NAB Chairperson Orders Probe into Roosevelt Hotel Closure

National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairperson Justice retired Javed Iqbal has taken notice of reports that the historic Roosevelt Hotel will be closed by the end of October 2020, said a press statement released by NAB, on Tuesday.

The statement comes only days after the Roosevelt Hotel announced it will shut its doors on guests permanently on October 31.

“Due to the current economic impacts, after almost 100 years of welcoming guests to The Grand Dame of New York, The Roosevelt Hotel, is regretfully closing its doors permanently as of October 31, 2020,” the announcement said.

NAB’s chairperson has directed the bureau’s Rawalpindi director-general to probe the reasons behind the decision to shutter the hotel.

The watchdog will look into the reasons behind the alleged loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars borne by the government and will point out the officials who allegedly showed carelessness in performing their national duties and failed to play a role in making the hotel into a profitable entity.

The Roosevelt Hotel was built by Niagara Falls businessman Frank A Dudley and operated by the United Hotels Company. It has been operational since September 23, 1924. Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) leased the hotel in 1979 through its investment arm, PIA Investments Ltd, with an option to purchase the building after 20 years. In 1999, PIA exercised its option and bought the hotel for $36.5 million.

The main reason for the decline in the hotel’s business is the obsolescence of its infrastructure and dilapidated room conditions. Until now, however, PIA still owns the property as the building has not been sold, according to diplomatic sources. The building is valued north of a billion dollars.