WBUR Oral History Project: Mark Hagopian
Interviewed by: Joanna Shea O'Brien
Date: March 14, 2014
Location: The Charlesmark Hotel (Boston, MA)
Recorder: Kristi Girdharry
Photo: Mark Hagopian (Photo by Kristi Girdharry)
Mark Hagopian grew up in Back Bay and is the owner of two independent Boston hotels. His boutique hotel, the Charlesmark, is on Boylston Street right by the finish line, and it is booked a year in advance by marathoners every year. The hotel also hosts parties for runners and guests. In his oral history, Mark discusses his professional background and what led him to hotel ownership, his love of Boston, his personal experience running the Boston Marathon four times, and what marathon day is typically like every year. Mark describes the bomb going off in front of Marathon Sports and how he and the guests reacted, what it looked like, and what they did in the immediate aftermath and the days that followed. He details how long it took for the hotel to be opened again and how he and his managers helped guests locked out of the Charlesmark cope by getting them back into the hotel, rebooking their rooms, or shipping their bags back to them. He discusses the financial impact on his business as well as the impact on his staff.
Because the hotel was shut down for nine days, and he was responsible for his staff’s salaries during that time, Mark is able to share an important perspective of how Boylston Street businesses were affected by the bombings.
Audio Clip 1
Mark describes being locked out from the hotel for 9 days for the ongoing investigation into the bombings, and how he, his managers and his staff had to find a way to get guests their belongings back to them as well as rebooking all the guests scheduled to arrive that week at the hotel.
Audio Clip 2
Mark explains how he believes Bostonians will handle the Boston Marathon this year, and he describes what "Boston Strong" means to him.
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