Is Cecil Hotel Still Open?

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Cecil Hotel

Cecil Hotel, also known as Stay on Main, is a historic hotel in downtown Los Angeles that has gained notoriety for its connection to several mysterious deaths, murders, and paranormal events. The hotel was featured in the Netflix documentary series Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel, which focused on the case of Elisa Lam, a Canadian tourist who disappeared and was later found dead in a water tank on the hotel’s roof in 2013. Many people are curious about the current status of the hotel and whether it is still open for guests. This article will provide some information and updates on the Cecil Hotel and its future plans.

The History of Cecil Hotel

Cecil Hotel was built in 1924 by hotelier William Banks Hanner, who envisioned it as a luxurious destination for travelers and businessmen. The hotel opened with 700 rooms, a marble lobby, stained-glass windows, and a rooftop garden. However, the hotel soon faced financial difficulties due to the Great Depression and its proximity to Skid Row, a notorious area of poverty and crime in downtown Los Angeles.

Over the years, the hotel became a hotspot for suicides, homicides, and other violent incidents. Some of the notable events that occurred at the hotel include:

  • The death of Elizabeth Short, also known as the Black Dahlia, who was rumored to have stayed at the hotel before her brutal murder in 1947.
  • The murder of Goldie Osgood, also known as the Pigeon Lady of Pershing Square, who was found stabbed and strangled in her room in 1964.
  • The residence of serial killers Richard Ramirez, also known as the Night Stalker, and Jack Unterweger, who both stayed at the hotel while committing their crimes in the 1980s and 1990s.
  • The disappearance and death of Elisa Lam, whose body was discovered in a water tank on the hotel’s roof in 2013, after guests complained of low water pressure and strange taste.

The hotel also became a home for many long-term residents, mostly low-income and elderly people, who paid weekly or monthly rents. The hotel was often cited as a source of nuisance and blight by the city officials and neighbors, who wanted to revitalize the downtown area.

The Renovation and Redevelopment of Cecil Hotel

In 2007, the hotel was sold to a New York-based firm called Chetrit Group, which planned to renovate and rebrand the hotel as a boutique destination. In 2011, the hotel was partially reopened as Stay on Main, a hostel-style accommodation that catered to young and budget-conscious travelers. The hotel also changed its name and logo, but kept the original neon sign on the facade.

However, the renovation and rebranding did not erase the hotel’s dark past, as the Elisa Lam case in 2013 brought renewed attention and controversy to the hotel. The hotel also faced legal challenges from the city and the tenants, who claimed that the hotel violated the housing codes and the tenants’ rights.

In 2014, the hotel was sold again to another New York-based firm called Simon Baron Development, which partnered with a Los Angeles-based firm called Oheka Group, to redevelop the hotel into a mix of hotel rooms and residential units. The developers planned to preserve the historic features of the hotel, while adding modern amenities and design elements. The developers also intended to work with the city and the tenants to relocate them to other affordable housing options.

The hotel closed in 2017 for the renovation and redevelopment project, which was expected to be completed by October 2021. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the project was delayed and the hotel remained closed as of November 2021. The developers have not announced a new reopening date or a new name for the hotel.

The Future of Cecil Hotel

Cecil Hotel, or whatever it will be called in the future, is still a work in progress, and its fate is uncertain. The hotel has a rich and troubled history, and it is unclear whether the renovation and redevelopment will be able to change its image and reputation. The hotel may attract some curious and adventurous guests, who want to experience the hotel’s infamous past, but it may also deter some potential guests, who are wary of the hotel’s haunted and dangerous reputation.

The hotel may also face competition from other hotels and attractions in downtown Los Angeles, which has undergone significant transformation and revitalization in recent years. The hotel may have to offer something unique and appealing to stand out from the crowd and attract more visitors.

The hotel may also have to deal with the ongoing legal and social issues, such as the preservation of the historic landmark status, the relocation of the remaining tenants, and the compliance with the safety and health regulations.

The hotel may have a chance to reinvent itself and start a new chapter, but it may also have to confront and overcome its past and present challenges. The hotel may have a future, but it is still a mystery.

Categories: Travel


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