March 3, 2021

‘More than a paycheck:’ For independent hoteliers, survival is about family, identity – Long Beach Business Journal – Long Beach News

Victor Beauchamp, owner of the Hotel Royal in Downtown Long Beach
Victor Beauchamp, owner, sts at the lobby window of Hotel Royal in Long Beach Wednesday, April 29, 2020. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

In its nearly 100 years in business, the Hotel Royal has weathered many storms. The 1933 earthquake, the Great Recession now, a global pemic. 

Located in the heart of the East Village Arts District, the 30-room hotel with its pastel-colored art deco facade has become popular with European visitors looking to explore the city.

But as international domestic travel has come to a grinding halt during the coronavirus pemic, the Royal other independently owned hotels are facing their biggest challenge in recent history: a complete shutdown. 

Since the economic collapse of 2008, independent guest houses like the Hotel Royal The Varden on Pacific Avenue have become symbols of the transformation of Downtown Long Beach. 

Once single room occupancy residences, providing housing for low-income workers those living on the margins of society, Downtown’s historic hotels now offer boutique accommodations for tourists business travelers alike. 

“We’ve been through worse. This used to be a crack house, there’s no way this [virus] is going to get us,” Victor Beauchamp, owner of the Hotel Royal, recalls telling his staff when the extent of the global pemic became apparent.