The Meuse edition of the French newspaper L’Est Républicain reported that the famed hotel and its restaurant closed on 2 April after the Commercial Court in Bar-le-Duc put the restaurant into receivership. Apparently, under French law the business has been operating in receivership since 18 December, 2012. The owners could find no buyer / investor to save the business.
The webmaster posted this on his personal website yesterday, and reactions varied. Certainly, the hotel was a symbol of the city; as it survived the war. Also, it has that “old world charm” that American visitors to France love. Other comments noted the run-down condition of the hotel and the price of the hotel relative to newer properties on the outskirts of Verdun. The newspaper quotes the mayor of Verdun as saying, “The establishment was in trouble for years…”
The article brings up two additional points: 1) Librairie Ducher, the main bookstore on the high street, closed recently too; and 2) an unidentified person was quoted saying, “The local economy collapsed after November 11, 2014.” With regards to the bookstore, the webmaster would stop in there on every trip to see the latest publications on the war. With regards to the local economy, the webmaster is not close enough to Verdun to comment. However, Verdun is a tourist town that is highly dependent on seasonal visitation. The author has visited Verdun in November, and there is very little economic activity taking place. This always makes it challenging for businesses with high cost structures and/or high debt burdens.
Given the renewed interest in WW1 that began in 2014 and the upcoming Centennial of the Battle of Verdun in 2016, it is a shame to see these institutions not survive.
Here is a link to the article: http://www.estrepublicain.fr/edition-de-verdun/2015/04/03/verdun-le-coq-hardi-c-est-fini