NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — With no date in sight for reopening, some event spaces in New York City are beginning to worry about their future, including the iconic Gotham Hall.
The 17,500-square-foot historic Midtown building with a stained-glass skylight and limestone Corinthian columns normally hosts more than 200 events per year — large events like weddings, nonprofit galas, corporate, fashion and film parties.
“We’re on four months of just expenses with no revenue,” Gotham Hall managing director B. Allan Kurtz told CBS2’s Alice Gainer.
Kurtz, who also runs Ziegfeld Ballroom, said there are 30 employees. Twenty were furloughed, and the remaining 10 have a reduced work week.
“We’re now on four months of paying very high rent, as you can imagine. We’re still paying for everybody’s health care,” Kurtz said.
The Paycheck Protection Program has long run out.
“[Money is] just coming from the partners, and to be perfectly blunt, capitol call so that the partners are funding the business right now,” Kurtz said.
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Gotham Hall relies heavily on smaller businesses and gig workers for events, so the impact has been far-reaching.
“The servers are not working, the line cooks are not working, so there’s a lot of people that work here. Our lighting people, sound people,” Kurtz said.
Now, Gotham Hall is looking into hosting alternative events just to bring in some kind of revenue.
“If a church called us up and said we need you to have a service … what a great socially distanced classroom this could be … for a memorial service. We have the space to be able to socially distance the chairs,” Kurtz said. “We’ve talked to people about doing trade shows where they have appointments.”
Without indoor dining and gatherings of just 25 people allowed in Phase 3, they need to get creative.
He also said another round of PPP would greatly help the hospitality industry.
This week, Sen. Chuck Schumer said there’s a push for that underway.
“If you have applied and used the money and it’s now run out, we’re here to say we want to change the law, improve the law, so you can get a second round,” Schumer said.
Kurtz said he understands the need for more science about reopening indoors, but his industry needs a month or two heads up as to when that might be.
“We need lead time. Weddings need to plan, nonprofit galas need to plan,” he said.
Kurtz said their event calendar for 2021 is filling up; the industry just needs to get there.