Waikoloa Marriott could be sold soon


HILO — The Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa could be under new ownership as early as May 3.

Most of the 315 employees are covered by union membership, but 49 are not, leaving their jobs at risk if the new owner does not keep Marriott on as manager and operator, Marriott Vice President and Senior Counsel Darryl Franklin said in a letter faxed Monday to the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

“At this time, Marriott is unable to determine whether or not it will continue to manage and operate the hotel after the owner sells the hotel,” Franklin said in the letter.

Franklin did not return a telephone message for comment Wednesday afternoon. It’s not known who the prospective buyer is.

The four-star resort is owned by BRE/Waikoloa LLC, a Delaware limited liability company with a Boca Raton, Fla., address that registered in Hawaii in 2004, according to county and state records. It had a 2012 taxable value of $54.5 million.

Under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement with the Unite Here Local 5 labor union, the new resort owner and manager will assume the collective bargaining agreement, Franklin said in the letter, so the 266 union workers will continue to be under the terms of the agreement.

Telephone messages left with the Unite Here Honolulu office were not returned Wednesday afternoon.

Union and nonunion positions affected include 121 restaurant, room service and bar staff, 77 housekeeping staff and a variety of stewards, gardeners, accounting clerks, maintenance workers, sales staff and translators, according to the letter.

The letter was sent to the state under the requirements of the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act and the Hawaii Dislocated Workers’ Act, which requires notice of business activities that affect workers.

Gail Fujimoto, licensing officer for the county Department of Liquor Control, said no application has reached her office for liquor license transfer to a new owner. While a transfer generally takes several months, Fujimoto said the office provides temporary liquor licenses as long as all the proper paperwork is filed after a sale.