Chateau Marmont, One Of West Hollywood’s Landmarks, Lets Most Staff Go In Wake Of Coronavirus

Bruce Haring

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Countless Oscars parties, many scandals, and guests ranging from Howard Hughes through Led Zeppelin made Chateau Marmont a West Hollywood staple since its 1929 debut.

But the recent coronavirus shutdown has knocked out many hotels and restaurants around the world, and the Chateau Marmont is apparently not immune. Numerous reports and a statement from the labor union for the venue’s workers indicate the hotel has terminated nearly all of its staff, throwing many longtime employees out of work.

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Local 11, the union for Southern California hospitality workers, claimed hotel management notified employees on March 19 that they were being let go, effective the following day. Although no precise numbers were given, the union said nearly the entire workforce was terminated.

Unlike many hotels and restaurants forced to close, the Chateau Marmont workers were reportedly not offered severance pay, continuations of health insurance, or assurances they would be hired back when the coronavirus crisis ends.

For decades, the secluded Chateau Marmont has maintained its exclusive status. “If you must get into trouble, go to the Marmont,” Columbia Pictures president Harry Cohn allegedly said. The hotel has hosted Nicholas Ray, who cast and rehearsed the classic film Rebel Without A Cause at his suite; Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate, who lived there before her tragic death shortly after moving out; and actor John Belushi, who overdosed in one of the hotel’s bungalows.


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