman penthouse at the time when it sold for $5.2 million.

    Turner has since resold two of the condos at a 20 percent premium, she said.

    "He's a magic name, and he backs it up with real vision and real taste," Swig noted.

    That name seems to be carrying the same weight in Israel, where his project is in the works.

    "Robert De Niro in Israel is highly regarded," added Danny Rubinstein, a British developer and investor in the new project. "I think Nobu, associated with Robert De Niro, has sex appeal."

    Family in the business

    Glitz and glamour are not the only advantages De Niro brings to the table: He's also got real estate in his blood. Perhaps that is what is driving a man who has already made millions to expand his second career.

    De Niro's uncle, Jack, has been in the business for 45 years, beginning in commercial in the early 1960s, and then founding the residential brokerage firm JC De Niro, which now has offices in New York and Florida.

    "I have three daughters, all three of whom I license," Jack De Niro told The Real Deal. "Lauren is my granddaughter, and she works with my daughter Linda, who also does real estate in New York and Florida."

    Robert De Niro's son, Raphael, meanwhile, is an up-and-coming broker at Prudential Douglas Elliman, where he runs his own group specializing in upscale apartments. He will serve as the exclusive agent on a number of the Nobu Residences around the world.

    He also declined to be interviewed for this article, but in past interviews, Raphael has played up the family real estate connection.

    "Most people don't know this, but my grandparents on my father's side were key pioneers of Soho real estate," he told The Real Deal in 2006. "They were bohemian artists from the Village, and they were some of the first to convert commercial warehouses to live/work spaces Downtown."

    As a child, Raphael recalled, his grandmother taught him that "all great fortunes rest upon real estate."

    Looking ahead

    British developer Rubinstein said De Niro has been taking an active role in planning for the opening of the first Nobu Hotel. For the last nine months, the group has been holding regular design meetings with the Rockwell Group, which is designing the hotel, and the other partners on the project.

    Along with Rubinstein, De Niro and his Nobu partners, other investors on the Israel project are Adi and Irit Strauss of the Strauss Group, a family-owned food and beverage company with more than $1 billion in annual sales, and the Tidhar Group, a real estate development firm than has built more than 11,000 residential units in Israel and Eastern Europe.

    De Niro has given a lot of input on "the design, on the atmosphere and on the furniture," Rubinstein said.

    "When somebody walks into the Nobu hotel, they [will] know that they are in a Nobu hotel. It's the atmosphere, it's the food, it's everything about it."

    Rubinstein said each unit will have a lounge, and each bedroom will have a "signature item" and look to it, using different kinds of fabrics and colors, and will include handcrafted finishings. The residences will offer expansive terraces with sweeping views of the Mediterranean Sea.

    The pool area, Rubinstein added, will have "very exclusive cabanas"; the bar will include waterfalls and be "very, very creative." De Niro, he said, had pushed hard for those types of touches at the design meetings, and may even have suggested the waterfalls and cabanas. The restaurateurs, meanwhile, are working on a Nobu breakfast.

    "Israel doesn't have a Gramercy [hotel]. This is the first boutique hotel ever built in Israel. It's got a very strong name. I think it is just going to generate a tremendous buzz about it, it's going to be very popular," he said.

    The project came about when Rubinstein had a meeting with De Niro and his partners, and accompanied them on a trip to Abu Dhabi to look at the most recent addition to the Nobu chain, a property being developed in Dubai by Sol Kerzner, chairman of the board of Kerzner International, which runs the Sun City Resort in South Africa, Atlantis in the Bahamas, and the Mohegan Sun casino.

    "Originally we were talking about opening up a Nobu restaurant, and they said they were going to go into hotel and restaurants, and I said how about doing this as one of your first properties?" Rubinstein said. "They didn't plan on doing it in Israel, but they saw a good relationship, saw good properties, and they knew we would use David Rockwell, and that was critical to them," Rubinstein said.

    "Generally what Robert De Niro wants is a 'wow' effect."

    How the empire began

    Robert De Niro's real estate empire started in the 1980s, when the actor was living Downtown near Drew Nieporent's restaurant Montrachet. To hear the celebrity restaurateur tell it, De Niro would come in and "sit at the last table with his back to the restaurant," to preserve his anonymity.

    In an interview last year with a television reporter, Nieporent recalled that the actor took him aside one day, and suggested the two of them open a restaurant in an abandoned warehouse down the street. The pair walked over to Greenwich and Franklin.

    "I tried to elicit from De Niro what his ideas were, and he couldn't quite articulate exactly what his ideas were, and I got a sense that if I led it a little bit, 'do you like this place, or this place?' And it evolved from there," Nieporent said.

    The Tribeca Grill opened in 1990 to widespread acclaim for its food and massive buzz for its celebrities. After that success, De Niro took on other ventures like buying the Tribeca Cinemas, which has three screening rooms and two bars. He holds a 50 percent stake in that Varick Street venue. And, he's also the big name behind the famed Tribeca Film Festival, which he started after the 2001 World Trade Center attacks.

