Faced with a $500,000 Caja debt, La Condesa Hotel closes, firing 140 workers

October 1, 2014
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A ₡266 million ($498,000) debt with the Costa Rican Social Security System, or Caja, has prompted the indefinite closure of Heredia-based La Condesa Hotel. A staff of 140 employees has been let go.

Employees were notified of their dismissal on Monday. Two days later, some sought legal assistance at the Labor Ministry, saying they had not been paid for September. They also claimed not to receive any information on severance pay.

The Caja ordered the hotel closed on Sept. 19. Hotel owners responded by agreeing to make a partial payment of ₡87 million ($163,000) to keep the business operating, Caja Collections Director Luis Diego Calderón said. That payment was due on Sept. 30. Owners missed that payment and on Monday notified staff of the decision to close.

Following the Sept. 19 Caja order, hotel administrators canceled special events, and in a written message, informed customers the hotel was unable to refund reservations in the near future.

Several messages on the hotel’s social media profiles on Wednesday stated that customers were not notified of cancellations or the refund process for pre-visit payments.

The hotel’s Facebook and Twitter pages haven’t been updated since Sept. 19, and attempts to contact hotel representatives on Wednesday evening were unsuccessful.

The only update is a message posted on the hotel’s website stating that it is out of business until further notice due to a Caja order, and that this situation also affects the Internet host.”

Inquiries should be sent by email to: hotelvillaslacondesa@gmail.com, the message states.

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