Colonial Williamsburg is closing most of its hotel properties, and the Historic Area and art museums will remain closed through April 30.
Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, which runs the living history museum and hotel properties, said Wednesday afternoon that it will close the Williamsburg Inn, the Griffin Hotel and the Woodlands Hotel & Suites starting March 27. The Williamsburg Lodge will remain open.
Most of the hospitality staff - about 690 employees - will be placed on emergency administrative leave with full pay and benefits through April 11, and then furloughed for the balance of the closure period, the foundation said. This benefit also has been extended to cover most part-time employees who work less than 1,000 hours per year.
Colonial Williamsburg will maintain health insurance coverage and certain other benefits for covered employees, and will waive April rent for all furloughed employees renting Colonial Williamsburg housing.
The Historic Area and museums have been closed since March 16 and tentatively were scheduled to resume operations on March 30.
“These are difficult decisions, but based on input from leaders across our organization, our regional partners and the healthcare community, we are convinced this is the most responsible course of action,” said Cliff Fleet, president and CEO of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. “Our priorities are safeguarding the health of our staff, guests and the community, and helping the community and our employees through this very challenging time, while also protecting Colonial Williamsburg as a cultural institution.”
As has been the case since the foundation announced its initial shutdown, regular hourly employees in the Historic Area, art museums, operations and related areas who are unable to work because of the closure will continue on emergency administrative leave and will receive full pay and benefits.
But employees who earn $50,000 or more per year, including senior management, will immediately take cuts in pay, with higher compensated managers taking the greatest cuts.
The foundation will keep open Williamsburg Lodge to assist local government and public health officials with emergency needs. The foundation also offered the Governor’s Inn as a potential emergency housing and care facility.