August 27, 2015 12:39
A recent decision by the he U.S. State Department to abandon a tradition of putting up its staff at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel when visiting New York may spell good news for Lotte Group, which runs the rival Palace Hotel in Manhattan.
The Waldorf was recently acquired by a Chinese insurance company and has to undertake a major renovation, leading to fears in the U.S. government that suites could be bugged.
Lotte acquired the Palace Hotel for US$805 million in May of this year.
The U.S. government said it would use another hotel during the UN General Assembly this year, and AP reported that the State Department will set up its operations at the Palace Hotel during the UN General Assembly.
Lotte is already hoping that even President Barack Obama will stay at the Palace when he attends the UN General Assembly. A Lotte Hotel executive said Wednesday, "We plan to finalize our purchase of the Palace Hotel on Friday and will change the name to Lotte New York Palace. There's a good chance that Obama will stay at the hotel next month."
The hotel is just 200 m from the Waldorf Astoria. Built in 1882, it has 909 rooms and 23 banquet halls and is near St. Patrick's Cathedral, Central Park and Carnegie Hall.
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