Quite a lot does seem to be closing lately. I’ve also noticed a LOT of higher end hotels with the metal gates pulled down. People tell me it’s a lack of Chinese tourists, but that’s been since fall of 2019, so I find it difficult to believe
It’s not a good sign for the economy when you start to notice this. A Sunmerry bakery closed on a high trafficked intersection near me in Taipei at least a couple of years ago and has never had a new tenant, empty to this day on a prime location. I also noticed a small Taipei hotel that had shuttered in an alley.
I think that many have closed and possibly moved elsewhere not so much due to the Economy or Covid, but Greed on the part of the Landlords. A friend of ours owned a Hairdressing Salon on Minquan East Road and had been at that location for about 10 years, until one day about 5 years back the Landlord stuck his hand out for a big rent increase. Friend looked and found better premises at a lower than his existing rent a few blocks away and moved. The old place was still shuttered 2 years later. Landlord came off a distant second best for his greed. As to the Hotels, many have been ‘saved’ by Quarantine and time will tell how they fare when there is no Quarantine to support them. The 5 Star Mandarin Oriental on DunHua North Road had opened not long before Covid arrived and looked to have been shuttered for a while but seems to be open again.
Sherwood’s closing is what drew my attention to the other ones. If you take a bus north from Xingtian Gong/Temple station along that road (Songjiang) heading toward the river, there are multiple single-use buildings with huge “hotel” signs on the outside that have their metal doors down over any potential entry. I assume they are “higher end”, since all the hotels I stay in are a few floors of multi-use buildings (cuz I’m cheap)
Heck, there’s even one “historic” hotel right out of Zhongxiao Dunhua station that’s closing in mid September.
I don’t know about staying there (it’s like US$500/night or something) but the Mandarin Oriental had all you can drink on an upper level bar all through COVID (October 2020-May 2021 was when I’d gone there). I think it was NT$600/hr for unlimited alcoholic drinks. I don’t drink that much, so that cohort and I opted for normal bars, but it seemed to be a normal, functioning hotel when we went.
I am all for blaming china for stuff they are guilty of. but perhaps this has more to do with asshole landlords raising rents and the pandemic panics slitting the throats of businesses more than the extreme Blue narrative of “DPP is causing all of taiwans problems with china”. Let’s be honest, quite a lot of small businesses have always been running a very low profit margin so it doesnt take much for many to give up and move on. I love taiwan because they will fairly quickly open up something else to try.
I’ve heard they raised prices too. It’s unlimited drinks, not food. The food was a lot of stuff you’d buy at a night market, only for 200-600/dish instead of 60-200 like outside. What amazed me was that they could charge the same price for unlimited drinks that five star hotels in the US would charge for one tiny cocktail. And you’d still need to tip.