Brown Palace Hotel extends layoffs for nearly 300 workers

The Brown Palace Hotel & Spa in Denver plans a scaled-down reopening in the months ahead, but it won’t be enough to recall 298 members of its staff.

Merritt Hospitality, which manages the iconic downtown hotel, informed the Colorado Department of Labor in a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act letter that it would extend what were initially expected to be temporary layoffs beyond six months for 298 employees.

The positions impacted in the largest numbers include banquet servers, food servers, cooks, hosts, stewards, bartenders, spa therapists and laundry attendants.

“Employees on a temporary layoff status were informed on or around May 21, 2020, that they should anticipate their layoffs will now exceed six months due to the likely continuation of the unanticipated, dramatic, and continuing downturn in the economy due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the hospitality industry,” general manager Nick Moschetti said in a letter to the state on Thursday.

The Brown Palace always found a way to keep its doors open, through two world wars, the Great Depression, multiple recessions, and natural disasters. But on April 7, the hotel closed to the public due to the current pandemic.

Given that the Brown Palace normally employs 340 people, the notice indicates that whenever it reopens, it will do so with a skeletal staff and absent many of the amenities that it usually offers guests.

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