Wednesday, July 29, 2020
When the pandemic ends, one of the big changes imposed by COVID-19 that will likely remain permanent involves Los Angeles’ iconic Chateau Marmont as a publicly accessible venue. Speaking to the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, the hotel’s owner André Balazs says he intends to convert it and at least one other property he owns into private residential clubs.
Balazs told WSJ he’s been thinking about converting Chateau Marmont and other properties — a 91-year-old Hollywood institution long associated with celebrities and celebrity excess — into a private club for at least three years, but that the COVID-19 related shutdowns in cities across the world have accelerated those plans.
According to the Journal, Balazs says the plan is something similar to timeshares; guests could purchase “ownership stakes” which would make them “club members,” allowing them access to residences at multiple locations. The Journal says that Balazs’ mind, doing so could ease fears wealthy travelers have in the coronavirus era as they would be staying at familiar places around fellow club members they hypothetically would know. Though it must be noted that proximity, and not lack of familiarity, is a primary influence on COVID-19 transmission.
“There is something to be said for knowing people,” Balazs told the Wall Street Journal. “You can chat with them; you know where they have been.”
According to the Journal, Chateau Marmont could be converted to a private club by the end of the year with other properties converted to members-only arrangements in the future.
Nearly every employee of Chateau Marmont was laid off in March just as the pandemic was beginning. However, according to WSJ it is unlikely the majority of those employees will be hired back when the club goes private as Balazs says he wants employees with “different skill set.”
Source: the wrap feed