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South Bend Residence Inn closed permanently, workers not paid

(WNDU)
Published: Jan. 21, 2020 at 8:28 PM EST
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Employees at a South Bend hotel are now looking for new jobs after the Residence Inn closed permanently Tuesday afternoon.

16 News Now

the hotel would remain open after the general manager confirmed it was not closing.

"There are some of us that almost got evicted yesterday," remarked former employee Carmen in an interview Tuesday.

Carmen said the housekeeping executive called her last Thursday to inform her the hotel was closing on Friday, their payday. At that point, receiving paychecks was questionable.

When Carmen arrived at work Friday, she learned the hotel would remain open under new owners and that employees like her who have direct deposit would receive their paychecks the following Monday.

Around 5:30 p.m. Monday, Carmen was told the hotel was permanently closing Tuesday. The hotel shut down at noon Tuesday without employees getting paid.

Carmen's assistant manager tells 16 News Now she is trying to get answers as she is not getting paid either. The general manager did not have new information to offer.

Carmen says she and her general manager contacted the hotel's property management company, Portfolio Hotels and Resorts, several times Monday and did not receive any answers.

"I mean, what can we do?" Carmen asked. "That's why I'm trying to speak out, not just for myself but for everybody here. We need some source of closure here."

The Illinois-based company also managed the Residence Inn in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, according to The Winston-Salem Journal.

documents show the two hotels are "cross-collateralized," meaning a default on either loan affects the other.

Employees at the Winston-Salem Residence Inn told the newspaper that Portfolio suddenly had a financial "savior" who rectified the woes that put their hotel on the brink of closing Friday, the same day the South Bend hotel was set to shutter.

16 News Now has learned the hotel in Winston-Salem will close permanently Thursday.

Carmen reports many single parents were employed by the South Bend Residence Inn. The abrupt closure is putting everyone in a bind.

"[Portfolio] just let us down. I mean, they're not even answering phone calls at this time. It's like [they said], 'Forget y'all,'" she said.

16 News Now emailed and called Portfolio Hotels and Resorts, the property management company for the Residence Inn on Niles Avenue. The company has yet to respond.

It is unclear if or how guests will be refunded.

Marriott International, the parent company for Residence Inn, did not respond to 16 News Now.

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