Holiday inn

Bridgeport Holiday Inn closes ahead of sale

BRIDGEPORT — The developer who hopes to buy the downtown Holiday Inn and turn most of it into apartments plans to close the deal on Thursday.

But the hotel, which was still operating last week, is already officially closed.

This week, visitors to the nearly 40-year-old building at 1070 Main Street were greeted with locked doors.

The owners of the Trefz family in a statement to Hearst Connecticut Media on Wednesday confirmed that they have closed the Holiday Inn starting Jan. 31. They blamed “the loss of business created by the COVID-19 pandemic” although, as previously reported, others familiar with the property, including future owner John Guedes, said the establishment was losing money. before the global health crisis hit Connecticut in early 2020.

“The Trefz organization is fortunate to be able to provide further opportunities for employees,” the statement continued, although it did not provide the number of employees affected.

The hotel had not filed a warning with the state Department of Labor, which under federal law requires employers of 100 or more full-time workers “to give 60 days’ notice in case of factory closure or collective dismissal”.

“We are also confident that the new restaurant/bar/banquet will create additional employment opportunities,” the Trefz family said, referring to Guedes’ plans to eventually reopen these existing facilities under another operator. It also plans to maintain 18 long-stay suites.

The Trefz family concluded, “We have been a destination for meetings, banquets and events for over 30 years and are proud to have served the downtown community.

It was unclear on Wednesday whether the closure was impacting future guests/events and resulting in abrupt cancellations and refunds.

Built in 1986 and purchased by the Trefz family in the mid-1990s, the Holiday Inn was the only major hotel in Connecticut’s largest city.

For months there have been rumors that he was quietly on the market. And Guedes, owner of Bridgeport-based Primrose Construction, which is building apartments elsewhere in the city centre, confirmed earlier this month that he had been negotiating a purchase since last April.

Along with the 18 suites, the rest of the nine-story structure’s 105 rooms will be one- and two-bedroom serviced apartments at market prices. A private operator will take over the operation of the catering and catering.

Guedes said on Wednesday he hoped to have completed the purchase last week, but it is now expected to happen on Thursday.

“Hopefully the catering facilities, restaurant and bar can be reopened within the next four to six weeks,” he said. “Apartments, as I have scheduled, (room conversions) will start with the top floor and end. The top floor could be ready within six months for occupancy, and a month later each subsequent floor. »

“Within a year, I intend to have the building fully occupied and operational,” he said.

Observers have previously told Hearst that the loss of the Holiday Inn is no surprise given the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on business travel and large gatherings, and that many other Connecticut hotels and the country are also transformed into housing.

The Trefz family, who own other properties in the city center, welcomed Guedes’ plans on Wednesday, saying, “We are confident that this route will give the city center a viable and sustainable alternative for its future.”

Meanwhile, other developers are interested in building a hotel in Bridgeport, including the Christophs, the father/son team involved in the Steelpointe project not far from the city center in the East End, the along the harbour.

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