Quantcast

San Jose’s Fairmont Hotel files for bankruptcy, evicts pro hockey team and other guests

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
By Laila Weir - Published on March 09, 2021.

Guests at downtown San Jose’s Fairmont Hotel, including the Vegas Golden Knights pro hockey team, found themselves out of a place to stay Friday when the hotel shut down suddenly in the midst of a bankruptcy filing.

“It was a surreal experience,” coach Pete DeBoer told the Las Vegas Sun. “Hopefully this is the end of the COVID year, but it was almost the topping on the cake for what the last year has been for everybody in the world. Just another thing throw at you, another thing to deal with.”

"That's a first for probably everybody on our team," said Golden Knights player Nick Holden. The team was in town to play the San Jose Sharks.

The hotel’s owners filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to multiple news outlets, citing a news release in which the company said it hopes to reopen in a few months under a new brand. The move comes after the hotel recently finished a $10 million renovation that includes a swanky new bar area.

“We know that by taking this difficult step we will come back a more vibrant hotel to the benefit of everyone in San Jose, including the vitality of the city’s downtown, nearby businesses, and Silicon Valley conventions in a post-Covid-19 world,” the hotel's representative said in the release.

The Fairmont is not alone in succumbing to the lack of business during the pandemic. The Mercury News reports that at least 20 notices of default for a delinquent loan were filed against California hotels during January alone, compared to just 14 in all of 2020.

“Sadly this is a local reflection of the devastation the hospitality industry has suffered globally,” Mayor Sam Liccardo said to that outlet of the hotel’s closure.

The Fairmont had an occupancy rate of less than 7 percent since COVID-19 hit, according to the Silicon Valley Business Journal, and lost $18 million last year. It projects $20 million or more in losses for 2021.


The San Jose Fairmont's new lobby Photo: San Jose Fairmont / Instagram

 

The hotel paid for alternate accommodations for relocated guests, but the process was apparently sudden and sometimes chaotic. The Mercury News quotes one guest who says he was barred from returning to the hotel after an outing, with no explanation — and told he wouldn’t be compensated.

“I’m absolutely dumbfounded,” the guest told the paper.

The Silicon Valley Business Journal notes that the iconic hotel was built in 1987 as a key element of efforts to revitalize San Jose’s downtown, which former mayor Tom McEnery described to the outlet as virtually a ghost town at that time. The hotel, which the journal calls Silicon Valley’s largest, plans to find a new hotel brand to partner with and reopen with new financing.

“The owner is committed to a process that will ensure the hotel’s long-term viability and drive business both to the hotel and to San Jose’s important downtown and convention center,” the hotel’s representative said, speaing to KPIX.

About 6 hours ago
San Jose

Volkswagen-backed battery startup QuantumScape leases 200,000 square foot production site in San Jose

EV battery startup QuantumScape has leased a massive production site in San Jose, hinting at the company’s intent to bring its “groundbreaking” solid-state battery products to market before 2025. Read More

1 day ago
San Jose

Santa Clara County surpasses 2,000 COVID-19 deaths

Around this time last year, Santa Clara County was approaching 2,000 COVID-19 cases and San Jose officials were predicting the county would see 2,000 deaths within 12 weeks. This week, the county has reached that unhappy milestone, albeit just over 12 months from the original prediction. Read More

Apr 14, 2021
San Jose

Golf and entertainment megavenue Topgolf comes to San Jose

Mega entertainment venue Topgolf, with multiple levels of tech-enhanced driving-range bays and extensive food and beverage choices, is opening a San Jose location on Friday, April 16. Read More

Apr 12, 2021
San Jose

San Jose considers keeping downtown strip closed to cars post-pandemic

Like other cities during the pandemic, San Jose closed a popular downtown dining strip to cars last summer so that restaurants could host outdoor dining. Now, the city is contemplating keeping the section, along San Pedro Street between Santa Clara and St. John streets, permanently car-free. Read More