Monday, December 07, 2009

When cultures collide ... uptown

If you're paying big bucks for a room at the Ritz, do you really want to hear loud bands playing at a huge collection of bars right across the street? Apparently, according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Rodney Monroe, the answer is no.


Monroe was giving the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Commission a presentation Monday and mentioned the police were getting noise complaints from patrons of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, which just opened Oct. 1.

Above the eighth-floor in the hotel, he said, you can really hear the sounds of bands on the rooftop patios. "It'll rattle your windows," he said. "When you pay a thousand dollars a night you don't want your windows rattled."

(Note of responsible journalism here: I checked the Ritz-Carlton web site and a weeknight room can be had for roughly $300-$370, less on weekends. I didn't see any $1,000 possibilities. But then, I couldn't find a room rate for the Presidential Suite, which looks rather lavish.)

Monroe was answering a question from a planning commissioner about how or whether zoning and plans affected crime rates. He pointed out that both the EpiCentre and the Ritz were developments everyone had wanted. "Be careful what you ask for, you just may get it!"

46 comments:

har said...

Sounds like shoddy construction on the hotel's part.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

HAHAHAHA. See what happens when you decide to build EVERYTHING downtown?

Anonymous said...

I have a feeling that the majority is going to have to suffer for the convience of a few out-of-towners.

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Anonymous said...

Sounds like the chief's got his facts wrong again.

"Monroe was answering a question from a planning commissioner about how or whether zoning and plans affected crime rates."

I don't see that he answered that question, either. What do the Ritz and the EpiCentre have to do with crime rates? Except drunks falling off balconies at the EpiCentre...but that's no crime.

Regarding bands making too much noise on rooftop patios, there probably won't be too much of that going on in the dead of winter.

As far as any other time goes, hey, that's the breaks. It's only rock and roll.

Anonymous said...

It seems the problem is the lack of foresight by the builders. The problem is not that there are bands playing at other establishments. Quite honestly, noise is sort of the underlying factor of being in a downtown setting. How does the Ritz-Carlton in NYC handle noise? Seems to me people don't understand the concept of downtown hotels being set in the middle of a lively neighborhood. If you want a peaceful hotel in Charlotte, there are plenty around South Park.

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Anonymous said...

This reminds me of the kind of person that moves into an apartment complex and expects it to be a quiet as a house in the middle of the country. The bands only play to 10pm. You're in the middle of a city. Get over it.

Anonymous said...

The first thing I'd love to know is whether or not other cities of our relative size have this problem? How does, say, Denver resolve the tradeoff between a vibrant downtown nightlife with providing quiet accommodation for hotel guests? Do other cities tend to have all of their hotels on the opposite end of downtown from their bars and clubs? Do they have noise restrictions that we lack? Is our current downtown (defined by the 277-77 loop) too small to peaceably handle all uses for downtown?

As applies to the Ritz-Carlton, you'd have thought a hotel of with their reputation would have done their homework and chosen a location less affected by the ambient noise emitted by nightclubs or at the very least provided better soundproofing for their rooms.

Of course the stodgiest elements in this battle will win and there will be some sort of noise ordinance set in place that will effectively remove all the nightlife from downtown that drew in the new hotels in the first place.

consultant said...

"HAHAHAHA. See what happens when you decide to build EVERYTHING downtown?"

I agree. Let's build the next SuperMaxx prison in one of the many suburbs that are looking to attract "jobs".

Who was there first, the hotel or the clubs? Somebody didn't do their due diligence.

Noise, however, is part of city life. Just like quiet is what you expect in the cookie cutter suburban hotels that require you to drive from point A to B.

The point about shoddy construction is also a good one.

Anonymous said...

It works out perfectly with the new reality, the change we all wanted.

Anonymous said...

Do they have a VIP hostess?

J said...

B of A was the main driver behind the Ritz. They knew the EpiCentre was being built across the street. So yes, they should have done a better job designing the hotel so that the windows wouldn't rattle. Better yet, they should have flip-flopped the location of the Ritz with the location of the new office tower they are building. They probably thought that if the hotel was even 1 block away from Trade St that no one would ever book a room there. But that shouldn't matter, since the only reason they built the hotel was to have a place for all their executives flying in from NY, SF and Boston to have a place to stay.

Anonymous said...

Funny how we're only hearing about the ritz across the street from the Epi. What about those who stay at the Aloft which is right on the exact same property? Any complaints coming from there? In fairness, bands at the Epi Pavilion should probably wrap up around 10:00 PM and the local bars can make modifications. That said, if you're going to book a hotel room, let alone live, in uptown, be ready for a little noise outside. Crank up the AC or get a white noise generator to mask the sound if you're going to bed at 8:00.

Anonymous said...

I've stayed the heart of Manhattan and Chicago in similar hotels. Both have higher noise levels than Charlotte and never noticed the noise unless I opened a window. In short, I agree the Ritz should have put more $$ and planning into the soundproofing.

Louie said...

I was just laughing about this the other day when I saw a brand new Ferrari 599 parked in front of the Ritz, while all the bubbas were packing into Whiskey River in Myrtle Beach In The City (Epicentre) across the street. Seems like they should have put the Ritz in 4th Ward... but then I guess the banking clientele couldn't walk to the corporate center without having to walk outside (BofA loves it's Hamster Tubes!).

I have to say, Charlotte's social climbing reminds me so much of Hyacinth on "Keeping Up Appearances." She wants to be elite so badly... but her blue collar roots always show through!

Anonymous said...

"I have to say, Charlotte's social climbing reminds me so much of Hyacinth on "Keeping Up Appearances." She wants to be elite so badly... but her blue collar roots always show through!"


Touche

Anonymous said...

