December 14, 2001 12:30 AM   Subscribe

THE DISAPPEARING RICH PEOPLE: A Seattle writer explores the deserted confines of "Seattle's newest four star hotel". Empty and sad, even though it is just the rich people's stuff.
posted by crasspastor (24 comments total)
Not only the rich people, but the link itself seems to have disappeared. Scary place, that Seattle.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 12:45 AM on December 14, 2001

well until the specific link above works, use this link (which will point to a different story a week from now.
posted by gluechunk at 12:50 AM on December 14, 2001

Thanks gluechunk. I didn't realize the permalink hadn't taken effect yet.
posted by crasspastor at 12:53 AM on December 14, 2001

I liked Emily White's piece mainly because there's a note of sympathy, pathos even, in the way she describes the brave front the hotel is putting up. Hotels are all about fa├žades - behind which there are immense working factories - and you feel this one is doing its best.

I love staying at empty hotels - you get all the attention and your every whim, no matter how outlandish, is treated as commonplace.

It's also a sign of the times that the Microsoft people no longer get to go the Four Seasons...
posted by MiguelCardoso at 1:48 AM on December 14, 2001

Related article: High-Tech States Now Lead Nation in Joblessness
posted by owillis at 2:33 AM on December 14, 2001

I see it as a enema this town has needed for a long time.
I grew up here and I for one, was sick of meeting 25YO pricks who act like the world owed them everything just 'cause they knew how to program. Things go in cycles, but some folks were quick to ignore that, thinking the party would go on forever.
Most of them were not kind. They didn't try to help the less fortunate. They didn't care about the "little people", they just assumed that the services and toys would always be there.
It's a bitch getting priced out of your hometown by a bunch of people who could care less about the place, as long as the cash kept flowing.
I hope they all leave. I plan to die here...economics be damned!
And no, I'm not some bitter idealist...but Seattle is my home.
posted by black8 at 2:39 AM on December 14, 2001

On the other hand, the dearth of rich people means that some accomodations and travel opportunities open up to those of us who aren't used to jetting from city to city by Lear. My family and I recently spent a terrific weekend at a B&B up in Cape Cod for less than half what they would have charged a year ago. I'm wondering if anyone else has any other "high budget brought low by the economy travel stories" to share.

The other side of the schandefreude sword to this story is the fact that when the tourism industry goes bust, a whole bunch of jobs that are filled by people who really, really need the work to meet their bills go belly up also. As good as you might feel about some dotcom flaming shitheel getting a taste of life without the Beemer it should be dulled a bit by the realization that a working class stiff is out of a job.
posted by MAYORBOB at 3:48 AM on December 14, 2001

"Directly below me I can see the ceiling of the white skybridge which crosses Pine at Seventh, part of the Convention Center's hideous architecture and the surest sign we have that Seattle might one day be as ugly as Orlando. I marvel at the skybridge, which ruins the sky--it has been an obsession of mine since the moment it blocked the light of downtown a couple of years ago. It is such a phenomenal mistake, such an indisputable example of butt-ugliness, it's almost wondrous."
posted by Carol Anne at 4:48 AM on December 14, 2001

From the story: "The super-rich traveler that the hoteliers envisioned is a casualty of the dot-com bust and the post-9/11 fear economy.

True, but I believe it goes deeper than that. The super-rich do not want to WAIT in the lines among the hoi polloi of air travellers.

re MAYORBOB: My parents just left for a cruise on which they will have a penthouse suite for the cost of a discounted pillbox. Also, next month Phoenix and I will spend a long weekend in the French Quarter at $49/night.

A little poking around on the web will turn up travel deals left and right. One can go to Hawaii or Eurpope for less than what it cost 20 years ago.
posted by mischief at 5:43 AM on December 14, 2001

where are all the rich people? maybe Satan has come to collect what's due to him.
posted by tolkhan at 5:57 AM on December 14, 2001

Let's get this out in the open, first thing: The Stranger is not the sort of magazine that would be celebrating if wealthy people were packed into the Elliot Grand anyway. Great weekly.. repeat, great weekly.. but too self-consciously hip and marginal to be considered fair when it comes to these issues.

