Richard Branson officially broke ground on his new hotel in New York City on September 25, and in honor of the event, the Virgin Group founder and his team buried a time capsule. Virgin Hotels first announced the newly buried treasure on their Twitter page, and said that the capsule would be filled with “Virgin/New York history.”
Today, Branson opened up about why he opted for the time capsule, and revealed what items were enclosed within it. The billionaire businessman posted on Twitter, “Why we buried a time capsule on the site of @VirginHotels New York City,” along with a link to his blog on the Virgin web site.
In the blog, Branson explains how New York City has a special role in the success of his company. “We flew our very first Virgin Atlantic flight here in 1984, enjoyed decades of success with our Virgin Megastore in Time Square, and rolled a tank through the busy streets while launching Virgin Cola,” wrote Branson. The future hotel and its accompanying time capsule he says are his way of “declaring [their] love affair with a grand gesture.”
In the blog post, Branson included an image of the items buried in the time capsule, all of which are said to represent Virgin’s connection to New York. Some of the items include a can of Virgin cola, a CD from the store in Times Square, Virgin headphones and salt and pepper shakers from Atlantic and American flights, key cards from a Virgin Hotel, and a JFK boarding pass.
Despite the mementos buried within it, Richard Branson is banking on the time capsule never actually being recovered, because he’s confident that his new hotel will be so timeless that it stands forever.
The new NYC hotel is expected to open to the public in 2018 and will boast more than 460 chambers, a swimming pool, several eateries, retail stores, and a bar on the roof.
Virgin Hotels, Twitter post, September 25, 2015, 1:36 p.m.
Richard Branson, Twitter post, September 29, 2015, 10:45 a.m.
Branson, R., “Breaking ground in New York City,” Virgin web site, September 29, 2015.