Bear Hotel Market Bites De Niro

Robert De Niro and his partners in the posh Greenwich Hotel probably never wanted a mob scene in the lobby, anyway.

The fancy Tribeca lodge is geared toward people who value their privacy, like Mr. De Niro himself. It’s supposed to be a quiet retreat where guys like Patrick Dempsey can lift weights in peace and where the rapper Eminem can safely avoid eye contact with other humans, entirely.

Good thing. The celebrity-friendly inn is operating at only an "estimated 50% occupancy rate," the hotel’s "grimacing" lawyer informed the local community board this week, according to Eater. ("That grimacing ‘lawyer’ was [Greenwich co-owner] Richard [Born]," Ira Drukier, one of Mr. De Niro’s partners, clarified in an email to The Observer.)

The place seemed almost too peaceful when I last visited the intricately designed hotel one afternoon this past November. I spotted only two guests chatting in a room off the lobby before a guy resembling the actor Kevin Spacey wearing dark sunglasses and a baseball cap darted from an elevator and out the door.

While a half-empty hotel might suit Mr. De Niro’s sensibilities, other hoteliers are likely not thrilled by the overall downward trend in bookings.

Industry analyst John A. Fox, senior vice president at PKF Consulting, said preliminary figures at hotels in Manhattan last month indicate "the lowest occupancy for a January since 1994" with revenues down about 30 percent from January 2008.

And it only gets worse in February: "I have seen data that indicates that for the week ended Feb. 7, citywide occupancy was about 56% and that for the same week hotel room revenues were down about 44% from the same week in 2008," Mr. Fox told The Observer via email.