GREENWICH, CT — Nearly 40 Hyatt Regency Greenwich employees are expected to be laid off by the end of the month, according to a recent letter sent to the state labor department by the hotel’s general manager.
Sherry Hicks-Buckles confirmed 39 employees in total are to be laid off by Oct. 31. Additionally, two employees were laid off earlier this month.
Affected positions include room attendants, cooks, runners, a bartender and a finance manager, among others. (To sign up for Greenwich breaking news alerts and more, click here.)
“In response to the unprecedented decline in travel demand we have seen across the globe, we have had to take significant actions that have deeply impacted our operations and colleagues at Hyatt Regency Greenwich,” Hicks-Buckles said. “Unfortunately, as a result, we have made the extremely difficult decision to implement layoffs across our hotel workforce. While we have made significant cost-cutting measures in an effort to avoid this scenario, ultimately, additional measures were necessary to secure the hotel’s long-term viability.
In, Sherry Hicks-Buckles said the coronavirus crisis’s effect on business operations forced the hotel to temporarily furlough or lay off a number of employees in March.
The hotel later rehired some of its laid-off employees after “encouraging signs” indicated the hotel might return to normal business operations soon, Hicks-Buckles said.
“It has now become apparent that there will be longer term revenue impacts on our industry,” Hicks-Buckles said, “as a result of lower than expected occupancy rates and unexpected deteriorating business conditions related to the spread of the virus.”
Greenwich Chamber of Commerce president Marcia O’Kane said the layoffs were indicative of potential customers’ continued reluctance to travel and stay at hotels due to the COVID-19 virus.
“The Hyatt has the largest capacity of all hotels in Greenwich,” O’Kane said. “Most of its employees are longstanding employees, so while layoffs are not surprising, it is certainly sad to see their loyal employees be negatively affected.”
Hicks-Buckles noted it was difficult to predict when business operations would return to normal. As a result, staffing needs were still uncertain and return-to-work dates were not set for the employees.
In June, the hotel sent a letter to the department indicating about 150 furloughed employees would be laid off by the end of the month following a “drop in business” due to the virus.
See also: Greenwich Hotel To Lay Off About 150 Employees
In April, the nearby Sheraton Stamford Hotel announced over 100 employees had been temporarily laid off due to the virus’s impact on business. A letter sent to the department at the time said the hotel suffered “an enormous loss of business” as a result of the virus.
The Hyatt Regency Greenwich is on East Putnam Avenue in the Old Greenwich area of town.
Patch has reached out to the First Selectman’s Office for further information.
This article originally appeared on the Greenwich Patch