Wednesday, 30 Sep 2020

Sports Authority founder sounds off on LeBron James, mixing sports with politics

Fabled Royalton Hotel sells for $45 million

High-flying MCR Development, which launched the retro-styled TWA Hotel at John F. Kennedy Airport, has added another trophy to its lodging portfolio: The fabled Royalton Hotel at 44 W. 44th St., which it snatched for $44.8 million — a 15 percent discount from what it last fetched in 2017.

MCR is the sixth-largest hotel owner in the country. Its other New York properties include the giant New Yorker Hotel on Eighth Avenue and the High Line Hotel downtown.

The Royalton opened in 1898 as a fancy residential hotel before it turned into a single-room-occupancy backwater in the mid-20th Century. It enjoyed its most glamorous years after Studio 54 co-founder Ian Schrager’s company bought it for $17 million and re-launched it in 1988 with a sexy, moody design by Philippe Starck and cutting-edge bars and restaurants that inspired many other inns around town.

The 168-room hotel changed hands several times after that, most recently for $53 million to Rockport Group and Highgate Holdings in 2017. The new owners replaced Starck’s design with a generic, suburban look.

The Royalton is currently closed but will reopen on Sept. 30, according to its website.
The low purchase price reflects weakness in the city’s hotel market, which was battered by over-supply even before the pandemic struck last winter. But an industry source said the Royalton purchase wasn’t as cheap as it seemed. “It needs tons and tons of work.”

JLL brokered the sale but no other details were immediately available. MCR Development CEO Tyler Morse could not be reached.

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Trump Says It’d Be ‘Insult’ If Harris Is First Woman President

Donald Trump said it would be an “insult” if Senator Kamala Harris became the first woman to be elected president, repeatedly mocking the Democratic vice presidential nominee at a North Carolina rally.

“People don’t like her,” Trump said after recounting her slide in polls while she was running for the Democratic nomination for president last year.

“Nobody likes her,” he said in Winston-Salem, N.C. “She could never be the first woman president. She could never be. That would be an insult to our country.”

Trump said his re-election opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, “has now formed an unholy alliance” with the “radical left” through Harris.

“You know who’s further left than crazy Bernie?” Trump asked, referring to Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. “Kamala,” he said, theatrically stretching out and mispronouncing her name three times in a row.

Harris, California’s junior senator and a former attorney general of that state, is the first Black and Indian-American and Black woman on a major presidential party ticket.

Bezos tops Forbes’ richest list for third year in a row

Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos topped Forbes’ list of richest Americans for the third year in a row, while President Trump’s ranking dropped as the coronavirus pandemic slammed his office buildings, hotels and resorts, the magazine said Tuesday.

The aggregate wealth of the Forbes 400 list rose to a record $3.2 trillion, as the richest Americans continued to do well even though the pandemic has devastated the economy and caused more than 1.8 million Americans to lose their jobs. Bezos’ fortune of $179 billion, as of July 24, is up 57 percent from last year.

Eric Yuan, chief executive officer of Zoom Video Communications, which has become ubiquitous in the work-from-home era, was one of 18 newcomers on the list with a net worth of $11 billion.

Trump’s ranking dropped to No. 352 from 275 last year as his net worth fell to $2.5 billion from $3.1 billion, as office buildings, hotels and resorts, have suffered during the pandemic. His business, the Trump Organization, owns property in all three categories.

Trump has long refused to release his tax records, and has been locked in a battle with Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, who subpoenaed Trump for eight years of personal and corporate returns.

The annual list can serve as a way to track the wealthiest people in the country who hold the most power, said Kerry Dolan, assistant managing editor of wealth at Forbes, in an interview with Reuters TV.

“As a society, we all should know who is behind the biggest companies and what they’re doing with their money,” she said.

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Sports Authority founder sounds off on LeBron James, mixing sports with politics

The founder of Sports Authority says he’s dismayed by athletes who are mixing politics with sports — and said he would demote their products if he were still in charge.

“If I had Sports Authority, I’d take the LeBron [Nike] shoes and put them on the back shelf,” said Jack Smith, who resigned from the company in 1998.

“I think it was stupid what the Mets and Marlins did,” he added. “I don’t know what they were trying to prove,” Smith said.

Smith, who started Sports Authority in 1987 with backing from former Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney, made the comments in an interview about a Zucker Lewis Media Group documentary in the works about his life.

James recently led the charge of high-profile athletes sharing their outrage online over the death of George Floyd, whose May death at the hands of police kicked off nationwide protests.

On Aug. 27, the players for the New York Mets and Miami Marlins baseball teams bowed their heads ahead of a scheduled to protest the Kenosha, Wis., police shooting of Jacob Blake Jr. before heading to the dugouts and never returning to play the game.

Sports Authority grew to have 450 stores in 45 states after it became a public company in 1998 — and its original investors make almost 10 times their money.

The chain liquidated in 2016 amid a mountain of debt it taken on to support a leveraged buyout.

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