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Garden City Hotel workers may face layoffs

The Garden City Hotel's executive vice president and

The Garden City Hotel's executive vice president and director declined to say Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012, how many employees the hotel has and how many would be offered jobs. (Dec. 9, 2010) Photo Credit: Jason Andrew

The Garden City Hotel, which was recently sold to a Manhattan real-estate group, plans to lay off its entire staff, but some workers will be re-employed, according to an email sent to the staff this week.

In the email, Patrick S. Smalley, the hotel's executive vice president and managing director, told employees that the ownership and management changeover is expected to take place before the end of this week.

On that day, every current employee "will receive a termination letter from the existing owners . . . We have been advised that a representative from the new ownership team will be available at the time to present offers of employment."

Smalley declined to say Wednesday how many employees the hotel has and how many would be offered jobs. A Newsday story about the hotel in June said it employed about 300. In an email, Smalley said the layoffs were a necessary part of the transition.

"It requires the termination of all employees before new ownership can extend offers of employment to them," he said. "It is a difficult process to navigate, and we have taken every precaution to carry it out in the most dignified way for every employee."

In June, Newsday reported that the hotel, one of the Island's most iconic and opulent landmarks, was being sold by the Nelkin family to a group led by Morris Moinian of Fortuna Realty Group, a Manhattan real-estate management and development firm.

The original hotel was built in 1874. It was rebuilt twice by famed architect Stanford White, and it became a haven for the rich and famous during the Roaring '20s.

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