Tag: Abandoned HotelsView All Tags
For an indie flick, the hyper-raunchy Spring Breakers did pretty well at the box office over opening weekend. Not that we're too surprised—with two former Disney stars in bikinis and James Franco playing a cornrowed rapper called 'Alien,' the movie was bound to pique a fair amount of curiosity.
Tampa Bay natives will recognize the local ice cream parlor, liquor store and police station that make cameos in the film, but for Spring Breakers' most iconic scene, director Harmony Korine rounded up a bunch of real life spring breakers drinking real life booze to stage a real life pool party. The venue of choice? An abandoned hotel located on the grounds of the Coral Reef Resort.
According to multiple TripAdvisor reviews, the "abandoned pink building" located in the front of the resort is something of an eyesore for actual guests, but for Korine's purposes, the crumbling edifice worked just fine.
He told Ain't It Cool:
"The party scenes were chaos. There were thousands of kids in abandoned hotels just destroying things...and that’s the thing about chaos, it’s chaos. It’s almost impossible to control. So that was pretty intense."
Phew. We're glad it wasn't us down in St Pete last spring. These guys make Justin Bieber antics seem almost civilized.
Lately we've been taking a closer look at abandoned hotels, and recently on a walk through Panama's historic Casco Viejo district, we spotted a place in desperate need of some
loving deep-pocketed investor to get the ball rolling again.
The crumbing Antiguo Club Union on First Street was built in 1917 and functioned for years as an exclusive members-only club for Panama's elite—former dictator Manuel Noriega even took over the club during his reign in the 1980s. However, since then, the historic building has fallen into disrepair, and these days, its shabby, weed-choked exterior is mostly just an eyesore along one of Panama's most scenic streets.
So, what's the deal?
Given how excited we get for new hotels and how annoyed we become at delayed openings, you can understand how abandoned hotel projects -- that is, those that have been indefinitely placed on the shelf post construction but pre completion -- tug at our heart strings. It's no good for us as consumers, and it's certainly no good for the cities who have to live with their fallout.
Some abandoned projects end up working out for the city (like the Ambassador Hotel project in Los Angeles that turned into a school), but most don't sit so pretty, becoming eyesores or, worse, stagnant reminders of what could have been, as in the case of Vegas' Fontainebleau.
As we look around the world at some of the unfinished hotel business, we really get a sense for how hard the economy has been over the past few decades for the hotel industry, even for established and successful brands like the Ritz Carlton. Below, we've put together a list of examples. We'll keep an eye on these suckers, but we don't advise getting your hopes up.
While the former Mandarin Oriental Marrakech recently got snapped up by Taj Hotels, the planned Shangri-La Hotel Vienna is still searching for the perfect companion. We reported that Shangri-La shockingly pulled out back in February and since then, the hotel has been sitting empty.
A tipster tells us that the local media refers to it as a "ghost hotel" and that despite everything being finished and furnished, there's been no takers from the operational standpoint.
That sounds surprising for a completely finished property with 207 rooms and an indoor swimming pool but then again the Shangri-La dumped it because of poor construction quality. So that probably rules out any other luxury brands like Four Seasons and Ritz-Carltons to come in and snap it up. But perhaps there is a "lifestyle" brand that would consider it? (Since they've been known to open up in former Holiday Inns and the like.)
A gutted building, with an historic sign out front—it's a sad sight on Collins Avenue. Even after all the economic woes courtesy of the real-estate bubble and the GFC, we still get shocked when we see abandoned construction sites like this one in Miami. The Fairwind Hotel was going to turn from a pumpkin into a Kimpton, but last summer we learned that the big deal was off.
Now we're wondering: Does anyone want to wave their magic wand over the Fairwind? Won't a hotel Fairy Godmother come alone and jazz this baby up?