|By Lane Wallace, The Monterey County
Herald, Calif.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
September 10, 2009 - Quail Lodge Resort and Golf Club in Carmel Valley will close its hotel in November, the company said Wednesday.
The announcement confirmed rumors that had been floating around for months about the 97-room hotel, owned by Hong Kong and Shanghai Hotels Ltd. The golf club and clubhouse will remain open, although some clubhouse services will be reduced.
Quail Lodge has had "net losses for eight years," said Neil Galloway, chief financial officer for the parent company, which has owned the property for 12 years.
"It was clearly a difficult decision," he said, but the company didn't see the losses being turned around. Hong Kong has three other properties in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, none of them a resort.
The owners had "tens of millions of dollars invested to fund capital expenditure and operating losses to maintain the AAA Four Diamond property," the company said in a statement.
Galloway said the company has "no plans to sell or redevelop" the hotel.
Leonard O'Neill, secretary-treasurer of employees union Unite HERE Local 483, said he was notified Wednesday afternoon of plans to close the hotel Nov. 16. A prepared statement from O'Neill said the closure will put 199 people out of work, 146 of them union members.
Workers have been told it will be business as usual until early Nov. 16.
"They understood the decision," Galloway said.
The lodge's Web site says it is full Friday, but has vacancies Saturday. It is booked for Sept. 19 and three Fridays and two Saturdays in October.
The golf course has a membership base of 300, Galloway said.
O'Neill called the planned closure "shattering news" for workers.
"We have been building a worker relief fund to help union families facing hardships, and we will do what we can to help our members find new jobs," he said in a news release.
Union members had offered $1 million in concessions during the next two years, O'Neill said. The union "will encourage the company to sell the property to another company that might return it to profitability, as it had achieved under the previous owner, the late Ed Haber."
A restaurant at the lodge, The Covey, closed early this year.
Quail Lodge and the golf course are on Valley Green Drive in Carmel Valley. Facilities include a spa, tennis courts, swimming pools, a bocce court, a nine-hole putting course and trails.
Lane Wallace can be reached at 646-4478 or email@example.com.
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