How do you make a hotel thrive in the time of COVID? It’s a question RTI’s neighbor, the Grand Hotel, has figured out, even as the foreign tourism market has collapsed. It hasn’t been easy, but this nearly 70-year-old hotel has two aces up its sleeve that have helped immensely. One is the hotel’s romantic past. Who wouldn’t want to stay in a place that’s hosted everyone from Dwight D. Eisenhower to Elizabeth Taylor? And then, there’s the hotel's current chairman, Lin Yusheng. Under his leadership, the hotel has started to use its storied past to its advantage, opening up its long-hidden secrets to the Taiwanese public. The response has been enthusiastic to say the least. The hotel has even started turning a profit, something it hadn’t done in more than 20 years. Over the past two weeks, I’ve taken you to some of the recently opened attractions the hotel has to offer. We’ve seen the secret Cold War tunnels that run beneath the hotel and the house where the hotel’s first manager, a mysterious woman named Kong Er, once rested in her off hours. This week, we’re heading to the hotel’s top floor to the office of Mr. Lin Himself to see just how far the hotel has come despite all the crises the past few years have thrown at it.
- 01 May, 2021