Park Royal Kuala Lumpur to close for 15 months

The Park Royal hotel in Kuala Lumpur says it has been heavily affected by the movement control order. (Park Royal KL pic)

PETALING JAYA: Park Royal Kuala Lumpur’s general manager today confirmed that the hotel will be closed for renovations for at least 15 months, in a move aimed at stemming losses due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Benny Chung verified an internal memo sighted by FMT in which he announced a “total closure of the hotel” next month and called on all its employees to accept the offered voluntary separation scheme (VSS).

The hotel said the decision was made due to the movement control order (MCO), which it said had brought the hospitality industry to “a complete halt”.

Chung said the hotel had initially planned to undertake phased renovations at the end of the year but had now opted to close totally for these to be carried out.

“The industry’s current outlook is not very exciting. We are just closing temporarily and will reopen in late 2021. This is not ‘closing shop’,” he told FMT.

The hotel’s two sister properties in Malaysia, Park Royal Serviced Suites Kuala Lumpur and Park Royal Penang, will still continue operations.

In the memo, Chung said that the hotel’s operations and finances had been severely impacted by the MCO and that significant financial losses were projected for the year even after taking into account various cost reduction measures. The total closure of the hotel will minimise the operating losses, he added.

He also urged the staff to take up the VSS, the details of which would be shared at a town hall meeting on Monday.

Today’s announcement is the latest in a string of shutdowns and lay-offs in the country’s hospitality industry, which is struggling to cope with the loss of tourists caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Kuala Lumpur Hilton announced pay cuts and retrenchments late April, and another prominent hotel in the heart of the capital, G City Club Hotel, announced its closure last month due to low occupancy rates over the past few years.

FMT also reported on the closure of a five-star hotel in Melaka last month as well as the suspension of operations of a 500-room five-star hotel in Selangor.

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