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Wilshire Grand Hotel liquidation sale opens to mixed reactions on first day

By Andrew Lopez
Published: Thursday, April 26, 2012, at 05:03PM
Andrew Lopez

Ron Getter explains where things are located and how to purchase items at the entrance of the hotel.

Hundreds of people showed up on the first day of the liquidation sale at the Wilshire Grand Hotel on Thursday, to see what deals they could find in the massive assortment of items.

Some people weren’t thrilled with the selection of silverware, mattresses, fitness equipment and various other items -- or the $5 admission fee.

For many of the shoppers blogdowntown spoke to, the promise of flat screen TVs was what brought them to the sale. This includes Franco Torres of Hollywood Hills, who said he saw the TVs on the news and decided to head to the hotel, but now he feels like he wasted his time and money.

“As soon as we get here the first thing they say, and we got here as soon as they opened, ‘Oh, by the way, if you’re here for a flat screen television, we’re all sold out,’” Torres said. “How (are) you (going to) sell, like thousands of flat screens and you guys haven’t even opened yet?”

"I'm thoroughly pissed," he added, feeling like he wasted his day and money on admission and parking.

Samuel Brewer, who works for the liquidating company International Content Liquidations said he has been dealing with these frustrations because he’s in charge of promoting the electronics for sale.

“They get mad at me,” Brewer said with a laugh. “I send them right upstairs."

To prepare for the sale, International Content Liquidations arrived at the Wilshire Grand over a month ago to catalog every item in the hotel up for sale, said consultant Ronald Rockwell, who arrived for the job from Michigan in March.

“It takes a fair amount of time to set this up,” Rockwell said. “It takes a small army to put it together, small army to run it.”

After everything was inventoried, hotels, banquet facilities and people looking to buy items wholesale were given the first pick of the hotels' contents, Rockwell said.

Another shopper, Janice VonRaabe, was more interested in the history of the hotel than TVs. She said she wasn't finding much anyways because everything of value was pre-sold.

“I just like vintage things and I thought there might be something that would hold a special interest, or some special history to me and there is nothing,” VonRaabe said.

Olishua McClain of Pasadena was also looking for a flat screen TV initially, but settled on looking for a bed frame, pillows and general bedding.

“So far so good,” McClain said. “I can see the potential of things I might need.”

Marie Dukes, who worked for Wilshire Grand in accounts receivable for 10 years is working with the liquidators during the sale, said the first day was a strange experience for her.

“Seeing everything being sold off piece-by-piece, it’s still kind of like, surreal,” Dukes said.

The sale will be held from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week until June.


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