    De Niro's initiatives, said Jeffrey Roseman, a principal at Newmark Knight Frank, turned the neighborhood "from a sleepy no-name area to one of the hottest markets in the country."

    The Tribeca Grill "was sort of a celebrity place, and I think people wanted to check it out and understand it," Roseman said. "But it turns out he was truly vigilant about helping the area. He was there all the time. I think he did it because he liked the area. He wasn't a real estate speculator, and it worked for him."

    Nieporent remembered De Niro as mostly hands-off when it came to the details, occasionally weighing in on design.

    "We put the bar in when we were still in construction, and he said, 'I think it's too high, I think you have to bring it down an inch,'" he said. "There are times when I will sort of compromise to idiosyncratic things like that."

    "Over the years, he will call when he is upset about something; rarely will he call me when he is happy about something."

    It's De Niro's ability to wheel and deal Hollywood-style that has won him the most plaudits from associates.

    At Tribeca Grill, De Niro recruited a syndicate of investors that included Bill Murray, Sean Penn, Lou Diamond Phillips, dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov and rap impresario Russell Simmons, ensuring hype that "was excessive," according to Nieporent.

    "He certainly was the catalyst for putting all of this together, and Nobu, he deserves all the credit for that, too," he added.

    © 2008 The Real Deal

  12. #687

    Default Hotel Occupancy Rates Soar in August

    Hotel Occupancy Rates Soar in August

    by Chris Shott | September 25, 2008

    Michael McDonough.
    The New Yorker, 481 Eighth Avenue.

    New York City hotels last month benefited from the highest average occupancy rate in four years, according to the latest figures from NYC & Company.

    The city's tourism office reported an average occupancy rate of 92.4 percent in August. The average daily rate edged upward about a buck from July to $285.84.

    That's $20 higher than in August 2007, but still about $40 less than this past June, when a typical night cost $325.94.

    Hotel rates should only increase over the next several months, as the city's various lodges hit peak travel season.

    Last September, the average overnight stay cost $340.33. Rates last November and December hovered around $370.

    © 2008 Observer Media Group,

  13. #688

    Default Hotel Stocks Drop--Will Room Rates Follow?

    Hotel Stocks Drop--Will Room Rates Follow?

    by Chris Shott
    September 30, 2008

    Morgans, 237 Madison Avenue.

    So much for the hotel boom.

    The AP is reporting that shares of hospitality companies are tanking amid a gloomy outlook for travel in 2009.

    New York-based companies Morgans Hotel Group and Starwood Hotel & Resorts were among those with the steepest declines during the Dow's overall 777-point freefall on Monday:
    Starwood shares dropped $3.39, or 11.2 percent, to $26.88 in afternoon trading, after touching a 5-year low of $25.95 earlier in the session. Morgans Hotel shares lost $1.61, or 12.9 percent, to $10.83.

    How will the financial crisis impact the city's ever-higher tourism projections? Will less demand for rooms trigger a drop in skyrocketing hotel rates?

    Stay tuned.

    © 2008 Observer Media Group

  14. #689
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    in Limbo


    McSams, watch out! Let's hope their crummy, ugly hotels will suffer the most.

  15. #690


    October 07. 2008 2:30PM

    Renaissance Hotel puts Times Sq. bash on eBay

    Bids to use its dining room on New Year’s Eve must top $150,000.

    Lisa Fickenscher

    The Renaissance New York Hotel Times Square is looking for people who like to party -- and who are willing to pay to do so.

    Next week, the Marriott-owned hotel will put the right to use its third-floor restaurant on New Year’s Eve up for grabs on auction Web site The minimum bid? $150,000.

    The idea was born early this year and management decided to press ahead with it despite the sinking economy. “The timing is obviously not ideal,” conceded general manager Thomas Foti. “But we’re thinking that someone from overseas might be interested.”

    To sweeten the deal the hotel will help the winning bidder overcome any guilt pangs by pledging to donate 25% of the bid to the Amazona Sustainable Foundation, which helps to protect the rain forest.

    Bidding opens Oct. 15 and will continue for 10 days. If the hotel doesn’t get its asking price, it will take the eatery off the market and do what it has always done, sell reservations to individuals for more than $1,000 a pop. Last year, the property took in approximately $100,000 from revelers who wanted to have a birds-eye view of Times Square when the ball dropped.

    The Renaissance recently completed a $17.5 million renovation. As part of its makeover the hotel revamped the restaurant, giving it a new menu and name: Chop Suey. The Korean cuisine, however, wasn’t a big hit. So this week it scrapped Chop Suey and renamed the eatery as Two Times Square (after the property’s address), and switched the cuisine to contemporary American.

    “Ultimately, Chop Suey wasn’t approachable for the customers that we see in this area,” Mr. Foti said. “If they didn’t have a taste for Southeast Asian food, we were knocked off the map.”

    © 2008 Crain Communications,

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