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Delaware North lays off most of its full-time employees

Those on leave will get one week of pay and eight weeks medical coverage.
Delaware North Company's new global headquarters occupy 110,000 square feet of this building at the corner of Delaware Avenue and Chippewa Street in downtown Buffalo.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Buffalo-based Delaware North announced Wednesday its laying off the bulk of its full-time staff in response to the on-going coronavirus crisis.

The hospitality giant is seeing a significant downturn in business as travel and events across the country over the past weeks have ground to a halt.

The company says the action is in response to guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to ensure the health and safety of its guests and employees. 

The temporary move affects more than two-thirds of its 3,100 full-time staff. Workers affected will get one week's pay and eight weeks of medical benefits. Full-time workers staying on are doing so at a reduced rate of pay. Thousands of part-time employees are no longer being scheduled.

The spread of the virus has forced the closure of nearly every one of Delaware North's 200 locations in the US, United Kingdom and Austrialia. Those include sports and entertainment venues, casinos and parks. Airport locations remain open, but are seeing significantly less traffic.

In a statement the Jacobs family, owners of Delaware North, say they hope the crisis is short-lived and that their employees remain safe and healthy during these uncertain times.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown had this today about the news, “Obviously, the news regarding local companies and organizations having to make the extremely difficult decisions to reduce their workforces and enact other cost-saving measures is devastating to many in our community. However, many major regional employers and drivers of the local economy, may decide to reduce costs now so that they have the ability to resume regular operations once the immediate public health emergency has passed. I am hopeful that the COVID-19 impacted businesses will do their utmost to support their employees during this public health crisis, with the continuation of health benefits and other accommodations that will help to prevent panic or added anxiety.”