The Pacific Islands Club Guam on Tuesday afternoon announced it will lay off 119 employees by mid-November as a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Permanent layoffs and the extension of furloughs come at a time when the island's tourism economy remains at a standstill, according to a press release.

"The 2008 U.S. financial crisis and Japan's natural disaster in 2011 hit us hard and resort occupancy went as low as 40%, but we have never seen anything like this," said General Manager Ben Ferguson, who has been with the organization for more than 30 years. "We are hopeful that tourism to Guam will resume before the end of the year, but we are also mindful of the reality that arrivals to Guam from our key source markets will take an extended period of time to recover to pre-pandemic levels."

PIC makes up approximately 10% of the island's hotel inventory. It has three towers, 777 guest rooms, seven restaurant outlets and a water park facility all sitting on 22 acres of land. Prior to the pandemic, PIC employed more than 700 employees.

In March, the hotel furloughed more than 500 employees. While furloughed, employees no longer received a paycheck.

Military guests

The Pacific Islands Club Guam was one of the many hotels that provided room accommodations to sailors from the USS Theodore Roosevelt in April and May. This allowed furloughed employees to return to work for a few weeks, according to the hotel.

PIC also provided work to employees in July and August during Pandemic Condition of Readiness 3, when it could still operate its water park.

However, since the recent lockdown and the transition back into PCOR1, the resort is reporting an occupancy rate of less than 2%. Two of the hotel's towers have been temporarily closed.

The Pacific Islands Club Guam is a part of the PHR group of hotels, which also includes the Hilton Guam Resort & Spa, Hotel Nikko Guam, Hyatt Regency Guam, Sheraton Laguna Guam Resort and Tsubaki Tower. The group also owns the Country Club of the Pacific Golf Course in Yona and O-Night Guam night club in Tumon. The organization has a combined workforce of 2,700, with 1,850 on furlough status.

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