The owner of downtown’s Hotel Arizona is threatening to shut down after next year’s gem show if he doesn’t receive a taxpayer-funded improvement package.
Hotel General Manager Todd Lavigne confirmed the hotel laid off 30 employees this week and closed its restaurant and gift shop indefinitely. Most of the layoffs were in the restaurant and the sales staff, because Lavigne said the hotel is no longer actively soliciting new business to the hotel because there’s no guarantee it will be open for more than two to three months.
Lavigne said the hotel’s owner, Humberto Lopez, wants to see plans for an improvement to the Tucson Convention Center in addition to the improvements to the hotel.
Given that the hotel is looking at only 6 percent occupancy for the month of December, Lavigne said the hotel will try to hang on until the gem show begins next month but can’t make it past then without a deal from the city.