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Hot Hotelier News / Hotel News / King and Grove Hotels / Ben Pundole / Ed Scheetz / Jeff Klein / Ian Schrager / → All Tags
It's been a busy year for King & Grove Hotels, the boutique hotel brand started by former Morgans Hotel Group CEO Ed Scheetz and Ben Pundole, the former Director of Entertainment at Morgans. (You may remember him as the man who brought SPiN Ping Pong to the Mondrian LA.)
King & Grove started out just over a year ago with two boutique properties in the Hamptons before going on to assume management of The Tides South Beach, the Hotel Williamsburg, the Hotel Chelsea and the Hotel Lola as well as plotting out two hotels for downtown Los Angeles. But it looks like all the fast expansion has taken its toll on the brand's foundation--specifically Pundole.
The NY Post reports that Pundole resigned from K&G on Thursday after the promise of ownership and control of the company from Scheetz and K&G's other owner Joseph Chetrit--whose Chetrit Group has bought several of the hotels that K&G is operating--fell through. A source gave the lowdown on the exit to the Post:
Ben has been treated pretty unfairly. Ben created Ruschmeyer’s, which has been a wild success, and was the creator of this new hotel brand. He found and hired most of the employees and even found the Williamsburg, which they purchased on his suggestion, and now he’s walking away with nothing. Chetrit and Scheetz are taking his hard work, contacts and hip following.
Miami Hotel Mambo / King and Grove Hotels / Viceroy Hotels / Tides Hotels / Hotel News / Ed Scheetz / Ben Pundole / → All Tags
We don't call it Miami Hotel Mambo for nothing.
There's been yet another boutique hotel shake-up on South Beach. Just a month after Thompson Hotels took over the Hotel Victor from Hyatt, we've got word that King & Grove Hotels, known for their intimate Hamptons properties, The Surf Lodge and Ruschmeyer's, will manage the The Tides Hotel on Ocean Drive starting in December. (Just in time for Art Basel!)
For those not already in the know, King & Grove is an indie boutique brand founded by former Morgans Hotel Group CEO Ed Scheetz along with Ben Pundole who was previously the Director of Entertainment at Morgans. Earlier this year K&G received funding from the Chetrit Group to help expand their brand and not-so-coincidentally, the new owner of the Tides Hotel is a company called CG Tides overseen by Joseph Chetrit. Chetrit said in a statement:
We are ecstatic that the Tides will become the newest King & Grove branded and managed property. By partnering with King & Grove, we are confident that our plans to rejuvenate the Tides and establish it as the preeminent luxury resort on Ocean Drive will be realized.
Hotel Hype / Hotel News / King and Grove Hotels / Hamptons Hotels / Ben Pundole / Robert McKinley / Ed Scheetz / → All Tags
If you love The Surf Lodge in Montauk, then you've probably already spent a night at its new sister hotel nearby, Ruschmeyer's, a three-acre summer camp-inspired hotel featuring clean and crisp guestrooms, an open-air beer garden, a sand-filled pool, a restaurant from the Orchard Street chefs and a boogie-down bar called the Electric Eel. Oh and staffers decked out in J. Crew shirts, Madewell dresses and Toms shoes.
The Las Vegas Sun reported yesterday that the family of Michelle Hatchel, who died of a drug overdose in 2007 in the Vegas condo of Ed Scheetz, the former CEO of Morgans Hotel Group, have not only filed a lawsuit against Scheetz but have also named The Hard Rock Hotel and Morgans as defendants.
Hatchel had been living and partying with him at his Vegas residence in the weeks before her death--an overdose of oxycontin and cocaine--and Scheetz referred to her as his "girlfriend" in the 911 call. Scheetz has never been criminally charged for any wrongdoing in Hatchel's death. However, he has already settled a wrongful death suit with Hatchel's father for a "substantial sum."
This latest lawsuit has been filed on behalf of Hatchel's mother grandmother, brother and aunt. The new allegations they make against Scheetz are very shocking and they reveal the world of hard-core partying, drugs and sex that he was into during his time in Vegas. And that's where the Hard Rock comes in.
