Marriott cutting 163 Stamford jobs; facing significant penalties from state

By Kevin Zimmerman

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Marriott has informed the Connecticut Department of Labor that it is eliminating “approximately 163 employees” at the Starwood Hotels and Resorts headquarters in Stamford between Dec. 31 and Jan. 13, 2017. Marriott’s $13.6 billion acquisition of Starwood was finalized on Sept. 23.

The round of layoffs will include everyone from administrative assistants to senior vice presidents, the hotelier told state officials in a letter, which noted that employees notified of being laid off can apply for Marriott jobs expected to be posted in the coming weeks.

Starwood relocated from White Plains to Stamford  in 2012, thanks in part to an $80 million incentives package put together by then-Gov. Jodi Rell, aided by Connecticut’s Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD).

According to a spokesperson for DECD Commissioner Catherine Smith, Marriott will assume all the terms, conditions, and obligations to Connecticut that Starwood had under two agreements with the state, to wit:

  • A $9.5 million loan and $75 million in tax credits on May 21, 2010. The loan had forgiveness based on the company creating and retaining 813 jobs. The company achieved the jobs in May of 2014 and received a $7 million forgiveness, leaving it with a principal balance of $2.5 million plus accrued interest due on October 1, 2021. Starwood had 793 employees on Dec. 31, 2015 and received tax credits of $7.5 million for the tax years ending Dec. 31, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 for a total of $30 million.
  • A $5 million loan and $20 million in tax credits on April 30, 2014. That loan had forgiveness built in upon the creation of 340 new jobs and the retention of 980 jobs for a total of 1,320 for a 12-month period on or before Dec. 31, 2017. Penalty provisions for the $5 million loan include a $3,788 per employee penalty for employment under 1,320, with the penalty amount applied to the repayment of the loan. Loan forgiveness will be reduced if average compensation levels are not maintained as well.

“They have not received forgiveness for this loan,” the spokesperson said. “They are paying interest only and are current. They are not scheduled to receive any tax credits until 2018.”

Marriott spokesperson Felicia McLemore said there are now 600 employees in the Stamford office. “We are aware of the terms of the economic development loan and will address it as we finalize our occupancy plans for the Stamford office,” she said.

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