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PIA-owned Roosevelt Hotel in New York forced to shut down after historic 100 years

Financial reasons cited as the reason behind the decision to shut down operations at month-end, says hotel administration.

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The iconic Roosevelt Hotel in New York on Thursday announced that it will shut down operations permanently on October 31 after having stayed open for a historic 100 years. A statement in this regard was released to the media by the hotel administration on Thursday evening. Financial reasons were cited as the reason behind the decision.

“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 message on the hotel website said the hotel is arranging alternative accommodation for the guests with future reservations.

“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,” 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.”

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The hotel is owned by Pakistan International Airlines. According to reports, the Pakistan Embassy in the United States is redirecting queries related to the announcement to PIA. The embassy spokesman said that they have not been informed of the decision officially.

The Roosevelt was opened in 1924 by Niagara Falls businessman Frank A. Dudley and operated by the United Hotels Company.  PIA leased the hotel in 1979 through its investment body, PIA Investment Ltd with an option to purchase the building after 20 years. A Saudi royal, Prince Faisal bin Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, was one of the investors in the deal in 1979.

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In 1999, PIA bought the hotel for $36.5 million. In 2005, PIA bought the shares of the Saudi prince that also included his shares in Hotel Scribe in Paris. PIA has been controlling 99% interest in the hotel while the Saudi has only 1pc share.