Hotel News Briefs / Political Hotels / Election 2008 Hotels / Hillary Clinton / Ed Scheetz / → All Tags
There's tons of hotel news flying around this week and we don't have time to give each and every story the love and attention it may deserve, so you will have to settle for some news briefs.
· Hillary's Hotel Dilemma: TMZ is reporting that Hillary staffers are trying to unload all the hotel rooms they booked in Denver, in hopes their boss was going to be the Democratic presidential nominee.
· Ed Scheetz Still Making Money: Ex-CEO of Morgans Hotel Group, Ed Scheetz may have resigned from his post after a girl was found dead of a drug OD in his Vegas apartment but he's still making money. He just sold his Greenwich Village apartment for $8.7 million, reports The Real Deal. He bought it in 2006 for $6.7 million.
· Cosmo Hotel Did Rip-Off the Magazine?: Jenna discovered a link which positioned the upcoming Cosmo Hotel as the perfect place for Cosmo readers. Hearst lawsuit starting to make some sense. But not much.
· Layover Nation Contest: Y'all must be crazy not to enter this contest. There's no purchase required. All you have to do is submit a layover suggestion for Michael Kinsley when he takes his world trip in September. It's so easy to do we're gonna stop talking now. ENTER HERE.
How good? He was able to buy a new apartment in Soho, a penthouse, for $10 million. The Observer reports:
Old listings show that the place has a total of 6,189 square feet of indoor and outdoor space, beamed 13-foot ceilings, a wine cooler, a steam room and a Jacuzzi tub. There's also space for a large Jacuzzi tub on the roof terrace.
So while his tastes for high design might remain, let's hope his tastes for high living has been scaled back.
Meanwhile, another tipster let us know that Scheetz has not changed/updated his profile info on the ASmallWorld.net, "a private online community" aka networking site. He's still listed himself as the CEO of Morgans and has a picture (above) of him in one of the hotels. Oops.
[Update: The charges were dropped against the hotel employee in this sexual assault case.]
We've made note of the extremely bad year that the Morgans Hotel Group had in 2007, thanks to a shady CEO, dead rappers, celebrity vomit, and underwhelming renovations, and we're not so sure 2008 is going to be any better.
Police arrested Christian Rojas at the lobby of the hotel on Geary Street at 5 a.m. Officials said Rojas had used a key card assigned to him to enter the room, assaulted the victim, 39, and then left.
Suddenly, those women-only floors found in India with security guards seem like a really good idea.
The Times says the Royalton which was stripped of the original Philippe Starck interior, has lost the glamorous crowd it once attracted in its heyday of the 1990s. And it remains to be seen whether the hotel's new look will indeed be a new life for the hotel:
On a recent Saturday night, the Royalton's lobby was about half full. Some of those perched on the leather sofas said that they preferred the new design, which they found cozy; others, like Paul Carpenter, an investment banker from London, said they missed the flair of the Starck lobby.
Meanwhile, Ed Scheetz's troubled personal life is only half of the woes for Morgans Hotel Group. With the purchase of the Hard Rock Las Vegas as well as with the expansion of the Mondrian brand and other new hotels, the hotel firm is "operating with crazy leverage" said one analyst.
What that ultimately will mean for you hotel guests for the time being is really high room rates. For example, the new rooms at the Royalton start at $500 a night.
The death of Michelle Lynn Hatchel, whose body was found by former Morgans CEO Ed Scheetz in his Las Vegas condo, has raised some questions about just what happened between this 23-year-old girl and the hotel exec.
The Channel 8 I-Team in Las Vegas has uncovered the police report filed for the incident. The report had previously not been found or released much to the dismay of Hatchel's family.
In it, the report doesn't reveal too much but does give Scheetz's side of the story:
Scheetz says Hatchel went to the Pure nightclub and returned to the condo about at about 3 a.m. on the 29th. Scheetz says Hatchel "appeared to be fine" when he left for work. But when he returned home at 8 p.m. that night, Scheetz says he immediately placed the call to 911.
The coroner determined that Hatchel died of an overdose of oxycodone combined with cocaine and the police report notes a "white powdery substance" was found near her purse.
