Hotel Gossip: The Ritz-Carlton Report

With the death of Michael Jackson and the curious resignation of Sarah Palin grabbing headlines, the news that Ritz-Carlton is making is far removed from the public eye. Rightfully so—but, then, that is why we are here to keep you up to date.

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Workers scale L.A. Live's Ritz Carlton Tower, expected to open in February 2010

The hotel company has one giant L.A. project ongoing, another in Vancouver that is about to—fingers crossed—get underway and a hotel outside L.A. that is angling toward expansion.

L.A. Live’s Ritz-Carlton Tower coincidentally was entangled with the Michael Jackson memorial service, as fans below the tower took to the streets. However, construction didn’t cease during. In fact, crews hit a milestone, removing a construction lift and beginning  work on installing glass wall panels. Once completed, the building will house an 879-room J.W. Marriott (floors four through 21), a 123-room Ritz-Carlton on floors 22 through 26 and 224 Residences at the Ritz-Carlton spanning floors 27 through 52. The hotel is scheduled to open on February 15, 2010. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, nearby, in Orange County, Dana Point’s Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel has been cleared by the city’s Planning Commission to expand. This according to The Orange County Register. What we can expect? About 30,396 square feet of new space, the addition of 27 rooms (taking the hotel up to 420 rooms) and other improvements. The new rooms will face Salt Creek Park and the Pacific Ocean.

Farther north, and across the border, construction of the 60-story Ritz-Carlton Vancouver that was suspended last fall (see the economy) might be back underway soon. Last October, construction on the hotel/condo stopped on West Georgia Street, buyers were given deposits back and what the good citizens of Vancouver were left with was a gaping hole in the ground.

Fast forward to June: Real estate sales in Vancouver were up 75 percent and buyers took advantage of low interest rates. The ray of hope has convinced the hotel’s developer, the Holborn Group, to, in all probability, resume construction this fall—albeit taking the once six-star promise of a hotel down to a more modest version. A. We’re not credulous enough to believe that six-star really exists (ok, maybe the Burj Al Arab in Dubai). B. A “modest” Ritz-Carlton? Why bother? C. As always, let’s wait and see.

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