• Wed. Oct 28th, 2020

Hilton Times Square to close as coronavirus devastates tourism

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NEW YORK – It may be located in the crossroads of the world, but the Hilton Times Square hotel in New York City will shutter in October, another sign of how the coronavirus pandemic has left lasting impacts on the travel industry.

In a public filing on Monday with the New York State Department of Labor, the hotel’s owners announced the “permanent closing” of the 478-room hotel on October 1.

Management told state regulators the closure was due to “unforeseeable business circumstances prompted by COVID-19.”

According to the WARN notice, the hotel said that it would cut 200 jobs, effective October.

Employees had been furloughed since March 16, which will “become permanent” between Oct. 1 and Oct 14, the public notice stated.

A spokesman for Sunstone Hotel Investors Inc., which controls the hotel, told the Wall Street Journal in an email the company made the filing to indicate that layoffs might last longer than six months.

The spokesperson added while the filing “was not intended to imply that there is a permanent closure,” a reopening date for the facility “has not been determined or established and will be impacted by negotiations with our lender, as well as market conditions.”

The Hilton Times Square in New York, which is a franchised property under the Hilton Hotels & Resorts brand, was built in 2000 and has 44 floors, according to its website.

Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. said last month that it expected it to take at least two years for the hotel chain to rebound after the coronavirus pandemic.

The company, based in McLean, Va., lost $432 million in the second quarter, as occupancy rates began to lift from dismal lows after hotels began to reopen and coronavirus restrictions were lifted around the world.

New York City, which was the early hotspot for the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S., has seen its mighty hotel industry virtually shut down for months. The reduction of foot traffic from a lack of tourists and workers staying home has also devastated retailers and restaurants.

The New York Times recently reported that only about one-third of the city’s hotel rooms have been occupied in recent weeks according to STR, an industry analyst.

FOX Business’ Danielle Wallace contributed to this report.


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