Canyon Ranch extends furloughs for 228 employees

Canyon Ranch in Lenox, which reopened in July, has extended furloughs to some 228 employees already affected by the pandemic.

LENOX — As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to exact a heavy toll on the hospitality industry, Canyon Ranch has extended furloughs already in place for 228 workers.

The furloughs were listed in the state's weekly Worker Adjustment and Retraining Act, or WARN, a report on layoff notices and other types of employee cutbacks. The furlough extensions took effect on Aug. 27.

The high-end resort, opened in 1989 at the former Bellefontaine Estate, resumed operations on July 23 after a shutdown of more than four months. It had employed 600 staffers as of mid-2019, but more recent totals were not available.

"While it is our policy not to comment on personnel matters specifically, with respect to numbers or timelines for instance," managing director Mindi Morin told The Eagle by e-mail, "we can say that for several months our leadership team has continued to extend furloughs with associated benefits for a very large number of valued staff and their families in all our locations, including Lenox, and to communicate with all those individuals weekly about updates to our business, their return status, and more."

Morin acknowledged that in Lenox, "any colleagues who received a notice this week were simply being extended on furlough, not laid off or terminated."

She declined to offer specifics on occupancy levels this summer.

"We have seen some promising occupancy indicators and our occupancy through the holiday weekend is strong," she said.

In normal times, the resort can accommodate 200 guests in its two-story inn with 126 rooms and suites, according to the resort's website. During the pandemic, lodging destinations have been restricted to reduced capacity, typically 40 to 60 percent.

Current rates for the no-tipping, no-alcohol Canyon Ranch resort on Labor Day weekend ranged from a basic "Just Be Here" $1,480 per person for a two-night minimum stay, with more elaborate packages priced at $2,280 per person for a three-night visit, $3,550 for five nights and $4,620 for a full week.

Clarence Fanto can be reached at cfanto@yahoo.com, on Twitter @BE_cfanto or at 413-637-2551.