Second, I think the convention center is pretty cool. Something about its ungodly size and shape, and the way it tries to be a separate city.. it's like having Babylon 5 right in the middle of Downtown.
posted by Hildago at 7:40 AM on December 14, 2001

posted by mcsweetie at 7:49 AM on December 14, 2001

[N]ext month Phoenix and I will spend a long weekend in the French Quarter at $49/night.

Who's Phoenix? A superhero?
posted by KLAX at 7:49 AM on December 14, 2001

"Who's Phoenix?" You would know if you were a Plastitute. ;-P
posted by mischief at 8:59 AM on December 14, 2001

right on, Black 8!
posted by Ty Webb at 10:18 AM on December 14, 2001

I marvel at the skybridge, which ruins the sky

Yeah, it's not like any of those huge fucking buildings have anything to do with that, huh?
posted by kindall at 10:46 AM on December 14, 2001

Seattle is home to the most horrid ass-ugly turd of a building ever conceived by mankind (Paul Allen's amazingly "swoopy" Experience Music Project) and they're bitching about the skybridge? Unbelievable.
posted by Danelope at 10:56 AM on December 14, 2001

Now, now, now. They're both horrid.
posted by Skot at 11:06 AM on December 14, 2001

afraid i agree with black8's sentiments. having lived here for more than a decade now, i really resent what money (in particular due to the californian influx) has done to my hometown! every place that was cool to be. every memorable landmark has been changed or knocked down to build a chi chi restaurant or yuppie clothing store. whole districts are unrecognizably disfigured. to the point where there's almost nothing left of what made seattle great!

so while i really dislike the idea of people getting laid off, i'll be ELATED if even half of these moneyed bastards pack up and go back to california. and they can take FREMONT and BELLTOWN back with them!! we don't want california culture. we have (had?) our own!
posted by muppetboy at 12:11 PM on December 14, 2001

Hey, at least Planet Hollywood™ has shut down in Seattle. We have been colonized by California over the past few years, and I always looked at Planet Hollywood™ as the headquarters of the occupation. Now they're gone, and that's cause for celebration, and hopefully a sign of greater things to come.
posted by webmutant at 12:56 PM on December 14, 2001

Louisiana has been trying to look like a good place for "high-tech" companies to look into as a location. So, basically salivating over all that disappeareded money. Actually the new Biotech initiatives look pretty good, but the attempt to rebrand Lousiana as the next place for a boom in technology made me laugh. I'll be glad if I'm proven wrong, though.

Tourism is oviously the base of New Orleans economy, so it is getting kind of bad there which is hard to imagine since it sucked so bad before. Those low prices are more related to terrorism than anything to do with technology. I'll be taking advantage of the French Quarter deals this very night actually. And well, good thing for the Superbowl.
posted by mblandi at 1:42 PM on December 14, 2001

muppetboy said: "having lived here for more than a decade now, i really resent what money (in particular due to the californian influx) has done to my hometown! "

Um... ten whole years? Aren't you, perhaps, part of the outsider influx yourself? It started in the late '80s. Kind of odd for people to move here and then want to pull up the drawbridge behind them.

It is true that Seattle has lost a lot, but the process has been an ongoing one and it's been going on for a very long time now, not just in the last 10 years.

(Been here for 36 years, myself.)
posted by litlnemo at 8:34 PM on December 14, 2001

I'm still a newcomer to Seattle, having arrived in 1983, three years after Mount St. Helens erupted. But, I was here for the Kingdome implosion!
posted by Carol Anne at 3:24 PM on December 15, 2001

Gee, I moved here in '67--You have no idea of all that's long gone... What do those carpetbaggers at the Stranger know, anyway? Get thee behind me just-crawled-on-to-shore whiners!
posted by y2karl at 11:38 PM on December 19, 2001

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