Following Up: Hotels

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Lisa Fickenscher, a senior reporter for Crain's New York Business, gives a quick overview of the extravagant hotel room market in light allegations that IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn sexually assaulted a woman in a $3,000-a-night suite in Midtown Manhattan.


Lisa Fickenscher

Comments [15]

D.L.McNamara from Staten Island, NY

A friend works housekeeping at a unionized Marriott earning roughly $17 per hour with horrible medical. She hates the union because a non-union Marriott pays more per hour with better benefit options.

About a year ago a male guest requested additional towels. When my friend entered the room carrying the towels the man grabbed her, groped her and forced her hand to his privates all while his wife was in the bathroom a few feet away. She did press charges with the hotels encouragement. Unfortunately this does not remove the apprehension she feels when entering a room now.

I do feel the cost of the room was relevant to the story because of Strauss-Kahn's position and claims to being a socialist.

What I find distasteful is how this story is treated in a lighthearted almost joking fashion. When Lara Logan was raped in Egypt reporters expressed horror over Ms Logan's treatment. When Nir
Rosen made fun of the incident he was savaged by fellow reporters and forced to resign. It seems a lowly, presumed to be uneducated housekeeper is not worthy of the same respect. This women was the victim of a sexual assault - chuckling over chambermaids is NOT appropriate.

May. 17 2011 06:31 PM
Tiffany Williams from Washington, DC

the comments from mamiewallace and usadadnyc are so needed- the story is about rape, AND it points to the issue of housekeepers (in private homes and in hotels) not even being noticed as people.

May. 17 2011 04:58 PM
uscdadnyc from nyc

I never paid much attention to Hotel Housekeeping Staff. They were Invisible to me, I was never around when they did their work. I left a TIP when I checked-out. The current scandal will make me consider them more as people.

May. 17 2011 04:51 PM
Martha Bragin from Brookyn

FYI Sofitel housekeepers are orgnized by the Hotel and Restaurant Employees International Union, HERE. I hope that her union membership has made it possible for her to come forward, to be believed, and to be able to get redress for her victimization.

May. 17 2011 10:52 AM

This article from the Irish Times on May 7th has also been getting attention, as in was Strauss-Kahn being taken out because he was not playing the financial game to the rules set out by the banksters?

"Ireland’s Last Stand began less shambolically than you might expect. The IMF, which believes that lenders should pay for their stupidity before it has to reach into its pocket, presented the Irish with a plan to haircut €30 billion of unguaranteed bonds by two-thirds on average. Lenihan was overjoyed, according to a source who was there, telling the IMF team: “You are Ireland’s salvation.”

The deal was torpedoed from an unexpected direction. At a conference call with the G7 finance ministers, the haircut was vetoed by US treasury secretary Timothy Geithner who, as his payment of $13 billion from government-owned AIG to Goldman Sachs showed, believes that bankers take priority over taxpayers. The only one to speak up for the Irish was UK chancellor George Osborne, but Geithner, as always, got his way. An instructive, if painful, lesson in the extent of US soft power, and in who our friends really are."

The whole article is an interesting look at the Irish meltdown at the hands of its banksters.

Again, interesting in a corporate financial intrigue way.

And there is nothing but known behavior which would so fit a means of taking out an inconvenient power broker. Set up? Or just being watched to make sure he can be caught?

Or, just a boorish serial sexual predator? Will we ever know?

May. 17 2011 10:46 AM
MP from Brooklyn

Rich men who pay enough money get to treat poor women any way they want - so what else is new? So depressing that some things never change.

May. 17 2011 10:38 AM

No offense to this lady but watching porn isn't illegal. I mean just close the guys door. Sure, it sounds like a sleazy scene but it's not a crime. What's to say a maid from a conservative country doesn't see two gay guys in a hotel room and tries to call management?

May. 17 2011 10:38 AM

I read this comment yesterday at Naked Capitalism:

"sapeurcamembert says:
May 15, 2011 at 11:58 pm
He was not in a private plane. he was on a regular Air France flight..first class.
I am French and I am more or less convinced that everything was set up, probably arranged by french secret service acting on behalf of agency vaguely associated with the french presidency (Sarkozy).
Blogger in France, associated with the political right wing announced the event (twitter) BEFORE it was public..highly suspect and the hotel chain where it was (SOFITEL) is owned by a closely friend of President Sarkozy. Made your own conclusions…"

I also heard a report on either NPR or BBC early this morning that there was a tweet or tweets by Sarkozy supporters about the bust before news of the bust came out publicly.

Just interesting -- fodder for an espionage novel writer....

May. 17 2011 10:38 AM
mamiecwallace from Harlem

Again, Brian is being topical instead of serious! Who cares how the beast was able to have a SUITE worth 3000.00 p/d....! A woman was raped, that's the issue!@

May. 17 2011 10:37 AM
Naomi Alexis from Brooklyn

Because these are jobs typically inhabited by women and largely women of color, is anyone surprised that some rich white dude would try to take advantage of them?

This is not new. I'm just glad she spoke up.

May. 17 2011 10:37 AM
Bob from Pelham NY

Reporters found the $3,000 per night room rate from the same source that they got the $1million price for OBL's compound -- one person (AP?) said it and everyone else quoted it without fact-checking because it was too good not to quote. Got to love the 24/7 news cycle.

May. 17 2011 10:36 AM
MP from Brooklyn

To BK in Brooklyn -

YES! I think that's exactly right. And also why I agreed wholeheartedly with the housekeeper who called yesterday and objected to the term "chambermaid," which has come to have a lewd implication.

May. 17 2011 10:36 AM
From BK from Brooklyn

I wonder if a part of the prevalence of men being inappropriate with hotel staff is based upon the often promoted fantasy of the lusty chamber maid.

May. 17 2011 10:32 AM
Edward from NJ

I find the whole tone of the coverage surrounding this event vaguely offensive. There's blend of news-of-the-weird and schadenfreude. This is an alleged sexual assault, and we're talking about the cost of the room? Seriously?

May. 17 2011 10:31 AM
David from Queens

Ironic that one of the heads of the IMF was charged with sexual assault when the IMF has been molesting the developing world for years

May. 17 2011 10:25 AM

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