An iconic fixture in the landscape of Midtown Manhattan, The Roosevelt Hotel will soon join the growing list of New York City businesses to shutter amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
A spokesperson for the hotel confirmed its impending closure Saturday citing low occupancy since the start of the pandemic in March. Reuters reports the hotels last day of operation is scheduled for Oct. 31.
“Due to the current, unprecedented environment and the continued uncertain impact from COVID-19, the owners of The Roosevelt Hotel have made the difficult decision to close the hotel and the associates were notified this week,” a statement from the hotel read.
Roughly 500 people were employed by the hotel when management issued furloughs back in March, according to the states Department of Labor. Employees say they received notice of the upcoming closure on Friday, many who’s last day will be Oct. 17.
“It’s sad, right now we’re about to reach our centennial in a couple of years. This is like an icon of New York,” said employee Jaime Lopez.
Ariel Grullon has worked at The Roosevelt Hotel for 23 years and questions the timing of the announcement.
“The excuse is the pandemic, but we all know this situation with the hotel is coming from January, that they say they sold the hotel in January and they didn’t tell nobody so they are ignoring the contract that we have with the union until 2026,” Grullon said. “I think now because of the pandemic they got a good excuse to do what they were trying to do before.”
The Roosevelt Hotel closure follows recent announcements from the Times Square Hilton, the Courtyard by Marriott in Herald Square and the W Hotel, all shuttered by the pandemic.
“The iconic hotel, along with most of New York City, has experienced very low demand and as a result the hotel will cease operations before the end of the year. There are currently no plans for the building beyond the scheduled closing,” the statement concluded.
Like other iconic fixtures of the city, The Roosevelt Hotel has served as the backdrop for a number of Hollywood blockbusters.
Opened in 1924 and named after President Theodore Roosevelt, the hotel was a few years shy of celebrating 100 years in business.