AP Photo/Josie Lepe
Saturday, March 6, 2021 | noon
The Golden Knights beat the Sharks in overtime last night, but had to scramble to figure out where to stay after the game.
The hotel the Golden Knights were staying at, the downtown Fairmont Hotel, suddenly closed Friday.
“That’s a first for probably everybody on our team,” defenseman Nick Holden said.
The Golden Knights packed their bags and left for the rink like a normal last day in a city, then returned to a different hotel after the game. They play the Sharks again at 7:30 p.m. today before departing for Minnesota as part of a road series with the Wild.
“It was a surreal experience,” coach Pete DeBoer said. “Hopefully this is the end of the COVID year, but it was almost the topping on the cake for what the last year has been for everybody in the world. Just another thing throw at you, another thing to deal with.
“Not that I’m putting it in the same breath as dealing with COVID, but it was just one of those things we got thrown at us, we dealt with it and found a way to get off to a good start, so good resiliency by our group.”
The hotel, called a “landmark” and “iconic” by the San Jose Mercury News, was a victim of the struggling hotel business in California, according to the newspaper. In all of 2020, just 14 notices of default for a loan were filed against hotels in the state. In January alone, there were at least 20.
The Mercury News reported that the owners of the hotel had debts between $100 and $500 million, but hopes to open again in a few months.
This will affect more than just the Golden Knights. Because of NHL virus protocols, the league designates one hotel in a city to serve as every visiting team’s lodging to ensure the hotel abides by league rules.
So when the St. Louis Blues come to town on Monday, they won’t be staying at the Fairmont Hotel.