Luxury hotels in the suburbs are part of a bland, transient world of the rich, who come and go and are mostly unseen.
Because these hotels sprouted up in the post-war expansion years when big businesses fled the cities to set up sprawling corporate parks along the interstates, they haven’t been around long enough to have a history. They do provide the stuff of legend, of myth. They have no eccentricity.
They are dull.
Westchester County has more than 30 hotels offering more than 5,580 rooms—and until last weekend’s gruesome death of Ben Novack at the Rye Town Hilton, not one of them, to my knowledge, has been the scene of a murder. The proprietors might not appreciate this now, but Novack’s unfortunate demise, may give the hotel some character.
Novack’s notoriety as the high-flying “Prince of the Fontainbleu” gives this particular case just the right amount of tabloid-style interest to last forever. It’s the stuff of one of those theatrical “Murder Mystery Weekends” that are popular with bed-and-breakfast tourists. That Novack claimed in divorce papers seven years ago that his wife tried to bump him off then, only thickens this plot.
Older and more famous hotels around the world have actually cashed in on the bizarre, tabloid-style happenings in their establishments. Indeed, with time, a hotel murder can be a marketing tool.
Remember Jack Nicholson in “The Shining”? There was one room in the big creepy hotel where no one was allowed to enter: