Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times
Ernesto Vargas, left, and Wook Jin Lee enter a ballroom at the Wilshire Grand Hotel, where a party was held for current and former employees. The 896-room hotel is owned by Korean Airlines, a subsidiary of the South Korean conglomerate Hanjin Group. The owners had considered simply renovating the hotel, but found that the 1950s design was so inefficient that it made more sense to build a new hotel with more efficient air-conditioning and heating systems.
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