By Alexandra Molten
VANCOUVER — As The Waldorf Hotel entered a turf war over a year ago, battle cries were heard across BC from the East Van creatives to the interior and beyond. The possibility of The Waldorf’s land being rezoned and redeveloped led to a fierce and bitter media frenzy, and in the end The Waldorf’s doors were closed. When it looked like the lot was doomed, the tables turned. Come September, The Waldorf will open its doors again!
Jon Campbell, the new marketing director and talent buyer at The Waldorf, was gracious enough to show BeatRoute around. The Tiki-themed establishment that first opened in 1947 is a glorious relic and one that was worth saving. It is a perfect combination of cool and kitsch. There are rooms of all different sizes sporting bamboo finishes and elaborate murals. Entering it feels like walking onto a movie set. It’s hard to believe that a Tiki palace was ever built in Vancouver in the first place!
When BeatRoute asked what Campbell wished to create at The Waldorf, he replied, “The vision is to be open to everything. I want everything from, say, jazz to death metal. I want a variety of stuff for everybody in the community.” The venue certainly has the capacity to do so!
Campbell was particularly excited for the outdoor space attached to the building. It has a stage, a sanded beach that will double as a dance floor, and a liquor license – so it is a perfect location for outdoor parties in sun and moonlight. With the outdoor space and multiple indoor spaces, The Waldorf is truly a unique space which, Campbell explains, “basically sets itself apart… there’s nothing like this in Vancouver.”
When asked to comment on the controversy that swirled around the closure of The Waldorf, Campbell preferred to look forward stating that “right now all I’m caring about is staying open and being positive.” Ultimately the East Van community got what it wanted: The Waldorf intact in its full Tiki glory and ready to get the local talent onstage and the community through the doors. So let us celebrate this win for the arts community and put our money where our mouths are! Get out there and let’s make The Waldorf a success again.
The Waldorf’s event schedule will be in full swing throughout September, check https://www.facebook.com/atthewaldorf/ for details.BC, British Columbia, Waldorf Hotel