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By Debra Supples Keiser and Debra Supples Keiser,New York Daily News | October 16, 1994
In the fall of 1794 -- 200 years ago this month -- the first hotel in America opened for business.The City Hotel, at the corner of Broadway and Thames Street near Trinity Church in New York City, was the first American structure to be designed and built as a hotel. It had 73 rooms (immense!) and became a center of social activities, holding George Washington's birthday celebration in 1798, and a dinner to commemorate the Pilgrims' anniversary in 1820.Before the opening of City Hotel, inns were part of private homes with the innkeeper living on the premises.
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BUSINESS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | June 11, 2014
The city-owned Hilton Baltimore convention center hotel lost $2.9 million last year — the best performance in the taxpayer-financed project's history. City officials pointed to the hotel's performance as a sign of progress Wednesday, noting revenues there increased by nearly $9 million from 2012. "We're making progress. We're doing better than we've done before," said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake after the release of the hotel's annual audit. "To me, that's a good sign. " Last year, city officials said they had ruled out selling the money-losing project and hoped to turn a profit within a decade.
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By Frederick N. Rasmussen and Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF | July 16, 2005
Where generations of sweaty shipyard workers once toiled repairing sea-worn vessels at Bethlehem Steel Corp.'s former Key Highway Shipyard, the fabled Ritz name will soon endow an upscale condominium development. Only a few words have come to permanently define elegance and luxury; here are two: the Duesenberg - the classic 1930s motorcar that spawned the phrase, "It's a doozy," - and the Ritz, which has become synonymous with going first class. If doozy was a car, then Ritz was a man, whose first name was Cesar, and whose friend, England's King Edward VII, described him as the "king of hoteliers and the hotelier of kings."
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By Donna M. Owens, For The Baltimore Sun | August 8, 2013
Reality TV host Anthony Melchiorri spends his workdays circling the country and globe, on a mission to help ailing hotels and their owners resurrect themselves on the Travel Channel series "Hotel Impossible. " When the hotel fixer visited Baltimore back in the spring, he found the Abacrombie Inn - a bed-and-breakfast in the city's Mount Vernon neighborhood - hardly lived up to the "charm" in Charm City. "I couldn't believe some of the things I saw," said Melchiorri, who has 25 years of experience leading top hotels such as the famed Algonquin in New York City.
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By Frederick N. Rasmussen and Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF | June 5, 1999
In a scene from Vicki Baum's potboiler novel "Grand Hotel" played out in the 1932 MGM classic film of the same name, actor Lewis Stone looks out over the crowded hotel lobby filled with the comings and goings of Greta Garbo, John and Lionel Barrymore, Joan Crawford and Jean Hersholt and wryly mutters, "Grand Hotel ... people come ... people go ... nothing ever happens." Unlike the fictional Grand Hotel, something is sure to happen soon at Baltimore's Southern Hotel, the long-shuttered 14-story "Queen of Light Street" that opened for business in 1918 and closed its doors in 1964.
NEWS
By DAN BERGER | December 5, 1991
Grammarians insist that December 7 was a day that would live in infamy. But what President Roosevelt said was that it was a day ''which'' would.The city is going to privatize the Pratt libraries and stay in the hotel business.Too bad we don't have Sununu to kick around any more.
TRAVEL
By Donna M. Owens, For The Baltimore Sun | August 8, 2013
Reality TV host Anthony Melchiorri spends his workdays circling the country and globe, on a mission to help ailing hotels and their owners resurrect themselves on the Travel Channel series "Hotel Impossible. " When the hotel fixer visited Baltimore back in the spring, he found the Abacrombie Inn - a bed-and-breakfast in the city's Mount Vernon neighborhood - hardly lived up to the "charm" in Charm City. "I couldn't believe some of the things I saw," said Melchiorri, who has 25 years of experience leading top hotels such as the famed Algonquin in New York City.
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By Fred Rasmussen and Fred Rasmussen,SUN STAFF | January 19, 1997
3/8 TC When the Rennert Hotel opened its doors at the corner of Saratoga and Liberty streets in 1885, it was described in newspaper accounts as being "the highest type of American hostelry."It was the creation of Robert Rennert, the son of German immigrant parents, who started in the hotel business as a young man working at the famed Guy's Monument House in Monument Square.He opened his own restaurant on Water Street in the 1850s, and added Rennert's Downtown Restaurant on Fayette Street near Calvert in 1870.
BUSINESS
By Donald Saltz | January 31, 1992
It was once the darling of the growth crowd, thanks to skilled and aggressive management that pushed earnings -- and share price -- higher. Then came the recession, compounded by an overbuilt industry and a pile of debt.Today the stock of the Marriott Corp., although up from its low, languishes. Headquartered in Bethesda, Marriott carries a burden of more than $3 billion in debt, mainly because of the poor real estate market related to its hotel business. Additionally, the hotel business itself is weak, although Marriott fills more rooms than its competitors.
BUSINESS
By Michelle Singletary and Michelle Singletary,Evening Sun Staff | September 3, 1991
Baltimore's legendary climate kept the city sizzling all summer, but the downtown hotel business never heated up."Generally speaking, the hotel market in downtown Baltimore was . . . flat," says Tom Shaner, executive director of the Hotel & Motel Association of Greater Baltimore.On average, about 72 percent of the rooms in downtown hotels were filled during April, May and June.Then, in July, the room occupancy rate dropped to 63.9 percent."Business just fell right off," says Shaner, who owns the Joseph E. Shaner Co., which manages 20 trade and professional associations locally and nationally.