I saw this comment earlier and completely agree that this was a construction problem on the part of the hotel. So one on the entire development and construction team or even management brought up the issue of noise pollution while they were constructing their 'ritzy' hotel. (Sorry I couldn't resist)

GastoniatoEpicenter said...

Oh, so sorry. I thought this was Paid to Party blog, I saw "Epicenter" so I had to have a look.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it funny that cities like NY, Chicago, Miami, etc. have luxury hotels in the middle of a vibrant area and nobody cares, but in Charlotte it's a big deal? We aren't "big city" yet, not even close...

Anonymous said...

sure the ritz should have decent soundproofing, but i have zero sympathy for anyone who chooses to stay or live in an urban area and doesn't expect some street noise. the sounds of live music and people having fun means something good is happening in our city.

Rick said...

The culture collision will get even more entertaining when the HOF opens up its doors.

Anonymous said...

The same thing happened with the Avenue condos--they'd constantly call the cops to complain about the noise from the bar below, which was there long before the condo tower was there. It boggles the mind that people expect peace and quiet AND a vibrant center city--the 2 just don't coexist.

Anonymous said...

If there can be luxury hotels in the midde of Times Square I see no problem with the Ritz Carlton next to the Epicenter...

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Anonymous said...

A related comment: Why do so many bars and restaurants in Uptown and elsewhere in Charlotte need to pump their trashy, distorted music outside onto the streets and sidewalks and strip malls? I notice they always mount their tinny little speakers too high on the wall to reach with a sledgehammer. At the corner of 6th and College, for instance, you're serenaded by the cacophony produced by the Cosmos Cafe, Fuel Pizza and Brixx Pizza all at once.

Anonymous said...

Charlotte isn't a 24 hour city. There isn't THAT MUCH noise late into the night. I can't imagine it is that bad that the windows are vibrating. It isn't that loud from the street! Must be a slow news day, again...

Anonymous said...

Aloft and the Omni have noise issues. I believe the Omni offers sleep kits for their patrons on the side of the Epicentre. I've also heard of noise regulations that are in effect (think amphitheatre) that are in effect for other parts of the city but rarely enforced.

Anonymous said...

presidential was $3500/night (or $3700). Its HUGE. Was lucky enough to have a tour of the hotel and the room is probably the same size, if not bigger than a condo in downtown.

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JDC said...

Some lyrics from my new song, “Charlotte, Charlotte!” If I just had Sinatra to sing them:

“Don’t wanna wakeup
in my hotel room after 10.
And find I’m above the 8th floor,
@*$& out of luck,
top of the Ritz!”

lady gaga said...
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WashuOtaku said...

Its a good thing I live here, so I don't have a good reason spending the night at the Ritz. But yea, sounds like they should have added more sound proofing, it is in the center of Uptown after all; I don't see the EpiCentre ending "Live after five" for the hotel.

Anonymous said...

I stay in downtown Boston on a regular basis and constantly hear noise outside the hotel, well into the night. It's to be expected when you have a hotel (no matter how expensive) in a lively area. For the people that complain, get a noise maker or cut on the fan in the room like I do. I guess these guests were expecting complete quite when staying in a sleepy southern town. Guess it's not so sleepy anymore...

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Anonymous said...

The uptown banker scene bands suck. That's the problem. Bon Jovi covers seasoned with the occasional Jimmy Buffet gem would make we wish for soundproofing as well.

consultant said...

Looks like Charlotte needs some real music. I mean, if you're going to have noise, might as well have some real noise.

I'll send over a couple of dozen of Atlanta's finest crunk artists. The best.

Tell the Ritz to start sound proofing the rooms.

Cedar Posts said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

If they had built the hotel near the hospital would they have to stop flying patients in on helicopters?

Anonymous said...

You can sound proof all the hotels and maintain all the vibrancy you want. As long as people are still being busted for sellin' moonshine, Charlotte will be less than a "world class city".

Anonymous said...

It's simple, it doesn't matter who was there first (bar or condo) it's the law. It's just never enforced in CLT. It doesn't matter if you live uptown or in the burbs, after a certain hour everyone is entitled to a little peace and quiet. Some of these places blast their bass music until 2am. If you can still hear it with ear plugs and a white noise machine then it's too loud.
CMPD just doesn't get it.

I've been to many hotels in NYC. SoHo, The Village, Midtown. I've never once had an issue with noise. NYC has ordinances as well, some even stronger than CLT. I guess that NYPD either enforces them better or partiers are a bit more mature in the Big Apple. Not once did I ever hear the famous Southern Rebel Yell "Woooo Hoooo" while visiting other metropolitan areas.

I know there are $500 fines for blowing your car horn in areas of SoHo and the Village.
People are in general more infantile in CLT than in other cities.


Off CMPD website:

Sec. 15-64. Amplified sound.

(a) It shall be unlawful to:

(1) Operate or allow the operation of any sound amplification equipment so as to
create sounds registering 55 db(A) between 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. or 50 db(A)
between 9:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m., as measured anywhere within the boundary line of the
nearest residentially occupied property.

You can feel however you want about it, but it's the law. Now if they would only enforce it.

consultant said...

"Now if they would only enforce it."

I agree. But doesn't that require something called govt.?

The low tax/small govt. folks want govt. that is so tiny, you'll have a two man police dept. And then their primary function will be to route traffic in and out of busy fast food joints.

Hey, you get what you pay for.

Anonymous said...

Nothing to do with taxes. The police come when you complain about noise. They just don't do anything about it.

Mayberry.

Anonymous said...

^

"Hey, you get what you pay for"

My property tax is $5,200 a year.
What exactly am I getting for this ?

....... that's what I thought.