Ramada Plaza JFK Hotel
|Ramada Plaza JFK Hotel|
|Former names||International Hotel Travelodge New York JFK|
|Location||John F. Kennedy International Airport|
|Town or city||Queens, New York City, New York|
|Closed||December 1, 2009|
|Owner||Port Authority of New York and New Jersey|
|Material||White brick (façade)|
|Number of rooms||478|
Description and history
For several years, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ), the airport's owner, leased the building and site to the hotel-holding company Westmont Hospitality Group. In 2009, a PANYNJ spokesperson said that Westmont Hospitality Group decided not to renew the lease for 2009.
With the expiration of the lease in late 2008, PANYNJ resumed control of the building and leased the facility to Highgate Holdings for one year, although the PANYNJ preliminary 2010 budget issued in 2009 indicated that an estimated savings of $1 million per month would be achieved by PANYNJ with the reported closing of the hotel due to "declining aviation activity and a need for substantial renovation". The hotel was scheduled to close on December 1, 2009, with almost 200 employees made redundant and the PANYNJ hoping to construct a new hotel on the airport property.
Use as temporary housing
A series of nearby airplane-crash incidents, the flights of which originated at the airport  in the 1990s and 2000s, caused the hotel to be casually referred to as the "heartbreak hotel" when the facilities would be used as the temporary central housing and gathering place for family members of passengers and crew, as well as the media.
The crash of TWA Flight 800 in 1996 originated the use of the hotel facilities for guest housing, bereavement-related services and news gathering for crash-incident-related purposes. Ying Chan, Jose Lambiet and Jere Hester of the Daily News wrote that for the families the hotel became "a makeshift grief counseling center". Many waited there for the remains of their family members to be recovered, identified and released. U.S. President Bill Clinton visited the hotel while it housed TWA Flight 800 next of kin. The hotel also hosted families of Swissair Flight 111 (1998), EgyptAir Flight 990 (1999) and American Airlines Flight 587 (2001) victims.
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- "Port Authority Releases Preliminary 2010 Budget". Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. December 3, 2009. Retrieved November 4, 2012. "Closing the Ramada Plaza Hotel at JFK International Airport because of declining aviation activity and a need for substantial renovation. The closing will save the agency $1 million per month."
- Adamson, April (September 4, 1998). "229 Victims Knew Jet Was in Trouble Airport Inn Becomes Heartbreak Hotel Again". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved March 9, 2014.
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