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Friday, January 29th, 2016  |  USD: Buy 531.29 / Sell 543.92
20 years

Hotel Europa closes its doors after more than 100 years

November 19th, 2014 ( San Jose’s Hotel Europa, owned by accused high-yield investment fraudster, Luis Milanes closed its doors yesterday, leaving some 300 employees suddenly out of work.


The closure came shortly after news of the closure of the hotel’s casino operations along with the casino operations of the downtown San Jose Radisson, also owned by Milanes.


Hotel Europa was built in 1911 and claims to be the oldest hotel in San Jose.


Some 300 employees were apparently given no advance notice that they were to lose their jobs, and dozens massed outside the chained doors of the hotel yesterday, demanding their legally entitled severance pay and holiday bonuses.


Some former employees carried signs demanding that Milanes respect workers’ rights.  Others were armed with stones ready to break the hotel’s windows and take items of value before police officers arrived on the scene and calmed the crowd.


The closure even took some guests by surprise, with some guests who were away from the hotel at the time of the sudden closure returning to find the hotel doors chained shut and finding themselves unable to even retrieve their belongings from their rooms.


Milanes, a 63-year-old Cuban American accused of defrauding some 500 mostly American and Canadian investors out of $46 million when his Costa Rica-based high-yield investment program, Savings Unlimited closed down 11 years ago, will face a criminal trial in July of next year after failing to comply with the terms of a settlement agreement with his alleged victims.


Neither Milanes nor the hotels’ management have issued any formal statement regarding the closures.  Several phone calls made by Inside Costa Rica to the Hotel Europa were immediately disconnected after being answered on Tuesday.



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    What the hell is going on in Costa Rica? Where bleeding jobs everywhere in CR now the tourist sector is bleeding jobs. This hotel should have been making lots of money and the Casino was very busy. I hear many hotels are now closing and worried that they can´t get Credit lines from banks to keep there business going. I know that this guy that owned the hotel was scum but this hotel was nice and the staff worked hard. I heard that Costa Rica goverment is going around to hotels saying lower your room rates or get out of the business. Some hotels on the beach have 20% occupancy and are laying off staff and looking for credit lines to stay in business. Even Tica Bus is struggling and has many empty bus going to Panama i guess no more expat doing passport run to Panama. What is next in CR?

    • disgsted

      Does it boil down to a cash flow issue?? Not enough guest and low occupancy?? Then business need to come up with the 13th check, payroll, also their taxes for the quarter So that is major cash that maybe they did not have and he going to loose the hotel anyway. cut and run my guess. In addition what this dirt bag has done and money he robbed owning everyone under the sun

  • disgsted

    I cannot blame the workers wanting to get their just pay and severance pay. It now going to be in the courts and no money! No 13th Check aguinaldo. I too would be at the door getting something to off set my huge loss. Plus add them to the long list of all the investor. Sad day for everyone EXCEPT this dirt bag Milanes, I am sure he not suffering in his day to day life.
    Did the guest ever get their belongings? This is a huge black eye again for CR tourism.


      Lets not forget La condesa hotel layedoff 175 staff and now this hotel 300 staff out of work and i heard Jade hotel is laying off staff and many other hotels are laying off staff. I guess tourism is not so good now. Amazon is upset they can´t get enough english speakers and i heard HP is cutting staff and nobody whats to talk about HP and IBM,CIti Bank and more. I guess CR is done for the next 10 years.

  • USMCNamVet1969

    I know for a fact that an investment group from Venezuela has been trying to purchase the hotels and casinos for over 2 years which would have given Mr. Milanes the money to pay his fines and his investors and the deals were stopped by the CR government. This is a fact. CR Government had its hand out the whole time trying to get its share of the deal.

    • SDPUS

      That is exactly what they were doing. Extorting a % of the transaction. Shady people in this government make a living off doing it. Call it a family business. Corruption has killed Costa Rica. Keep the status quo and expect the hole to just get deeper. Solis needs to lock up those involved in major government frauds. Otherwise, he is just giving the green light for the behavior to continue. Foreigners and their money are obvious targets. It simply is government sanctioned and systemic extorsion. Corrupt Judges, Prosecutors and Lawyers work together to extort. Shameful! And even worse if the higher courts and internal investigators just cover-up allegations of corruption and allow these government criminals to operate with impunity. The only way to keep the whole bunch from rotting is if they remove the few bad apples. That is the situation in Costa Rica right now. Foreign businesses will not continue to operate under such conditions. And foreign tourists will simply go elsewhere. President Solis needs to clean up some serious sh*t. And Jorge Chavarria must be accountable to doing just that, or else he must be replaced as the nations top Prosecutor.

      • HONEST MAN

        Jorge Chavarria is part of the problem he never talks about any of the problems in CR. Jorge is a puppet of PLN and PAC lets remenber that Prez Solis was part of PLN and likes the system of corupt like Oscar Arias the godfather of CR Revolution is a coming and get ready. The rich people and corupt public unions should all be put in jail.

  • Michael Clarkson

    Unfortunately the only people doing well in Costa Rica are the rich elite and the corrupt politicians, but as long as the people are dumb blind sheep and do not start a revolution this will go and the rich will get richer, Costa Rica needs a coup a revolution to get rid of some bad blood, violence is needed sometimes in order to obtain real peace and security for the masses. Stop this Pura Vida crap and we are a country of peace and face reality.

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