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Four Seasons Hotel shuts down temporarily, 300+ employees furloughed

The hotel in downtown St. Louis is closing for now over coronavirus concerns. They plan to reopen in May

ST. LOUIS — One of downtown's preeminent hotels and event venues is closing its doors, at least for the time being.

The general manager of the Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis confirmed over the phone they are temporarily closing the hotel and all of its entities — the spa, event space and restaurants — amid concerns over the coronavirus. They are targeting May 4 to reopen.

Alper Oztok stressed that it is not permanent but based on guidance from city officials they wanted to be "good corporate and community citizens" by ceasing operations for the time being.

"Employee and guest health is of the utmost importance to us," said Oztok. "We just have to do our part."

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Oztok would not elaborate on the compensation plan for more than 300 employees who now are unable to go to work, other than that some are using their PTO.

He added that they could reopen before May, but they are targeting that date to be "on the safe side" of the virus' spread.

Oztok also declined to give specifics on how their occupancy rates have dropped due to recent event and travel cancellations, though he said it is about on pace with other hotels around the country right now. Finances, he insisted, were not the reason for the closure, though he did say the hotel has had a decline in occupancy rates recently.

"Once something like this comes out, health takes over everything," he said.

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