As we all know the Pakistan International Airline (PIA) owns the iconic Roosevelt Hotel in Newyork, US. However, the hotel plans to shut its door permanently from October 31; primarily, owing to financial constraints.
“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 October 31, 2020,” the hotel statement said.
“We have been honored 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,” it added.
Roosevelt hotel said that it was acting on alternatives choices for the customers with a booked reservation.
“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.
However, the management later removed the statement from the website. Nevertheless, the desk of the hotel is not taking post-October 31 reservations. Earlier, also the US President Donald Trump showcased his interest in buying the luxurious Roosevelt Hotel.
Besides, on September 3 the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) approved funds worth $142 million to tackle the financial hurdles of the Roosevelt Hotel. Furthermore, the adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh decided to grant the funds to the iconic hotel in a meeting.
It is pertinent to mention that earlier, the Cabinet Committee on Privatisation had announced that it would not be selling the Roosevelt Hotel. However, the government will run the hotel along with a third party.
PIA’s Roosevelt Hotel
Frank A Dudley, a Niagara Falls businessman constructed the hotel. He inaugurated it on Sept 23, 1924. The United Hotels Company managed the hotel.
In 1979, PIA leased the hotel via its investment from PIA Investments Ltd, with an option to acquire the building after 20 years. Besides, Prince Faisal bin Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al Saud was a chief investor in the lease.
In 1999, after the conclusion of the 20-year span, PIA got the hotel for $36.5 million.
Furthermore, in 2005, PIA buy out its Saudi partner in a swap for the share of Prince Hotel Scribe in Paris at $40 million, and the PIA’s share in the Minhal Hotel Riyadh.
The PIA since then has a share of 99% in the Roosevelt hotel whereas the Saudis have a share of only 1%.
People in Pakistan are deeply enraged regarding the closure of the hotel and reacted heavily on social media.
In conclusion, the Roosevelt Hotel is an iconic part of Pakistan in the United States. Hopefully, the PM Imran Khan-led government would take any pragmatic step in saving the national asset abroad.
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