Ian Schrager’s decadent hotel in New York’s Times Square is closing just over one year after it opened due to financial issues causes by the pandemic.
The news comes as the drops in business during the pandemic resulted in a cash shortfall that put the hotel’s developer Maefield Development in default of its contract with Marriott International, according to the report.
It added that the pandemic exacerbated financial difficulties the 452-room hotel was already facing – in December 2019 a group of lenders led by Natixis SA tried to foreclose on the project after issues with payments from Maefield.
Closing Public hotel temporarily was “an agonising decision” says Schrager
The Times Square Edition had been temporarily closed since late March when New York governor Andrew Cuomo placed the entire state on “pause” and ordered all non-essential businesses to shut.
Along with The Times Square Edition, this impacted Schrager’s other hotels including the Herzog and de Meuron-designed Public. At the time, Schrager said the temporary closure of his Public hotel was “one of the hardest things” he has had to do in his career.
“This has been an agonising decision for me and one of the hardest things I have had to do in my entire career,” said Schrager. “Not only because it is against everything I personally believe in, but because staying open to serve our guests is in our DNA and what we live for.”
“However, in this case, closing is the only ethical, moral and humane thing to do in order to contain this illness and protect everybody.”
Hotel industry “severely affected by the global crisis”
Hotels across the globe have also been affected by coronavirus lockdown measures.
“Our industry has been severely affected by the global crisis,” Ace Hotel said when the brand closed all its global outposts in early April.
“We’re assessing the situation in real-time as it relates to our other properties, and will be updating any announcements on our websites,” it added.
“This decision was difficult, emotional, and one we took very seriously, knowing the acute impact it will have on our teams.”
Coronavirus lockdown measures are gradually easing elsewhere in the US, allowing hotels to reopen. The Santa Monica Proper Hotel in California is expected to reopen tomorrow, while regions in the New York State are slowly reopening as they meet targets.
The city will currently remain on pause until 25 May.
The Times Square Edition designed by Yabu Pushelberg
It is yet to be seen if the hotel business can and will return to normal following the pandemic. UK architecture studio The Manser Practice has outlined how hotels will be adapted to allow social distancing when they reopen, and how future designs will be impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Designed by Yabu Pushelberg, The Times Square Edition was the latest outpost of the Edition chain that Schrager launched with Marriott International, following other locations in London, Miami and Hawaii.
It included a series of public spaces alongside the hotel, such as the Paradise Club nightclub and performance venue inspired by Schrager’s infamous Studio 54 nightclub, restaurants and outdoor terraces.
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