Coronavirus impact forces layoffs at Oglebay Resort

WHEELING, W.Va. — More than five dozen workers have been laid-off at Oglebay in Wheeling in connection with the impact the resort has already experienced in connection with the coronavirus.

Fifty-eight full-time employees and all part-time workers were notified by memo Friday of the decision by the Wheeling Park Commission that operates the resort. The furloughs take effect immediately.

Wheeling Park Commission President and CEO David Lindelow said COVID-19 has had a devastating economic impact on the operation.

“The team has been working very hard to develop an appropriate action plan in light of an unprecedented decrease in business levels that have negatively impacted both Oglebay and Wheeling Park,” Lindelow said in a statement received by MetroNews Saturday. “Our goal is to minimize the negative effects over the long term, with the intention of welcoming our associates back to work as soon as circumstances permit.”

Executive orders from Gov. Jim Justice in recent days have forced the park commission to suspend operations at Oglebay’s West Spa, cancel for the next five weeks banquets and group gatherings at Oglebay and Wheeling Park along with suspending indoor pool operations at Wilson Lodge and discontinuing dine-in services at Ihlenfeld Dining Room and Glassworks Grill.

In Friday’s memo, the workers were told the park commission would pay the employees’ share of their health insurance premium during April and May. The employees would be expected to pay it back through payroll deduction when they return to work. The memo urged the workers to file for unemployment benefits.

“Our hearts ache for our incredible associates during this difficult time, and all of those in the hospitality and service industries who are facing the same challenges,” Lindelow said in the statement released by the commission.

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