POSTED: August 2nd 2015

Exclusive: PyeongChang 2018 President Cho discusses the Wilshire Grand Center and it could play a major role in a future LA Olympic bid

50 floors and counting on the Wilshire Grand Center / Wilshire Grand
50 floors and counting on the Wilshire Grand Center / Wilshire Grand

The building will be the tallest west of the Mississippi / Wilshire Grand
The building will be the tallest west of the Mississippi / Wilshire Grand

DR. ERIC C. SCHWARZ at the KUALA LUMPUR CONVENTION CENTER (KLCC) / Sports Features Communications

(SFC)  Yang Ho Cho, President of the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Committee, is also the Chairman of Hanjin Group, which among other businesses owns Korean Air.  But it is another project that is getting notice - and could play a part in a successful 2024 Los Angeles bid.

The Wilshire Grand Project is on the site of the old Wilshire Grand Hotel, and is scheduled to open in 2017.  The 73-story, 1,100 foot tall building will be the tallest in Los Angeles - and in fact in the entire western United States. 

At a total cost of $1.1 billion USD, the first 30 floors will feature offices and retail space, including restaurants and nightlife offering.  The 31st through 73rd floors will be the largest InterContinental Hotel in the world, with 900 rooms and featuring a sky-lobby on the 70th floor. 

Exclusively talking to, President Cho provided an update on the status of the building:  "It is up to more than 50 floors... and we are planning to open in April 2017."  Cho also explained "we also plan to have good restaurants - including bringing the first 3-star restaurant to LA."  In addition, the plan is for the building to have at least Gold-level LEED Certification. 

He was also asked about a potential Los Angeles bid for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games, and whether he felt that the hotel could serve as a key lodging and meeting components within the bid plan - even being the main hotel for the International Olympic Committee.  Cho replied "I do not think they have any choice - we could be the preferred hotel of the Olympics".

The Empire State Building and the Sears Tower are two of the signature building in the United States, and everyone in the world knows their location - New York City and Chicago - without needing to identify the city.  The Whilshire Grand Project and InterContinental Hotel has that same potential - to become the signature building for the city of Los Angeles. 

Will it also become the signature hotel for a potential Los Angeles 2024 bid for the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games???  

DR. ERIC C. SCHWARZ is a tenured Senior Lecturer of Sport Management at Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia.  He has been an academician for 15 years in the areas of sport business management, international tourism, and hospitality management - with special focus on the areas of sport marketing, sport finance, tourism, and facility/event management.  He speaks globally and is the author of numerous publications in these areas, as well as been actively involved in consulting projects working with a multitude of sport and community organizations ranging from grassroots efforts to hallmark events.  

Keywords · Olympics; PyeongChang 2018; Los Angeles 2024

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