We received this disturbing news earlier in the month. Apparently the realty company that owns the Hotel Pennsylvania, site of our HOPE conferences, wants to tear down the historic hotel and replace it with a huge financial tower. Such a move could spell the end of HOPE.
The Hotel Pennsylvania was built in 1919 and has a very rich history. It has been home to many a "big band" concert in its early years and was the inspiration for the famous Glenn Miller song "PEnnsylvania 6-5000," a phone number that still rings at the Hotel Pennsylvania switchboard. The building itself, as any HOPE attendee knows, is filled with hidden corridors, rooms, and even floors. Being right across the street from Penn Station (New York's main train station), it's extremely easy to get to for those coming to New York for the first time. And because it's not an overly expensive place to stay, it's proven very popular for travelers from all over the world.
We've hosted five HOPE conferences at the Hotel Pennsylvania since 1994 and the next one is set for 2008. In preparation for this, and to discuss the fate of the hotel among other things, we are today launching a web-based forum for all things HOPE-related. You can reach this brand new forum at talk.hope.net.
If you've been involved in any of the HOPE conferences, we'd like to see you become active in the HOPE Forums so you can help make future conferences even better. We also have a bunch of sections for those of you who would like to reminisce about previous conferences. If there's anything that the current threat to the hotel has taught us, it's that history should be preserved. We think HOPE has provided quite a lot of history along with a whole host of good memories. With luck and organization, we will be able to generate a lot more of this in the future. Your participation is vital in ensuring this.
As for saving the hotel, it's something we would very much like to do. But that will involve a huge challenge, not just for us, but for the thousands of other people around the world who want to see it preserved, maintained, and open for future generations. We just might have a shot. In any event, we hope you register for the forum and get involved in the discussion.