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May 26, 2020

Rocky Hill hotel temporarily lays off 81 workers due to COVID-19 travel restrictions

Photo | Contributed The Sheraton Hartford South Hotel in Rocky Hill is up for auction.

The Sheraton Hartford South Hotel in Rocky Hill has temporarily laid off 81 workers due to a major decline in business and occupancy during the coronavirus outbreak, a state labor filings shows.

Texas-based operator Aimbridge Hospitality in a letter to the state Department of Labor (DOL) last week said that 81 employees were notified of the temporary layoffs as it made three rounds of staffing cuts at the 100 Capital Blvd. hotel between March 26 and May 23.

Aimbridge in the letter blamed its "dramatic downturn" in occupancy on "severe travel restrictions" caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It did not disclose which jobs were impacted by the layoffs, and the company could not be reached for immediate comment Monday morning.

Merced Capital owns the Rocky Hill hotel, and selected Aimbridge, which says it’s the nation’s largest independent hotel management and investment firm, to manage the 210-room facility.

The hotel, which was formerly a Marriott brand hotel, completed a $6 million renovation in 2012 under a different ownership group.

Other Hartford regional Sheratons include the Sheraton Hotel Hartford at Bradley Airport, Four Points by Sheraton Meriden and the Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel. It's not yet clear if layoffs were recently made at those venues.

Last week, DOL said the leisure and hospitality industry was hit the hardest by COVID-19-related shutdowns as the sector lost more than half of its workforce in April, or a decline of 72,500 positions.

That data has been underscored by several hotel layoffs at other Marriott, DoubleTree and Homewood Suites hotels across the state.

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