Former Hotel Eleganté employee speaks out after sale of building, loss of job

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COLORADO SPRINGS — At the beginning of the year, SHIR Capitol, a Texas-based developer, purchased Hotel Eleganté in Colorado Springs. SHIR Capitol’s intention is to turn the with the intention of turning the hotel that – despite it’s own changes in ownership – has been in the community for around fifty years, into “low-cost” apartments.

Closing the hotel prompted job losses for 166 employees and, they say, it happened with very little notice.

According to a former employee, the closure of the hotel impacted many employees who are now scrambling to find work. Credit: Sarah Hempelmann

“I walk in on, whatever it was New Year’s Eve, and no time clock and they had everything all locked up and Ed came back and told us — 10 o’clock — that food and beverage is shut down,” Ron, who worked at the hotel, said.

Ron said he and his coworkers had assumed they had at least several more months before the inevitable firings.

“We all thought we had time to get our act together and get our I’s dotted and our T’s crossed and go out there and find a job that suited us. But now, we’re all just sort of scrambling around trying to figure out what we’re going to do,” he said.

Ron also said the expected amount of severance was also cut back.

“Originally they were going to give us a year severance pay and all of a sudden that turned into three months pay. He didn’t have to give us anything, you know, so it was nice he gave us the three months. But yeah, three months doesn’t go very far,” Ron said.

Employees said they don’t fault the owner, but they admit the transition could have been handled better. Credit: Sarah Hempelmann

After all the time they put in and the risks many of them took working through COVID, employees said the way the transition was handled doesn’t feel appropriate.

“We didn’t collect unemployment during the COVID, I mean we all stuck it out there and we were the only hotel in town that stayed open during all that COVID nonsense. Pretty much all employees, I mean, everybody’s real loyal to that place. Our wages weren’t very good, but we all stayed pretty loyal.”

Ron told FOX21 he still respects the former owner of the hotel and doesn’t blame him for selling. But he said the transition was not handled well and many employees felt blindsided by recent changes.

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