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Don Hall’s says shutdown of Guesthouse Hotel & Restaurant aimed at bolstering company’s other popular eateries

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The marquee outside Don Hall's Guesthouse was a sign of the times this month.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) - Owner Tim Hall says the environment surrounding the COVID-19 threat, with potential customers kept away by a stay at home order, had a catastrophic impact on the Guesthouse Hotel & Conference Center.

"Everything we do here has to do with gathering and travel and that is all taken off," Hall said.

Don Hall's announced Sunday afternoon on Facebook the Guesthouse would be "ceasing operations" due to the hardships associated with the COVID-19 outbreak.

In a post from Timothy Hall and the Hall family, the owners explained that the company -- which has a storied history in the local hospitality industry -- has lately faced conditions unlike anything it has ever experienced.

"While we dislike adding more sad news to the community during these trying times, we want to let you all know that we are ceasing operations at Don Hall's Guesthouse & Conference Center," it continued.

The Hall family said informing its staff of the decision was "one of the hardest things we have had to do in our 75 years of business."

The announcement specifically regards the hotel complex and does not indicate closures at any of the separate Don Hall's restaurant properties.

Indeed, Tim Hall says the company's eating establishments on Bluffton Road, State Boulevard near Parkview Randallia Hospital, the Old Gas House Restaurant downtown, and dining locations at Lima and Coliseum and in New Haven will continue carry-out service for the immediate future.

Across Indiana, hotels have laid off hundreds of employees in the past two weeks, as that industry has been particularly hard hit by the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The Guesthouse, located on the north side of town, described itself as "a premier and affordable boutique hotel in Fort Wayne."

According to Don Hall's, it evolved from the prior "Imperial House Hotel," which the Hall family purchased in 1981.

We're told more than 80 employees will lose their jobs in the decision to close the Guesthouse.

Jonathan Shelley

Jonathan Shelley is the news director at WPTA TV, which he joined in 2016 following nine years in a similar role in New Orleans and previous news management positions in Oklahoma City and Las Vegas.

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