Hanalei Bay Resort furloughs employees

PRINCEVILLE — An undisclosed number of employees at the Hanalei Bay Resort in Princeville were furloughed Tuesday without prior notice.

A letter to employees from parent company Quintus Vacation Management LLC states that the resort’s lender failed to provide “promised funds” necessary to meet certain financial obligations. The document, signed by Quintus co-president and owner Gary Grottke and dated Nov. 6, apologized for the short notice, saying the company was informed Nov. 1 that the funding would not be available.

“We have worked … to resolve the cash shortfall but have not been able to come to a solution that would prevent furloughs,” according to the letter.

There was no mention of the lender’s name, the reason the funds were not provided or why the company required outside funding to pay employee salaries.

Hanalei Bay Resort General Manager Jim Braman and Grottke were not immediately available for comment.

The resort’s Bali Hai restaurant is currently closed, and renovations are planned down the line should funds become available. There are plans to keep The Happy Talk Lounge open as well as the resort accommodations. The 134-unit resort also features condos for sale and vacation ownership.

“We will continue to operate, and we are hopeful that conditions will improve in the next three to four weeks,” the letter states.

The company has been in contact with the local office of the state Unemployment Insurance Division, and a number of staff have already filed claims. Marilyn Yamaguchi, manger of the Kaua‘i office, said furloughed employees have a right to the same benefit amounts as if they were laid off; however, they are considered partially unemployed by the state because it is expected they will return to their jobs once able and do not have to job search in the interim.

Before announcing a layoff or furlough, companies usually bring in Unemployment Insurance Division representatives to educate staff on their options. In this case, Yamaguchi said Hanalei Bay Resort employees were given handouts, as word of the furlough came right before it was implemented.

Claims for unemployment insurance can be directed to the office at 643-5555.

• Blake Jones, business writer/assistant editor, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 251) or bjones@kauaipubco.com.


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