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New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel lays off 110

The New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel has given permanent layoff notices to nearly all of its 114 employees and plans to transition to new management and a new name nearly two years after it was purchased for $23.9 million by Honolulu-based BlackSand Capital.

The 125-room hotel at 2863 Kalakaua Ave. in Waikiki will be known as the Kaimana Beach Hotel as of Dec. 1. Guests with reservations after Nov. 30 will not be affected.

Lisa Reasoner, human resources manager of The New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel, said the identity of the new management has not been publicly disclosed but that the new owner is expected to make an announcement sometime next week. She said the four employees not included in the layoff notice are being retained to help with the hotel liquidation.

“I’m hoping they give first priority to current staff for the rehire, but it’s really up to them who they want to rehire,” Reasoner said.

The hotel filed a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification with the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations on Sept. 15 in which it said that 110 of its employees workers would lose their jobs as of Nov. 30 “due to (the) sale of the hotel and property.” The hotel said in the notice that some employees may be rehired by the new operator of the hotel.

Among the employees affected, 18 of them are cooks, while the second greatest number of employees affected were room attendants and servers at 14 each.

On Aug. 31, the hotel’s Miyako Restaurant ceased operations and laid off 14 employees due to the drop in tourism stemming from COVID-19, the hotel said in a previous WARN notice filed on July 10. The employees include seven cooks and kitchen staff, as well as seven servers and cashiers.

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