60 positions expected to go at hotels

Job losses continue to mount in Queenstown’s accommodation sector, as 60 workers are expected to be made redundant at the Scenic Hotel Group’s two resort properties.

The Otago Daily Times understands 120 staff employed at Heartland Hotel Queenstown and Scenic Suites Queenstown have been invited to apply for 60 positions.

The company’s managing director, Brendan Taylor, did not respond to an interview request, but in a statement on the company’s website, said laying off staff had been the "hardest decisions in the group’s 40-year history".

There had been a "robust consultative process" with all staff, and although the majority of its hotels reopened last month, there had been "rationalisation of capacity" in centres where it had two properties or where there was a seasonal hibernation over winter.

“It has been really tough, as many of our staff have been with the group for over a decade," Mr Taylor said.

The 81-room Heartland Hotel and 84-room Scenic Suites hotel, which share a reception lobby on Stanley St, reopened last month in the move to Alert Level 2.

Of the group’s two Dunedin properties, the Scenic Hotel Southern Cross reopened on May 14, but the Scenic Hotel Dunedin City remains closed until further notice.

Two of its West Coast hotels, Te Waonui Forest Retreat, at Franz Josef Glacier, and Heartland Hotel Glacier Country, in Fox Glacier, will stay closed until September next year.

The company’s layoffs in Queenstown are the latest in a series of hotel restructurings in the resort. Many are yet to reopen as the tourism industry emerges from the Covid-19 crisis.

They include the St Moritz, Millennium, Copthorne Hotel and Resort Queenstown Lakefront, Mercure, Crowne Plaza and the Sherwood.

The Crowne Plaza reopens on Wednesday, the Sofitel on June 25 and The Heritage Hotel on July 1.

A national survey by Horwath HTL and Tourism Industry Aotearoa conducted last month found Queenstown hoteliers expected to lay off about 70% of their staff.


For those who can count- that is a 50% firing rate as a first shalvo. Looks like domestic tourism only for a good while. I would not be planning on Aussies coming over for skiing this winter. These hotels have.



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