Virgin Hotels has filed a lawsuit against Jay Singh, the owner of one of its own properties.
Singh owns the brand’s San Francisco hotel which has only been fully operational since May 2019.
Virgin suggested that the owner used the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to prematurely terminate a 20-year contract tying Virgin to the property.
Furthermore, the company alleged that the hotel’s much delayed opening, originally slated for 2016, was due to the negligence of Mr Singh.
Virgin CEO Raul Leal commented: “Despite numerous starts and stops with the construction at no fault of our own, we have gone to great lengths over the years to support Mr. Singh and those involved with the San Francisco hotel.
“We are deeply disappointed that our partnership has taken this unfortunate turn and are hopeful to reach a resolution that serves the best interests of both parties.”
While Virgin hopes to prevent the termination of the agreement or otherwise receive damages upwards of $20 million, Mr Singh’s attorney, William A. Brewer, commented on his behalf: “Paradigm believes the hotel suffered from gross mismanagement and Virgin Hotels’ failure to deliver upon the promise of a national brand.
“Paradigm believes Virgin Hotels is hiding behind the Covid-19 crisis – using the pandemic as a smokescreen to avoid taking responsibility for failures that began well over a year ago.”
The 194-room property takes design influences from rock and roll, the Victorian era, and the brand’s native Britain.
The pet-friendly hotel also claims to offer guestroom minibars at ‘street prices’.