Remember 2006? When New York City was in the middle of its giddiest real estate run in the history of giddiness? Remember that the Corcoran Group’s holiday party was set in a faux-Roman palace, decorated with lightly-dressed actors in vintage costumes? Around 900 people drank up and patted each other on the back and talked shop and smiled.
There will be no faux-Roman palaces this year.
"We decided not to have a holiday party quite a while ago," Corcoran CEO Pam Liebman told The Observer yesterday. "It’s just not a responsible way to act right now."
But won’t that be bad for morale? "You know what, we do a lot of things that are good for morale, but spending a fortune when the market’s faced with some unprecedented numbers? By the way, my brokers literally applauded when we said we weren’t going to have a party. It’s not the way to act right now! People are losing their jobs, the economy is in a scary place; it’s not the time to waste money on a celebration."
Ms. Liebman said the decision was made before the news that rival Prudential Douglas Elliman or commercial firms like CB Richard Ellis and Cushman & Wakefield had cancelled their parties, too. "I never, never ask them what they’re doing. I think we operate doing what’s best for us," she said.
When asked for an estimate on party costs, she said they’re well over $100,000. "Everyone’s having their own potluck dinner in their offices, or someone’s hosting at a house."