Marcus Corp. to lay off 410 workers at Wisconsin hotels

The Hilton Milwaukee City Center hotel in downtown Milwaukee.
The Hilton Milwaukee City Center hotel in downtown Milwaukee.

Last updated on June 30th, 2020 at 09:56 am

Milwaukee-based The Marcus Corp. plans to lay off 410 workers at six Wisconsin hotels, plus an additional 15 employees, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to hamstring the restaurant and hospitality industries.

The company will lay off workers at three downtown Milwaukee hotels, two resorts in Lake Geneva and a hotel in Madison, according to a flurry of WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification) notices that Marcus Corp. filed with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

Despite plans to reopen on July 12, the Hilton Milwaukee City Center at 509 W. Wisconsin Ave. in downtown Milwaukee is taking the brunt of the job cuts, with 211 employees to be laid off by the end of July. These permanent layoffs include 200 hourly associates and 11 management associates.

“Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic has negatively impacted our ability to maintain normal business levels, thus our ability to retain our entire staff,” the company stated in the notice.

Marcus also filed several other WARN notices on behalf of the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee, St. Kate – The Arts Hotel in Milwaukee, Grand Geneva Resort & Spa in Lake Geneva, Timber Ridge Lodge & Waterpark in Lake Geneva and Hilton Madison Monona Terrace. The Pfister, which reopened June 8, will lay off 89 employees while St. Kate, which plans to reopen on Aug. 3, will cut 42 positions. Hilton Madison Monona Terrace reopened earlier this month and will lay off 40 workers. Grand Geneva will lay off 23 employees and Timber Ridge will lay off 5.

Additionally, two Marcus Hotels & Resorts Inc. operations, Wisconsin Hospitality Linen Service and the Safe House Milwaukee restaurant, are each laying off one worker. The Safe House plans to reopen on Aug. 3.

Marcus Hotels, a division of Marcus Corp., is also laying of 13 employees at its corporate headquarters.

In April, multiple Marcus Hotels received federal Paycheck Protection Program loans, but the company declined to provide a full picture of where and how those PPP funds were deployed. However, several workers employed at hotels did receive an initial two weeks of layoff pay.

The Marcus Corp. is also receiving a loan of nearly $91 million to help the company weather the economic impact of the pandemic. In late April, the Marcus Corp. announced it would receive a $90.8 million 364-day loan “to further solidify The Marcus Corporation’s already strong balance sheet.”

Two other industry companies took a layoff hit this month including Bayside-based Apple Leisure Group Vacations, a tour operator that laid off 149 employees and Green Bay Hyatt Regency, which cut 32 jobs.

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