By now you know that the old downtown Statler Hilton has been sold. Finally. The Ricchi Investment Group out of San Antonio bought the thing from Hamsher International. But in late 2009, it looked like a mysterious fellow named Richard Chiu was going to save the landmark. Then, well, it didn’t look like that. As the hotel’s future grew murky, Brendan McNally wrote a story for us in June 2010. He tried to interview Chiu, with no success.
So it came as a bit of a surprise, when we received the following letter from Chiu today. It is dated April 8, 2011, and was sent via international mail from Warwick’s Paris office. Chiu takes issue with some points in the story. We stand by it.
On a trip to Dallas last month, I was made aware of an article that appeared in the June 2010 edition of your magazine. Titled “The Case of the Mysterious Mr. Chiu and the Statler Hotel,” the article contained several factual errors.
The article states, “Chiu is no newcomer to the Dallas hotel business. In fact, he entered it 20 years ago, when he bought what was then Dallas’ greatest hotel, the Statler, and ran it into the ground …”
I have never owned or operated the Statler Hotel. It was owned by Hamsher International, a Hong Kong based firm in which I am not a director nor a shareholder, and nor have I ever been in the past. A family member controls Hamsher International, which acquired the hotel some 20 years ago. I have never been involved in the management or operations of this project. My only involvement with this hotel started some two years ago when this family member asked me to carry certain messages to the City officials with whom I met three times. During these meetings, I carried the messages of this family member and reflected back to him the views of these City officials. I have always made it very clear to the City officials that Warwick Hotels was not involved or implicated in this exchange of views.
The article also refers to my company, Warwick International and contends that I “borrowed the (Warwick) name …. after learning that the Warwick had been built by publishing mogul William Randolph Hearst.” After I purchased the Warwick New York Hotel, I owned the name and decided to use it as the brand name of our Group.
Finally and egregiously, the article refers and draws “similarities” to one of my ventures in Australia, suggesting that I made promises that were not kept. On the contrary, I fulfilled every obligation and engagement made in relation to that project. The article’s statements were therefore incorrect.
My company invests tens of millions of dollars every year in renovating and maintaining our worldwide hotels, many of them are of historic significance. It is a gravely serious charge to imply I would mismanage any hotel in the manner described in this article. At this point in time, I kindly ask you remove the article on D Magazine’s website and other related websites immediately.
President Warwick International