Hard Rock Developers Stuck Between a Rock and a Hard Place in Wake of Hotel Collapse
Jan 27 2020

Hard Rock Developers Face Criticism in Wake of Hotel Collapse

By: Molly Kellogg

In the wake of the Oct. 12 collapse, Hard Rock Hotel developers are working hard to remove blame from their shoulders. They will appear on the radio on Monday to finally discuss the ordeal, after the unfortunate discovery of a body on the site this past week.

New Orleans residents and workers' families alike have been protesting the injustice of the past couple weeks, placing emphasis on how horrifically the collapse (and subsequent deaths) was handled. Protesters were seen marching from the scene of the collapse on Canal toward City Hall this past Friday.

However, according to the owners of the collapsed hotel, as they have posted in a recent newspaper advertisement, there has been far too much 'misinformation' regarding the crisis. The ad announces they will appear on talk-radio Monday afternoon to get to the bottom of the issue at hand. Further, the ad explained that the developers chose to keep quiet "out of respect to those affected," and states they have been actively working to clean up the scene. The developers also stated clearly in the advertisement that the tragedy was not their fault, writing "we did not do the construction. We did not do the engineering." They hope to set the record straight.

The 18-story building top floors collapsed on Oct 12, killing 3 construction workers in the process. Cleanup has since been paused on the site. New Orleans residents and families of the victims have been told time and time again there are plans to demolish the remaining structure and clear the site. But to no avail.

Initially, city officials promised the structure would come down fully in January. Shortly after, a new plan suggested tearing it down piece by piece, devising a project that would persist through the end of 2020. However, this plan was thrown out too. Now there are plans to get rid of the site before Mardi Gras, but who's to say if this will actually happen?

Outrage over the sluggish process imploded last week, when suddenly a tarp blew off to reveal the dead body of a worker killed in the collapse still lingering in the structure. The tarp had been draped over the body because it was apparently inaccessible to emergency crews. However, the horrific view represented something far more than a failure of access by emergency teams. It showed just how much the owners of the building and City Hall did not care about the tragedy.

This has provoked more than 200 people to march on City Hall on Friday. They are angry, upset and confused by the handling of this matter. But, for now, there just seems to be more and more red tape piling around the site. City council hearings and federal regulators are all getting involved.

In reality - the solution is simple. Take the body out and clear the building.

Instead, Sunday's ad asks listeners to tune in to former Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand's radio show at noon on Monday on WWL-AM to hear the whole story. This will be the first time the owners of the project will speak out on the Oct.12 collapse. It is time to face the music.


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