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The Hotel At UMD Lays Off 150 After Closing For Coronavirus

The Hotel at UMD College Park
The Hotel at UMD in College Park, Southern Management's new $180M project

The $180M hotel that opened in College Park in 2017 is now facing severe challenges as the coronavirus depresses hotel demand. 

After announcing Wednesday it would close temporarily, The Hotel at the University of Maryland filed a Work Adjustment and Retraining Notification Thursday indicating it is laying off 150 people. 

Southern Management, the hotel's developer and owner said in a post on its website Wednesday it expects the hotel to reopen in April, but it did not mention the layoffs.

“Closing The Hotel at the University of Maryland was not an easy decision, but the safety of our staff and guests is our top priority," Southern Management Executive Vice President James LoBosco said in a statement provided to Bisnow. "We recognize the potential burden the closing may have on our staff, which is why we are working diligently to support them as we navigate this situation. In addition to placing staff at Southern Management Corporation’s residential properties, we are also identifying special projects and task force assignments to ensure they remain employed. The Hotel filed the Work Adjustment and Retraining Notification proactively in an effort to ease the process for those associates who need/want to file for unemployment.”

The owner said it will offer flexibility for guests to reschedule and cancel bookings. It also said the property's sister hotels, the Cambria Hotel College Park and The Hotel at Arundel Preserve, remain open. 

The Hotel at UMD opened in 2017 with 297 rooms, 43K SF of meeting space, four restaurants and a spa. It sits on College Park's Baltimore Avenue corridor, directly across the street from the University of Maryland's main entrance. The hotel has served as a catalyst for the development of College Park's Discovery District, which also includes a WeWork coworking space and a new food hall

University of Maryland President Wallace Loh announced Thursday the university has canceled all in-person classes for the remainder of the spring semester, following a recommendation from Gov. Larry Hogan. Maryland had 150 confirmed cases of the coronavirus as of Friday, and the D.C.-Maryland-Virginia region had 338 confirmed cases, the Washington Post reported

The hotel is the second major hospitality property in Prince George's County to lay off a large number of people this week. The MGM National Harbor filed a WARN notice Wednesday indicating it is laying off 85 people, after Hogan Sunday ordered that all casinos in the state must close to slow the spread of the virus.

UPDATE, MARCH 20, 6:15 P.M. ET: This story has been updated to include a statement from Southern Management.