W Hotel in downtown Manhattan closes forever
The 217-key establishment will lay off 137
The W Hotel in downtown Manhattan is the latest to close its doors for good.
The 217-key hotel at 8 Albany Street, which boasts suites with walk-in rainforest showers and reflective snakeskin tiles, will shut down Oct. 13, Bisnow reported. According to a notice filed with the state by Starwood Company & Resorts, 137 hotel workers will be let go.
Hotels have been devastated by the coronavirus. The industry saw dismal occupancy rates in March before a slight rebound after many establishments closed, but rates nationally have stalled in July.
In New York City, occupancy levels — which do not take into account closed hotels — have fallen for six straight weeks after ticking up in May. And hotels that are open are earning less than usual — revenue per available room fell nationally by 3.3 percent, to $44.67 from $46.21, week-over-week.
Hotels have looked for alternatives as the pandemic has brought travel to a near halt. In New York City, ritzy hotels housed medical staff and non-critical patients in the height of the coronavirus outbreak in March and April. After an outcry from homeless advocates and health experts, the New York city government moved thousands of homeless persons living in congregate shelters into hotel rooms. That has had some unintended consequences in Midtown.
The re-envisioning of hotel space in New York City could take several paths. New York University was scouting for additional dorm space as it prepared for classes in the fall, while one Midtown hotel that closed in June hinted that it was ripe for conversion to office space. [Bisnow] — Georgia Kromrei