Cantrell responds to Hard Rock International's letter

Hard Rock International is telling New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell it doesn't understand why the hotel bearing its name still stands half-collapsed in downtown New Orleans.

In a letter to the mayor, it says it is "puzzled and frustrated at the length of time it is taking to recover the remains of either of the victims and to finalize plans to demolish the building."

The company, which said it is not involved in the development of the hotel nor did it have anything to do with its construction, says it is "seeking all legal recourse due to the reputation damage" it has incurred as a result of the ongoing situation, specifically mentioning a "Boycott Hard Rock Movement" taking place in New Orleans.

"As you are aware, Hard Rock was not involved in the construction of the 1031 Canal Street building," the letter stated. "New Orleans cannot be known as a city that ignores the plight of its people and those suffering as a result of this disaster."

The company also released an open letter to the New Orleans community which expressed similar sentiments.

"While we recognize the instability of the structure has prevented recovery efforts, we remain confused and frustrated at the length of time it has taken to resolve the issue."

The company said it is "committed to New Orleans and it's people, and stands ready to appropriately assist in helping."

In response, the Cantrell administration said Hard Rock seems more concerned with its reputation and bottom line.

"Fear of damage to their brand has finally prompted Hard Rock’s corporate leadership to engage with this crisis, four full months after the tragedy," Cantrell spokesman Beau Tidwell said in an email to The Times-Picayune | New Orleans Advocate. "Shame would be far more appropriate.
"The city and our public safety personnel have been working tirelessly to address the crisis and demand that the owners of the property bring the collapse site down safely," Tidwell said. "PR stunts like this letter are not helpful in that regard, and they are all the Hard Rock corporate leadership has offered to the city four months in."