ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) -- The Kahler Hotel Group is bringing in a new management company to operate its five top-line downtown Rochester hotels, and the change will happen at the stroke of midnight.
Richfield Hospitality of suburban Denver, Colorado, will take over the day-to-day operations of the Kahler Grand, the International Hotel, the downtown Rochester Marriott Mayo Clinic, the Kahler Inn and Suites, and the Residence Inn by Marriott Rochester Mayo Clinic Area. The firm takes over from Interstate Hotels & Resorts, which has been running the properties for nearly ten years.
Kahler Hotel Group chairman Javon Bea estimates that 550 employees will be affected by the change in management. The contract with UNITE HERE Local 21 AFL-CIO through August 31, 2014, will be honored; it covers work conditions for cooks, bartenders, housekeepers, banquet staff and a host of other positions. It also covers those working at the group's commercial laundry operation in Rochester.
Local 21 Business Agent Brian Brandt tells KTTC NewsCenter that so far, the only significant change for the 400 employees covered by the union contract will be the health care coverage.
"Dealings with them have been amicable," said Brandt. "They're keeping all of our people, honoring the current contract. The only real change is a different medical plan; Interstate had options and coverage levels, Richfield Hospitality has a 'one size fits all' health care coverage."
Brandt said the old plan featured 90/10 coverage, while the new one is 80/20, but that "the deductibles aren't too bad."
Bea said Richfield Hospitality is currently interviewing the other non-union staff, which may number about 150 people, and will decide who it will hire going forward.
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