TRAVEL
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | May 23, 2013
OCEAN CITY - Merchants and others in Maryland's premier resort are hopeful that that an improving economy, stable gas prices, stepped-up marketing - and the lingering effects of superstorm Sandy - will combine to produce a strong summer season. Shops and restaurants are being built, and the town is poised to reopen the fishing pier that was damaged in last fall's storm. As the season kicks off with the start of the Memorial Day weekend, hotel bookings and rentals appear strong, and some in town believe Sandy has something to do with it. "First of all, there's everything that's happened in New Jersey.
FEATURES
By John-John Williams IV, The Baltimore Sun | January 19, 2012
Lately, it seems you don't have to be anywhere near a garden to stop and smell the roses. Smell is the latest way that businesses are attempting to woo customers, whether it be the scented candles at Hampden shop In Watermelon Sugar, the vanilla and cloves wafting through the air at Williams-Sonoma, or the pungent smell of colognes at trendy clothing chains. Technology to spread the scents have become more elaborate and includes a device that pumps fragrances through ventilation systems.
BUSINESS
By Edward Gunts, The Baltimore Sun | October 7, 2010
The Hilton Baltimore Convention Center Hotel has performed better in its second year of operation than during its first full year, with bookings and revenue on the rise. Managers predict the city-owned hotel will end 2010 in the black. Although the 757-room hotel has not lived up to expectations — the $301 million project began in 2005, before the recession caused hotel occupancy rates to plummet around the country — city officials say it is beginning to meet many of the goals they had when it opened in August 2008, such as providing jobs for hundreds of city residents and helping Baltimore land more conventions.
NEWS
August 14, 2005
The wrong time for city to bet on hotel business The private sector doesn't want to fund a convention center hotel ("Deals secure council votes for city hotel," Aug. 12). Could it be that investors can see the storm coming? The storm is the oil factor and its effects on tourism and our entire economy. The world is running out of cheap oil. A select number of countries are addicted to cheap oil, and it is the Achilles' heel of the so-called developed nations. The tourism industry is fueled by oil. Hucksters encourage tourists to fly and drive to Baltimore.
NEWS
By MICHAEL OLESKER | August 5, 2005
AT BALTIMORE City Hall this week, Sheila Dixon stood there with her close personal friends of the moment. There were some members of city government. There were labor leaders and religious leaders. All of them gathered around the council president like a high school homeroom posing for yearbook pictures. But this was less a valedictory moment than a show of cross-cultural force, a photo op intended to show political inevitability. They were all declaring their support for a deal combining $305 million for a convention center hotel with $59 million for some blighted city neighborhoods.
NEWS
July 25, 2005
Seems Baltimore and St. Louis have a lot in common. Both cities have revived dead downtowns. Both cities have hemorrhaged jobs and population. Both suffer from troubled school systems. And both have pinned hopes for their convention centers on new headquarters hotels. Unlike Baltimore, however, St. Louis has already had its hopes dashed. In town this week to observe Baltimore's lead-abatement initiatives, St. Louis Mayor Francis G. Slay said he's disappointed in the performance of his town's 1,200-room Renaissance Grand, which opened two years ago. The $265 million facility, paid for with a mix of private investment and public subsidies, has not lured more conventions to town, and last year Moody's downgraded the hotel's bond rating.
BUSINESS
By Timothy J. Mullaney and Timothy J. Mullaney,SUN STAFF | September 26, 1995
Marriott International Inc. said yesterday its profits jumped 24 percent during the 12 weeks that ended Sept. 8, the third quarter of the Bethesda hotel management giant's fiscal year.The company said it was helped by a strong economy that also has helped other hotel chains."All of our lodging brands are benefiting from favorable conditions in the U.S. hotel industry," company Chairman J. W. Marriott Jr. said. The company said it expects to continue strong earnings gains into 1996.Through July, the U.S. hotel industry had filled 66.3 percent of its available room nights this year, compared with 65.2 percent for the same period last year, said Randy Smith, president of Smith Travel Research Inc. in Hendersonville, Tenn.
NEWS
By Michael A. Fletcher and Michael A. Fletcher,Staff Writer | September 29, 1993
Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke told the BUILD organization last night that he will convene a meeting with city hotel owners and seek detailed information about the racial makeup and pay structure of their work forces.The mayor made his pledge at Trinity Baptist Church before more than 500 cheering BUILD delegates, who since April have been campaigning for a "social compact" linking public subsidies for downtown development to improved job opportunities for blacks."I am on your side of the line," Mr. Schmoke said as he was being quizzed in front of the crowd by the Rev. Douglas Miles, pastor of Koinonia Baptist Church and a leader of Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development.
FEATURES
By Frederick N. Rasmussen and Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF | July 16, 2005
Where generations of sweaty shipyard workers once toiled repairing sea-worn vessels at Bethlehem Steel Corp.'s former Key Highway Shipyard, the fabled Ritz name will soon endow an upscale condominium development. Only a few words have come to permanently define elegance and luxury; here are two: the Duesenberg - the classic 1930s motorcar that spawned the phrase, "It's a doozy," - and the Ritz, which has become synonymous with going first class. If doozy was a car, then Ritz was a man, whose first name was Cesar, and whose friend, England's King Edward VII, described him as the "king of hoteliers and the hotelier of kings."
NEWS
By DAN RODRICKS | July 10, 2005
MARTIN O'MAYOR wants Baltimore to undertake one of the costliest public construction projects in its history - a $305 million, 752-room downtown convention hotel - and while there are a lot of risky aspects to this proposal, the City Council should go for it. But only under the following conditions: At least 80 percent of the staff for the hotel, from concierge to kitchen to housekeeping, must be city residents. A high percentage - say, 50 or even 60 percent - of the staff must be identified as "new workers," meaning previously unemployed or underemployed Baltimore residents who are specifically trained for full-time, unionized jobs in the hotel.
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