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Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Sam Nazarian’s spanking new SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills is so opulent that foreign and local dignitaries were sure to be at its opening last week. But its neighborhood at La Cienega and San Vicente boulevards includes some regular folks, to be sure.

The Nov. 10 opening event which was a bell-ringing instead of the standard ribbon-cutting included officials from Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Spain and France. They took in a handful of speeches from Nazarian, chief executive of hospitality company SBE; City Councilman Jack Weiss; and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

Nazarian got laughs when he told the audience he was “taking the risk of opening up next to a very good body shop,” gesturing toward a ramshackle fender-repair place across the street from the gleaming hotel. Workers at the body shop watched from across the street and applauded. Later, they snapped pictures when Villaraigosa spoke.

Adding his two cents about the neighbors, Weiss reminded the audience that one of the original Fatburger stands was once located across from the hotel, next to the body shop.


Fishing for Longevity

How old can you go? David Murdock thinks people should be able to live to at least to 125. “Nobody should go sooner,” the Dole Food Co. chairman told Martha Stewart during a Nov. 5 taping of “The Martha Stewart Show” in New York.

The 85-year-old self-described “fish vegetarian” shared his favorite fresh juice recipe and other tips for a healthy and long life. Later that day, Murdock became the first honoree of the Living award from the Martha Stewart Center for Living.

Murdock, ranked as the Business Journal’s fifth wealthiest Angeleno with an estimated net worth of $4.5 billion, has built a medically based resort and health spa next to Dole’s Westlake Village headquarters and endowed a longevity research institute in North Carolina.


In the Doghouse?

Tim Leiweke is more than busy, what with the ongoing $2.5 billion construction of L.A. Live which he visits every day along with the usual challenges of running the far-flung AEG, which claims to own more sports teams than any other company. He has overseen one round of staff cuts of about 50 and is looking at another. At a recent appearance at the Aloud Business Forum at the Los Angeles Public Library downtown, the chief executive said he often works from 7 a.m. until 10 or 11 at night.

The result of all those hours: He can be a stranger in his own house. He said he went home one night and found his photograph taped low on a door. “What’s this for?” he asked his wife.

He said she responded: “It’s so that the dog will recognize you so he won’t bite you.”


Staff Reporters Daniel Miller and Deborah Crowe contributed to this column. Page 3 is compiled by Editor Charles Crumpley. He can be reached at ccrumpley@labusinessjournal.com

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