Some branches of Victoria Court to be shuttered

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Several branches of local motel operator Victoria Court under Angelina Mead King are closing because of the pandemic, while branches under her brother, Atticus King, will still be operational but will be retrenching employees, according to two separate videos shared on social media.

“I don’t think that hotel and motel operations will be able to produce the same results as how we used to,” Ms. Mead King said in a video addressed to her employees which made rounds of social media on June 2.

Ms. Mead King handles the operations for three Victoria Court branches: Taft, Pasay, and Malate while the rest are under Mr. King.

Despite housing medical frontliners so they can stay closer to their hospitals and Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) who are completing their mandatory 14-day quarantine, Ms. Mead King that it’s “still not enough for the business to sustain itself and take care of all of us.”

“We all have to go into survival mode. It is better for us to prepare for this now, rather than ignore it,” she said.

Her group will be preparing the employees’ retirement and retrenchment packages over the next few weeks to help them “survive the next few months,” and she advised them to look for other jobs. She then assured them that “when the business does re-open again,” the displaced employees will be the first ones the company will be calling back.

“Please don’t think that we have come to this decision lightly. It was a great difficulty. I want to let you know that we value all your hard work and loyalty that you have given during my management. And I really wish there was another way to go about this,” she said.

Ms. Mead King told BusinessWorld in an e-mail that the video was supposed to be private and was not meant for the public and that she will be making an official announcement soon.

The King family has been in the motel business since businessman Angelo King opened Anito Lodge in Pasay City in 1975. When his sons, Archimedes and Wyden, joined the company, it expanded with the openinbg of Akasya Lodge in Sta. Mesa, Manila in 1984. A year later, the company opened Anito Royale and Anahaw and the first Victoria Court in Pasig. The Victoria Court brand is known for its themed rooms.

Victoria Court is now under the management of both Ms. Mead King and Atticus King.

In a separate video, Atticus King clarified that only the branches under his sister’s management are closing, while he has opted to try “to keep the lights on” for those he manages. The company’s website lists 10 Victoria Court branches across Metro Manila.

“For clarity, we both share the brand Victoria Court but we have completely different management groups. Given that, our solutions to the ongoing situation are completely different and unrelated,” he said in a video posted on his Facebook account on June 2.

“For my group, we decided to retrench and we are trying our best to keep the lights on,” he said, explaining that they are also providing accommodations for OFWs under quarantine, employees of business process outsourcing companies, and medical frontliners.

“It’s not ideal. We are not optimized for it and we are looking back to things reverting back to normal,” he said. — Zsarlene B. Chua