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Maksoud Plaza, which closed on Tuesday (7), tried to conquer new generations

O Maksoud Plaza, which announced its closing on Tuesday (7) after 42 years of operation, was the scene of a series of transformations in recent years, with the objective of recovering the prestige that the place had in the 1980s and 1990s.

One of the names responsible for this movement was the entrepreneur Facundo Guerra, who, at the invitation of the operations director Henry Maksoud Neto, led the projects inaugurated in the recent history of Maksoud Plaza.

Between 2014 and 2017, he was behind projects such as the event space PanAm Club, O Frank Bar it’s at Dreams 2117 Suite, a habitable art installation created in partnership with the artist Felipe Morozini.

About the closure, Facundo reveals that “there was always a possibility of this happening on the horizon”. “Whether it was for management problems, because even before I got there, the occupancy rate was very low, or because there were societal problems. But still, to be honest, I didn’t expect it,” he told CNN.

Away from those responsible for managing the hotel since 2017, the businessman regretted the closure of operations. “I put a lot of my energy and dreams into Maksoud Plaza, because I also wanted to see that place come back to the city. São Paulo loses a source of affective memories, apart from all the jobs that this place generated.”

In 2014, after the death of the hotel’s founder, Henry Maksoud, his grandson took over the management of the place. With a low occupancy rate, Maksoud Plaza was then a lodging option sought after by a corporate niche, but with little appeal in entertainment structures and often remembered for its decay bias.

The partnership with Facundo, the name behind clubs like Lions Nightclub, Cine Joia, Riviera, Bar dos Arcos and Blue Note, was strategic so that Henry Maksoud Neto could attract new audiences and reposition the place in terms of accommodation, but also in terms of gastronomy , culture and nightlife.

In January 2015, the PanAm Club was inaugurated, a space for parties at the top of the hotel, with a panoramic view and capacity for up to 250 people. The club was successful, but closed in 2017 – right after a tragic suicide episode at the last PanAm party.

Also in 2015, the hotel gained a new attraction focused on nightlife: the Frank Bar, which was soon listed among the best bars in the world according to the World’s 50 Best Bars – ranking in which it appeared for three consecutive years. The end of operations also implied the closure of Frank’s activities.

“I’m really sorry, it’s like I’m losing a child. Frank was one of the most successful businesses I ever conceived. Seeing such a beautiful project go away is a piece of my identity that goes with it”, declared Facundo, creator of the space.

About the process of rapprochement between the population of São Paulo and Maksoud Plaza, he believes that a new generation of people from São Paulo have rediscovered Maksoud. “It was an amazing place, very impressive in its eighties grandeur. He had become a time capsule, and rediscovering that one block from Avenida Paulista was a very beautiful experience. I’ll never forget the smell of Maksoud’s lobby, the pool, Frank’s. It was a place that came back to the memory of the people of São Paulo and even to the world memory”, he recalled.

According to the hotel’s press office, the brand will be maintained and should announce new developments soon. As for the building near Paulista, Facundo hopes “that it will become something that tells a new story for São Paulo”, he concludes.

Reference: CNN Brasil

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