President Trump’s “Southern White House” furloughed 153 people, as hotels and resorts across South Florida continue to feel the effects of the pandemic.
The Trump Organization said it was forced to place non-essential workers at Mar-a-Lago on furlough status due to coronavirus, according to a WARN notice filed with the state. The furloughs for the 126-room hotel and club at 1100 South Ocean Boulevard are expected to be temporary.
Over the past few weeks, hotels in South Florida have been laying off hundreds of employees.
The 100-room Standard Spa, Miami Beach at 40 Island Avenue, laid off 236 people. The waterfront hotel said it did not know whether the layoffs will be temporary or permanent.
This week, Trump National Doral Miami furloughed 560 employees, according to its WARN notice. The Trump Organization said the furloughs at the Doral golf resort are temporary, and involve nonessential personnel.
South Florida’s hospitality industry has been hit particularly hard by coronavirus. The bayfront InterContinental Miami in downtown Miami laid off 377 employees, the Hilton Singer Island Oceanfront/Palm Beaches resort in Riviera Beach laid off 88 employees, and the Four Seasons Hotel Miami furloughed 312 people.
Earlier this month, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order requiring people to stay at home, except for essential businesses. The order followed previous decisions by individual counties and municipalities to close down non-essential businesses, including in some cases, hotels.
The hotel industry is also facing over $4 billion in debt payments on commercial-mortgage backed securities (CMBS) loans. The loans are harder to restructure than conventional loans and are more likely to head to foreclosure, according to industry experts.