While many people have mourned the three-year closure of the Waldorf Astoria, perhaps no one is more upset than the rich people who now have to relocate all their parties.
“The Waldorf is a prestige brand, and Hilton is a midpriced brand,” said one director of events who was forced to plan her event at New York Hilton Midtown instead of the Waldorf. “For us it’s, how do we translate the Waldorf experience to a venue that’s very different, so it doesn’t feel like a downgrade?” (Of course, Hilton manages the Waldorf, but alas).
Though the finalized plans for the Waldorf have not yet been released, filings from the DOB show that the owners plan to convert it into apartments. The ballrooms, however, will be safe from any changes due to the landmark status they received from the LPC this month.
That is a relief to many who miss their grand parties at the Waldorf — and aren’t exactly open to change.
“I know that many of the people who attend the dinner looked forward to sitting at the same table, having the same waiter, the same atmosphere, as they have had and as their parents and grandparents had before them,” said a spokesperson for another charity that can no longer host events in the space. “There is a sense of continuity, of tradition, of belonging.” [NYT]