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Claridge : Now With $20M More Urban Minimalism

By Chuckmonster on Monday, 17th May 2010 2:58pm
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The venerable and utterly charming as-is Claridge hotel is scheduled to get a $20 million dollar upgrade, turning the 1929 proto-Beaux Arts skyscraper into an "urban minimalist design" hotel.

On one hand, it's great to see Harrah's Entertainment dumping cash into upgrading Bally's and surrounding properties, but turning the Claridge into the AC equivalent of the Flamingo's "Go Rooms" seems like the wrong way to go, historically.

Why not restore the Claridge to its original glory and give folks a boutique and elegant art-deco Bellagio-by-the-Sea option?

More details from the AC Press.

Thanks to Dr. Dave for the tip off.

Comments & Discussion:

This is nothing new. For some reason people now feel that luxurious texture and minimal if not bland eyelines are the way to go. It wins in some places, fails in others.My guess is that while the idea of a restoration is excellent, financially an "upgrade" renovation is much more effective. It's much cheaper to turn it into the minimal luxury boutique hotel than to restore it. There's balls-deep money in restoration, and Harrah's won't spend it.I mean just look at what they did to Paris.

I don't see why something period specific like Art Deco wouldn't be a slam dunk. People aren't going to stay at the Claridge because they want modern design. I'd take the minimalist stuff and put it in the charmless big pink tower, and do something more fun with the Claridge.At this stage, why not just go "shabby chic" and pick up a bunch of stuff at thrift shops? Not the mattresses, of course--just the tables and chairs and knick-knacks. It'd be something different.

According to today's AC Press, the company is spending $12 million on the exterior and $7 million on renovations to its 500 rooms. That makes it $14,000 per room. I don't know how much that will buy you, but I suspect it's not much. Any ideas?

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