WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WVEC) -- The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation announced that it would undergo restructuring on Thursday, in an effort to curb major operating losses in recent years. As part of that restructuring, dozens of employees will be leaving by the end of the year.
Colonial Williamsburg President and CEO Mitchell B. Reiss said in an open letter that the foundation had suffered $54 million in operating losses in 2016 alone, and a total of $277 million in the last five years. Saying these losses are unsustainable, Reiss announced the Foundation would restructure in a plan that aims to save tens of millions of dollars.
The restructuring will include some layoffs at the site, where costumed actors re-enact life in colonial times amid the historic buildings.
Companies have been contracted to manage the Foundation's retail and golf facilities, and Reiss says 262 employees can either remain under the new ownership or leave if they so choose. Seventy-one other employees however, will leave the Foundation by the end of the year.
Twenty-two other employees whose current positions are being eliminated will have new positions elsewhere in the Foundation.
Reiss says Williamsburg attracts half the visitors it did 30 years ago. It also had more than $300 million in debt at the end of 2016.
BREAKING: The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation will outsource golf operations, retail, commercial real estate, maintenance operations.— Ali Weatherton (@13AliWeatherton) June 29, 2017
The Associated Press contributed to this report.