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April 30, 2020

Farmington’s Marriott hotel temporarily lays off 130 employees amid COVID-19 pandemic

Photo | Contributed Roughly 130 employees at the Marriott Hotel Hartford in Farmington have been temporarily laid off.

The Marriott Hotel Hartford in Farmington has temporarily laid off approximately 130 workers due to the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus outbreak, a state labor filings shows.

The hotel informed the state Department of Labor (DOL) on Wednesday employees were notified of the layoffs last month as rooms occupancies have plummeted in recent weeks.

Luis Arellano, general manager of the hotel, in a letter to DOL said the layoffs are not expected to last longer than six months.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has crippled the company’s business ... .” Arellano said.

Employees impacted by the layoffs include two dozen restaurant servers, a dozen cooks, 11 banquet servers, seven front desk attendants and other kitchen, banquet and service staff, according to documents accompanying Arellano’s letter. The employees are not represented by a union.

The Farmington hotel is one of many venues in Connecticut’s hospitality industry suffering financially from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last week, Danbury’s Crowne Plaza in a letter to state labor officials said it laid off all 78 of its employees because of a management change. The change comes after the hotel initially furloughed 56 workers in March.

Company representative Caroline Warren said it informed hotel operator Pyramid Management it will retain a new management company on April 23. The new operator was not named in the letter to DOL.

“Pyramid does not know the hiring intentions of its replacement,” Warren said. “Pyramid had no prior notice of ownership’s decision to retain a new management company.”

Meantime in Washington, D.C., the nation’s largest hospitality trade group is calling for the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to increase loan limits or else there won’t be enough stimulus funding for small business hotels to stay open and rehire furloughed workers.

A new report by the American Hotel and Lodging Association shows the hospitality industry could lose an estimated $194.9 billion over a year, or approximately $16.2 billion monthly on average during the coronavirus crisis.

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