Hotel Del Coronado to temporarily lay off workers in advance of major resort renovations

/Hotel Del Coronado to temporarily lay off workers in advance of major resort renovations

Hotel Del Coronado to temporarily lay off workers in advance of major resort renovations

|2019-10-31T14:47:05-05:00October 31st, 2019|

The Hotel Del Coronado, still in the midst of a $200 million overhaul of the resort, says it may have to temporarily lay off up to 160 employees as it prepares to shut down a restaurant, its spa and a collection of boutiques.

In a formal notice to the state Employment Development Department, the hotel said it may have to lay off what amounts to a little more than 10 percent of its workforce by Jan. 1 for a duration of up to six months. It’s very likely, though, that the job cuts could be fewer than anticipated or staggered, depending on the timing of imminent closures and scheduled construction work, the hotel said.

That’s because not all the plans have been finalized for the next stage of renovation work being done at the resort. Once completed by the end of 2021, the revamped property will have a new palm tree-lined entry, 25,000-square-foot conference center and great lawn, two parking garages, 142 more guestrooms, a major transformation of 97 California Cabana rooms, and a redo of the popular ocean-view sun deck.

“The layoffs would depend on the actual closure dates,” said Sara Harper, the hotel’s director of marketing. “Extraordinary efforts have been made to keep areas open and keep every team member we can to minimize the impact, and we don’t expect that (160) will be the number that actually goes to temporary layoffs.

“We’ll do whatever we can to relocate people to other possible positions and we’re also keeping team members active in the system. When we have hours available, they will have the option to work hours in other areas or move into open positions when they become available.”

For the time being, the hotel is estimating that among those it will need to lay off temporarily are 25 food and beverage servers, plus six bartenders; 59 retail workers and about 50 people working in the spa.

More immediately, on Sunday the hotel will close Eno Pizza, a casual pizzeria and wine bar, which will be part of a planned transformation into a culinary marketplace offering pizza, upscale to-go prepared foods and coffee. The planned remodel entails closing the Babcock & Story home store next door, which will shutter in January, said Harper. The plan is to reopen the reinvented space by May or possibly earlier.

Other impending closures and renovation work include:

A two-phase revamp of the hotel’s dozen or so shops located in its lower level retail terrace. They vary from women’s and men’s apparel boutiques to stores specializing in luggage, sunglasses and housewares. They will all be closed as part of a plan to create a more open, interactive, shopping experience. The tentative schedule is to have phased closures, from February to April and another round from May to July, Harper said.

A redo of the resort’s spa and salon, which currently has 21 treatment rooms, and the fitness area, which will be expanded. Tentatively, it’s expected to be down from February to June.

The opening, Nov. 18, of the 750-space North Parking Garage, which includes two levels of underground parking. Located near the intersection of Orange Avenue and R.H. Dana Place, the garage will occupy what had been a 236-space lot. Once that opens, the entrance to the hotel will relocate temporarily to the north side of the property, off R.H. Dana Place.

The overhaul of the 97-room Cabanas building, as well as the sun deck and adjoining pool area. Work started in September, and it is expected to be completed by May in time for the summer season. In the meantime, to make up for the loss of the sun deck seating, the hotel has created a beach-side area with tables, chairs and umbrellas where people can nosh on food from the On the Rocks food truck.

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©2019 The San Diego Union-Tribune

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