My final post this year is a farewell to the Wilshire Grand Hotel- my employer- in downtown. It opened its doors in 1952 as the Statler, then became part of the Hilton chain until 1995. Omni took over managing it for 4 years; then the hotel became independent and took the name Wilshire Grand. It’s a big hotel for LA- close to 900 rooms, and nearly 50,000 square feet of ballroom and meeting space. The owner of the property, Korean Air, is going to tear down the building, then put up a new hotel and new office building. Total price tag? Over a billion dollars.
The Wilshire Grand’s closing was recently featured in the media, notably the LA Times and the Downtown News. (See www.articles.latimes.com/2011/dec/22/business/la-fi-1223-wilshire-grand-20111223, as well as www.ladowntownnews.com/news/memories-of-the-wilshire-grand ) The Pope was a guest; so were the jurors in the Rodney King trial. It was my home for close to 17 years. I will miss everyone that I worked with, and all the tenants that I saw every day. When you’re busy toasting on New Year’s Eve, raise a glass to the WG!