For nearly a year now, millions of people across the globe have been dealing with a number of unexpected things. From job loss to increased responsibilities to constant flux and added burdens– life has been anything but “normal”. While many of us will be able to pick up where we left off, some are simply hoping they’ll be able to pick up the pieces. Those that lost tenured jobs (especially in the travel industry) will struggle– especially if travel restrictions remain. Because of this, resorts like the Marriott Beach Club in Hawaii are processing more layoffs to kick off the New Year.
Why Did Marriott Fire Tenured Employees?
When it comes to tourism in the U.S, the upcoming months present a number of uncertainties. Although the drama surrounding the 2020 Election is still front page news, Americans should be more concerned about the future of the economy and their ability to make money. In a time where Wyndham just bought out Travel + Leisure, the timeshare chain likely needed to find a way to cope in the aftermath of the pandemic (or at least save some money to prepare for future endeavors).
Amidst issues with their management company, Marriott Beach Club decided to let go of some key members of their staff. Although they would have probably preferred to hold onto certain employees as long as they could, a number of factors led them to move on. Sadly, many Kauai residents are now without job security on an island that relies on tourism dollars. According to statistics on the State Department of Labor and Industrial Relations’ website, the Marriott Beach Club is one of the largest employers in Kauai.
These terminations were said to have included laundry attendants, housekeepers, pool waiters and banquet servers. The Spokeswoman for Marriott Beach Club had this to say: “Business levels have been profoundly affected by the pandemic and continue to determine operational and staffing adjustments.” Since April, the Hawaiian resort has been reducing the working hours of their staff while offering temporary furloughs.
What Is Unique About the Hawaiian Property?
For years now, Essex House Condominium Corporation has been managing the timeshare operation at the Marriott Beach Club. What has been known as the Kauai Marriott Resort and Beach Club will cease to exist soon – as Essex has been asked to be out of the resort by March of this year. The current general manager, Paul Toner, informed the Kauai Mayor, Hawaiian Department of Labor and Industrial Relations in a letter last month that Sonesta Beach Resort LP would be taking over.
The president of the Kauai Beach Club Owners Association claims that Sonesta will manage the hotel as a Royal Sonesta Property. A name change and new management was necessary because the Marriott Beach Club had their contract with Services Property Trust (real estate investment trust or REIT) terminated. A news release stated that after Marriott failed to make payments, the trust decided to pull out of 122 Marriott hotels across 30 American states– including the 232 room Hawaiian resort.
Like most properties in destination cities, hotel guests and vacation owners are managed separately. Because of this, ongoing negotiations continue between Marriott Vacation Club and Sonesta Beach Resort.