Roosevelt Hotel, New York, Pakistan, PIA

PIA’s Roosevelt Hotel in New York to shut permanently from Oct 31

The Roosevelt Hotel, a Pak­istani possession in the heart of Manhattan, announced on Thursday it would shut its doors on guests permanently on Oct 31.

“Due to the current economic impacts, after almost 100 years of welcoming guests to The Grand Dame of New York, The Roosevelt Hotel, is regretfully closing its doors permanently as of Oct 31, 2020,” the announcement said.

A hotel spokesperson, when asked for comments, said: “Yes, it is closing down as announced on the website.” Asked why, she said: “Email your questions and we will respond.”

The message on the website said that the hotel was “working on alternative accommodations” for guests with future reservations.

“We have been honoured to serve alongside our wonderful staff and to be a part of our many guests’ and clients’ lives and celebrations, who have graced us over these past nine decades,” the hotel said.

“We have enjoyed being as much a part of our guests’ stories as we have been an integral part of the history of Midtown Manhattan since 1924.”

Officially, the Pakistan Embassy is referring all inquiries about the hotel to PIA, which owns the hotel. “We have not been informed yet,” an embassy spokesman said.

Reports, however, say that the PIA still owned the property as the building had not been sold.

“The hotel has been closed like other hotels in the area because the coronavirus pandemic has almost killed the hotel industry,” one such source said.

The sources explained that the building was still valued at more than a billion dollars. “Pakistan now has two options, sell it or convert it into a condominium like other Manhattan hotels hit by Covid-19,” another source said.

In July 2020, the Cabinet Committee on Privatisation (CCoP) decided against privatising the hotel and to run it through a joint venture instead.

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