COSTA RICA NEWS — High operating costs, high electricity rates and social charges forced the closure of the Hotel Europa, the two Casino Europas, one in the Hotel Europa and the other in the Radisson hotel.
The closure leaves 200 people with jobs.
Hugo Navas, legal representatives of the businesses, confirmed the closure, saying that a meeting is scheduled with the workers laid off by the closure, to seek an agreement with respect to their benefits, that includes the aguinaldo (annual bonus) and severance pay.
According to Navas, they hope to pay all the employees before the end of the year.
Navas added that, the straw that broke the camel’s back was last month’s ¢100 million colones (US$182.000 dollars) electricity bill, an amount that made it difficult for the company to continue operating the hotel and two casinos, culminated in the decision to shut down the operation.
The Europa hotel and casinos were part of the holdings of Luis Milanés, known as “The Cuban”, who ran the high interest investment scheme, “Savings Unlimited” more than a decade ago. Milanés will be going to trial on charges of fraud in July 2015. Savings Unlimited, located on the ninth floor of the Centro Colón, promised investors payment of between 2% and 3% monthly on their cash deposits. The operation did so until 2002, when it closed its doors leaving hundreds of investors holding the bag. On June 9, 2008, Milanés was arrested at the El Salvador airport travelling with a false passport.
In September, another Milanés known property, the Royal Dutch hotel and casino, shut its doors.