The economic fallout continued Friday from the novel coronavirus pandemic with The Woodlands Resort and two other Howard Hughes Corp.-owned hotels in The Woodlands closing indefinitely effective Sunday afternoon.

Officials from The Howard Hughes Corp. verified a tip The Woodlands Villager received Friday night from an unnamed source who reported employees were told that the Resort, a sprawling luxury compound with a hotel, convention center, bar and restaurant along with swimming pool amenities, spa services and a world-class golf course, was closing for at least 90 days. The source said allegedly there were job cuts announced, however officials at Howard Hughes had no comment on that aspect Friday night.

The golf course at the resort, called The Golf Trails of The Woodlands, was still open and allowing tee times for golfers as of noon Saturday said Curtis Cristwell, food and beverage manager for the golf course.

Lorrie Parise, a spokesperson for The Woodlands Development Co., which is a subsidiary of the Howard Hughes Corp., said executives had ordered the closures of The Woodlands Resort, the Westin The Woodlands and the Embassy Suites by Hilton.

“The safety and well-being of our valued employees, our communities, and our guests, is our highest priority,” Howard Hughes officials said in a Saturday press release. “As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made the difficult decision to temporarily suspend operations of our hotels and restaurants at The Woodlands Resort, The Westin at The Woodlands and Embassy Suites by Hilton at Hughes Landing beginning at 4 p.m., Sunday, March 22. Updates will be posted on our hotel websites as they become available. Our thoughts and prayers remain with our team members and their families who exemplify our brand purpose of being ‘passionately engaging with a personalized Texas spirit.’ We look forward to a more optimistic future, and to the opportunity to welcome all of us back together at our properties. We are confident that our businesses, our people, and our country will get through this crisis, and be stronger for it.”

Howard Hughes Corp. officials changed tack Saturday with officials issuing a new press release later that night, which changed the possible reopening date originally planned for July 1 to an unknown date to be determined as the situation unfolds in the coming weeks. There is now no planned reopening date, and Parise said that will be assessed on a regular basis as the pandemic unfolds.

“Beginning at 4 p.m. Sunday, March 22 (they will be closed). The Woodlands Resort (now) has it on their website. If you look at the (Howard Hughes) Facebook page, there is an announcement,” Parise said. “The Howard Hughes Corporation is diligently monitoring and following the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and we encourage everyone to do the same.”

Parise said she did not have information on layoffs, and added that staff were, “just going like everyone else, taking it daily, because as you know, things are changing on a daily basis.”

The announcement of the three closures comes days after officials from The Woodlands Waterway Marriott and Convention Center had reported an occupancy rate of 7 percent Wednesday at a Visit The Woodlands board meeting.

With the cancellation of community festivals and events such as the Waterway Arts Festival and the Ironman North American Championship Triathlon, thousands of visitors to the township have canceled their reservations in many of the 14 hotels in the township.

jeff.forward@chron.com

Original Article from: https://www.yourconroenews.com/neighborhood/woodlands/news/article/Woodlands-Resort-2-other-Howard-Hughes-hotels-in-15147413.php