NY: This Broadway Hotel Has Been Quietly Operating as a Migrant Shelter for Over a Year – Vision Times

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A hotel, in the heart of Broadway, has been quietly operating as a migrant shelter for well over a year, a stark reminder of the migrant crisis that continues to grip New York City. 

The Square Hotel, located at 226 West 50th Street is a 141-room hotel situated directly across the street from New York’s iconic Gershwin Theatre, where the musical “Wicked” is currently playing. 

The hotel’s Facebook page reads, “To our valued guests: it is with great sadness that we announce the Square Hotel will be closed for the foreseeable future. We appreciate your patronage and hope to welcome you back someday soon.”

Its website reads, “Please pardon our appearance as we slip into something new! We look forward to welcoming you in the future.”

Prior to being converted into a migrant shelter the hotel once boasted “Art Nouveau styled hotel rooms” that were furnished with “sophisticated furniture, plush beds with down comforters and deluxe linens, flat-screen televisions with cable and C.O. Bigelow toiletries.”

However, according to the NY Post, “recent visits to the Square Hotel found a much different scene.”

While the hotel still operates a Japanese restaurant and bar in its lobby, patrons will now be greeted by a National Guard soldier at the entrance.

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They’re ‘lazy’

Nicole Gelinas, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, told The Post that the hotel operators are “lazy,” accusing them of taking easy money from the City in order to keep the hotel 100 percent occupied with migrants.

“These hotels could be doing fine tourist business right now, but they are being lazy, and a sure-thing 100-percent occupancy on the city dime, and without having to provide traditional hotel services, is just too good a deal to pass up,” Gelinas said.

Others lamented that the hotel industry is turning NYC’s world famous Broadway District into a migrant district.

State Conservative Party Chairman, Gerard Kassar, said that the Broadway District is “key to the city’s economy” and that there is only “one Broadway —in the entire world!”

According to a mayoral spokesman, the Square Hotel has been operating as a migrant shelter since last spring.

Tom Harris, president of the Times Square Alliance, defended the shelter, telling the NY Post, “This hotel has been operating as a shelter for over a year without incident or complaint. We have every reason to believe the hotel management and the NYC DHS will continue to do so, and work with the community should an issue arise.”

More than 100 New York City hotels have agreed to convert their operations into migrant shelters for individuals and families that have flooded the city after crossing illegally into the U.S. at the southern border. 

It has been called a “godsend” by some after hotels struggled to stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to an extended contract between the City and hotel providers, the cost to taxpayers for hotel rooms for migrants will be around $1.3 billion over the next three years.

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