Staff: Hyatt lays off Royal Palms valet, bellhop workers in plan to outsource services

Posted at 9:46 PM, Jul 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-12 13:15:05-04

New ownership at the Royal Palms Resort in Phoenix laid off valet and bellhop employees Monday, several staff members said.

Hyatt announced last month the purchase of the decades-old resort at 5200 E. Camelback Rd.

After being told in the last few weeks that they could remain with the hotel after the sale, and even filling out Hyatt new hire paperwork, valet staff were told Monday they were being laid off and would not receive severance pay, former employees Jimmy Smith and Ryan Kent said Monday evening. Fifteen people worked in the department, the pair said. 

The hotel is outsourcing valet and bellhop services to a third party company, Smith and Kent said. 

Those who lost their jobs have the opportunity to apply for one of those positions at about one-third of their old pay, they said.

“For all of us to be out [of work] without any notice is a hard pill to swallow,” Smith said.

Hyatt representatives did not return phone and email messages seeking comment Monday. The resort will be part of the hotel chain’s new Unbound Collection of hotels, and will continue to be known as the Royal Palms Resort and Spa.

A group of former staff members commiserated at an Arcadia bar after work Monday.

“It just really feels like a bit of a stab in the back,” Smith said.

“I have no idea,” was Kent’s response when asked how he would pay August rent in three weeks.

Room costs at the resort start at approximately $429 during the peak winter season. A room Monday night could be rented for $229, according to the hotel’s website.