NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 16: (L-R) LOTTE New York Palace Unveiling Ceremony in New York City. L-R,  Managing Director John C. Tolbert, Company President and CEO Fred Dixon, Korean Consul General Gheewan Kim, LOTTE Hotels & Resorts president and CEO Song Yong Dok, and Brooke Shields

LOTTE Hotels & Resorts, the largest hotel group in Korea, hosted a special unveiling ceremony commemorating the company’s relaunch of The New York Palace, one of New York City’s most iconic landmark properties, as LOTTE New York Palace. Yongdok Song, CEO, LOTTE Hotels & Resorts, and John C. Tolbert, Managing Director, LOTTE New York Palace, welcomed over 150 guests to the hotel’s outdoor courtyard for a ceremony featuring guest speakers Gheewhan Kim, Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in New York, and Fred Dixon, President and CEO of NYC & Company, before the reveal of the hotel’s new sign for which the hosts were joined by iconic actress and model Brooke Shields.

Yongdok Song spoke about LOTTE Hotels & Resorts’ history and vision, as well as the company’s development plans for LOTTE New York Palace.

“As Korea’s leading hotel chain, LOTTE Hotels & Resorts has continued to make ambitious advances into the global market by going far beyond the boundaries of Korea, ultimately leading to this significant moment, where we present to the City of New York a brand new LOTTE New York Palace hotel,” said Dr. Song.

 Dr. Yongduk Song

Dr. Yongduk Song, CEO, LOTTE Hotels & Resorts

Recently, Pursuitist interviewed Dr. Song about LOTTE and its new movement into the United States.

Pursuitist: Lotte is a very large company, with hospitality and tourism as one of your dimensions. How did you make the decision to purchase The New York Palace in New York?  What appealed, in terms of history and brand, about this hotel?

Dr. Song: Lotte New York Palace is one of the luxurious hotels, representing the history and tradition of New York. Having the signage of Lotte in the center of New York itself elevates the brand and helps our group to make inroads in other parts in the U.S and Europe. Purchasing the New York Palace is a sign that our ‘Global Leading Hotel’ project is moving well along.

Pursuitist: We are also wondering, as regards The New York Palace, will there be any renovations, restorations, or additions within the next few years?

Dr. Song: We are now on a project to enhance the value of communal space and to invite a global retail brand into Lotte New York Palace Hotel. As for the renovation, we will gradually upgrade the spaces that are necessary.

Pursuitist: Lotte is not that well-known in the U.S yet, but with the purchase and branding of the New York Palace, that will certainly change. Are there other cities in the U.S. Lotte is looking at in terms of greater brand recognition through hotel purchasing?

Dr. Song: Our current plan is to expand our hotel brand in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Hawaii, and other major cities in the U.S. At the same time, we are considering operating an additional hotel in New York, an upscale hotel by utilizing the Lotte New York Palace brand.

Pursuitist: On the Lotte website, it was revealed the origin of the name Lotte and its relation to the heroine, Charlotte, in Goethe’s The Sorrows Of Young Werther. This is a fascinating concept, having the basis of the name be closely aligned with love, kindness and empathy. How will you bring those things into the hospitality arena at the New York Palace?

Dr. Song: Lotte Group’s mission is to enrich people’s lives by providing superior products and services that our customers love and trust. This goes back to the concept of Charlotte, and as you’ve mentioned, closely aligned with love, kindness and empathy. Among all the companies in Lotte, Lotte Hotel mostly emphasize on the importance of service. Under the mission of ‘Lotte Hotel is Service’, we strive consistently to impress our customers with our best service.