Boom fills ritzy hotels’ coffers
By Scott Van Voorhis BOSTON HERALD Monday, March 3, 2008
The boom in movies being filmed in the Hub has meant millions of dollars in new business for city hotels.
As many as 10 major productions descended upon the Bay State last year, pumping an estimated $120 million into the local economy. This year that number should nearly double, according to the Massachusetts Film Office.
And at the center of that boom are the Hub’s luxury hotels, which are providing thousands of hotel nights as a home away from home for both the stars and the vast ensemble required to make a modern blockbuster.
Just one major production could mean more than $1 million in new revenue for a single hotel, said Richard Krezwick, head of the Massachusetts Sports and Entertainment Commission.
The offer of hundreds of millions in state tax credits for the film industry under legislation first passed in 2006, and refined last year, has helped make Massachusetts a major filmmaking center.
“I would say, hats off to the hotels that have recognized the opportunity,” Krezwick said.
The new InterContinental Boston on the city’s waterfront, the Four Seasons, Fifteen Beacon, the new Ritz-Carlton, Boston Common and the Charles Hotel are among the local hotel hot spots for the Hollywood jet set.
The Four Seasons has long been popular with the heavy hitters, with Meg Ryan recently taking up residence there.
“We hope this surge in business from the entertainment industry continues and we are more than happy to work with the (Massachusetts Film Office) to help support it,” said Kristan Fletcher, a spokeswoman for the hotel.
The InterContinental, which just opened last year, has also attracted its share of big names, including George Clooney and Andy Garcia. The cast from “21,” “The Pink Panther II” and ‘The Box” all have stayed at the hotel.
General Manager Tim Kirwin, who has managed a number of local hotels in Boston and Providence over the years, said he has specifically tried to cultivate ties to the film business. He is also ready to cut deals with various productions to bring in their business.
The reward has been thousands of room nights booked already in the hotel’s short history, with major productions taking up blocks of up to 80 rooms at a time. The hotel is also the only one in town with a full-service restaurant open 24 hours a day, a handy amenity when the cast of a movie straggles in at 3 a.m. after a long shoot, Kirwin said. There are also hip bars like RumBa, a rum bar, and Sushi-Teq.
“Sometimes the film industry likes the high-energy, RumBa bar type of thing,”