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Vail Valley’s Ritz-Carlton to close for a month

Chris Outcalt
coutcalt@vaildaily.com
Vail Valley, CO Colorado

BACHELOR GULCH, Colorado ” For the first time since opening six and a half years ago, the Ritz Carlton-Bachelor Gulch will close for a month after ski season and temporarily layoff hundreds of Vail Valley, Colorado employees in the process.

The resort isn’t taking reservations from April 14 through May 20. About 350 service workers won’t have a job during that period, but will get their jobs back when the temporary closure is over, said Parool Shah, public relations director for the hotel.

Members of the hotels sales and engineering departments, and senior staff will still be employed by the hotel during that month, said Shah.



“We’re using the softer demand period to temporarily cease hotel operations,” said Shah. “These are considered job-attached layoffs, our intent is to welcome back every lady and gentlemen.”

John Garth, the hotel’s general manager, said the spring is often the slowest time of the year and closing for a month after the ski season has been discussed before. But this year was a little different, he said.



“We’re doing it for a couple reasons,” Garth said. “This year we have softer demand and it helps ensure our success for 2009.”

The pool and fitness center will still be open to Bachelor Gulch homeowners, Garth said. Rooms at the hotel will be cleaned and officials plan to work on other maintenance projects during the closure, Garth said.

A job-attached layoff, according to Garth, means the resort intends to rehire all of the employees that will be out of a job during the closure.



“We are 100 percent committed to our ladies and gentlemen and that employee promise means everything to us,” Garth said.

The Little Nell in Aspen and the Four Seasons in Jackson Hole, Wyo. both close for about a month after the ski season. The closure is nothing new for either hotel.

“We’re not changing anything in light of the current economy,” said Mark Elias, Little Nell’s sales manager . “We’ve always done that.”

Since opening in December 2003, the Four Seasons Resort in Jackson Hole has closed for a few weeks every April and November.

“Historically we see a large number of hotels, restaurants, activity vendors and retail shops in the region close for a month or even longer,” said Greer Terry, public relations director for the resort.

The resorts closures are timed with the closure of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and the Grand Teton National Park ” two of the area’s primary tourist attractions, Greer said.

The Lodge at Vail isn’t considering a seasonal closure, said Sales Manager Sean LaFaver.

“No, I don’t think that’s a possibility for us,” LaFaver said. “We do enough with groups and our restaurants, there’s no justification for us to shut down in the off season.”

Staff Writer Chris Outcalt can be reached at 970-748-2931 or coutcalt@vaildaily.com.


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