Pebblebrook hotels to lay off majority of 8,000-person workforce

Hotel execs traveled to Washington, D.C. to ask for $150B bailout

Mar.March 18, 2020 12:35 PM
Pebblebrook CEO Jon Bortz (Credit: iStock)

Pebblebrook CEO Jon Bortz (Credit: iStock)

One of the country’s largest hotel owners plans to lay off most of its 8,000-person workforce by the end of the month in order to cope with the devastating impact the coronavirus is having on the hospitality industry.

Pebblebrook Hotel Trust CEO Jon Bortz was among the hotel executives who met with President Trump Tuesday to seek a $150 billion bailout for the hotel industry.

Bortz, whose total compensation in the most recent fiscal year was $5.65 million, said the company made the decision to let go 4,000 workers and expects to let go another 2,000 by the end of the month.

“Our hotels are in most of the hardest hit cities – Seattle, San Francisco, here in Washington, D.C., NYC, Boston, Chicago and more,” he said.

The hotel chain owns 54 hotels across the country with more than 13,000 rooms.

“We are looking at closing the doors at more than half of our properties,” he added. “This is the reality we, and countless other owners and operators around the country are facing in the wake of this public health situation.”

Executives from Best Western, Choice Hotels, Hilton, Hyatt, InterContinental Hotels Group, Marriott, MGM, Universal and the Walt Disney Company joined the American Hotel and Lodging Association to make the case for a financial aid package as decreased travel resulting from the global pandemic threatens millions of hotel jobs across the country.

Marriott earlier this week reportedly began putting tens of thousands of employees on furlough while the company shut down some of its properties. The employees, who do not include members of the company’s corporate team, will not receive payment, but will continue receiving healthcare benefits.

Contact Rich Bockmann at [email protected] or 908-415-5229.

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