Kauai Marriott resort to lay off more than 450 employees

Kauai Marriott resort to lay off more than 450 employees
(Source: Hawaii News Now/file)

LIHUE, Hawaii (AP) — The Marriott Beach Club on Kauai laid off more than 450 employees across departments within the hotel, which is undergoing a change in ownership.

The layoffs include housekeepers, banquet servers, laundry attendants and pool servers, The Garden Island reported Wednesday.

“Business levels have been profoundly affected by the pandemic and continue to determine operational and staffing adjustments,” resort spokesperson Lucy Slosser said.

The resort closed from April to October because of the coronavirus pandemic, temporarily furloughing employees and reducing work hours.

Essex House Condominium Corporation, operating as the Kauai Marriott Resort & Beach Club, is expected to cease operations in March.

In a Dec. 31 letter to the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations and Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami, hotel General Manager Paul Toner said Massachusetts-based Sonesta Beach Resort LP will take over as the resort’s new operator.

Art Gillespie, president of the Kauai Beach Club Owners Association and the Association of Apartment Owner, said in a letter that Sonesta will manage the hotel as a Royal Sonesta property.

Services Properties Trust, owner of the 232-room hotel, terminated its agreement in October with Marriott International for 122 hotels in more than 30 states after Marriott could not meet its payments.

State Department of Labor and Industrial Relations statistics show the property is the fourth-largest employer on Kauai.

The resort’s hotel and timeshare properties are separately operated and negotiations are ongoing between Sonesta and Marriott Vacation Club.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.

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