Iconic Mysuru hotel falls prey to Covid

Southern Star, an iconic hotel which hosted Bollywood greats, industry leaders and literary giants for more than three decades besides being a landmark in Mysuru, on Tuesday announced it was suspending its operations “indefinitely” citing losses arising out of the novel coronavirus crisis.

Sources said the hotel has terminated the services of its 160 employees. The development comes as some of the prominent hoteliers in Mysuru are looking to sell their properties as they have been hit hard by the pandemic.

The iconic facility was started 33 years ago and has played host to superstars Rajinikanth, Salman Khan and Aishwarya Rai, among others, when they visited Mysuru.

Naresh Kumar, general manager of the hotel, said that business has become unviable since there’s no relief from governments for the ailing hotel and tourism industry in the recently announced Rs 20 lakh crore package. “We used to have 100% occupancy of 200 days in a year. The lockdown has left the business dry,” he added.

C Narayana Gowda, president, Mysuru Hotel Owners’ Association, said, “I fear 35% hotels in Mysuru may down shutters as the industry forecast is bleak.”

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