So the police report doesn't clear up much about the duo's relationship and doesn't even shine light on the text messages Hatchel sent to her friends. But for now, even though this case has gathered national media attention, Scheetz has still not commented on the incident.
· Cellphone Text Messages Reveal Details about Ed Scheetz [HotelChatter]
The NY Post reports that the cellphone belonging to Michelle Lynn Hatchel was recovered and on it were text messages she sent to friends about how unhappy and scared she was with Scheetz, who she had only recently met.
"I can't believe how much coke he does, all the time, all day long," Hatchel wrote, adding, "He keeps leaving me to talk to a girl he dated."
Hatchel does not identify the man in the message, which was sent to a friend named Gina at 11:56 the night before she died.
In a message sent a few minutes earlier, at 10:36 to a friend named "Miko," Hatchel wrote: "Things are really bad. Ed has been so mean to me."
The girl he dated could be the "angry ex-girlfriend" that was reported by ABC News.
Meanwhile, Scheetz who is supposedly in the middle of a divorce and reportedly has three kids, was probably forced to step down not just because a girl showed up dead in his bed but because the incident would have severely impacted the Morgans application for a gaming license at The Hard Rock Hotel.
Turns out the gaming board doesn't look fondly on hoteliers with drug and women problems. And with MHG opening up both a Mondrian and a Delano in Las Vegas by 2010, there is no room for mistakes.
Yet there must be someone who's very good at damage control inside MHG. Scheetz resigned on Sept. 20th, a full week before Hatchel's death was reported (nearly a month after she died) and according to the LV Business Press the application for a gaming license shouldn't be slowed down at all. Just business as usual in Vegas.
[Photo: Vegas Magazine]
· Dead girl tells tale on cell [NY Post]
· ROCK 'N' ROLL [Vegas Magazine]
· Death of Morgans Hotels Ex-CEO's Girlfriend Raises Suspicions [HotelChatter]
The other week we found out that Morgans Hotel Group's former CEO Ed Scheetz most likely stepped down from his post to deal with the aftermath of his girlfriend's fatal drug overdose, which happened inside his Las Vegas condo.
But what appeared to be an open and shut case is not quite over. The family of the 24-year-old woman, Michelle Hatchel, is demanding answers, according to ABC News.
[She] called and text-messaged friends to say she was scared and hiding in a closet after the man's angry ex-girlfriend showed up, her family says. "She told them she was afraid,'' her grandmother, Helen Barker, told ABC News. By night, she was dead.
Scheetz discovered her dead body that night and promptly called 911. The Clark County Coroner's office stated the cause of death as an "acute'' overdose of cocaine and the painkiller oxycodone.
Scheetz also referred to Hatchel in a 911 call as his girlfriend but he had only met her in NYC a few days before. Meanwhile, Hatchel's family is trying to retrace her final hours with Scheetz, who still has not personally spoken to them, as well as try and find her cellphone. Sad....
· News Briefs: Mo' Hotels, Mo' Problems for These Hoteliers [HotelChatter]
· Morgans Hotel Group CEO Resigns [HotelChatter]
While things seem to be looking up for hotelier Jason Pomeranc, whose Six Columbus hotel finally opened today, other hoteliers may not be faring so well.
· Developer king Rick Caruso had bought the abandoned Miramar project near Santa Barbara earlier this year after the property spent years languishing under others owners--Ian Schrager, then Ty "Beanie Baby" Warner. But Caurso's hit a few road bumps as well. Apparently, he wanted to create new roads leading to the property but was promptly shut down by the neighbors. It doesn't look like Miramar will ever open.
· Meanwhile former Morgans Hotel Group CEO Ed Scheetz, who stepped down a few weeks ago for personal reasons, has a lot more on his mind than we thought. Turn out his girlfriend died from a drug overdose in Las Vegas on August 29th. The overdose of 24-year-old Michelle Lynn Hatchel has been ruled as accidental and Scheetz is not being investigated.
· MORGANS HOTEL GROUP: Overdose deemed accidental [LVRJ]
· What kind of circus is this? [SB Independent]
· Oh, What a Tangled Web Hoteliers, Developers and Beanie Babies Weave [HotelChatter]
· Morgans Hotel Group CEO Resigns [HotelChatter]