Various hotels and spas across Estonia have already increased their prices, but will have to save on costs this coming fall as well. Narva-Jõesuu's Noorus SPA, which said Monday it may have to lay off more than 180 employees, is weighing closing down altogether for the winter.
Responding to ERR, Igor Shustrov, head of the Sales Department at Noorus SPA, said that they had increased their hotel rates by nearly a quarter; thus far, none of their other services' prices had changed yet.
Noorus SPA board member Dmitri Antonov told ERR's Russian-language news service on Monday that if energy prices continue to rise, they may have to lay off 183 employees.
"We have good financial indicators and even managed to cope with debts incurred during the pandemic," Antonov said. "But time goes on, and the situation is getting increasingly more difficult. The government is warning of a hard winter ahead in connection with price hikes. We cannot continue under such conditions. It makes no sense to work to the detriment of the company."
The board member said that the spa hotel may close down for the winter, but did not rule out rethinking the plan should the company be granted state aid or the business environment become more favorable again.
"There are provisions in the new coalition agreement which give us hope for continuing, not damaging, our economic activity," he explained. "If these are filled, then it may be possible to avoid the worst-case scenario with a seasonal closure."
Noorus SPA has begun seeking ways to reduce their energy costs.
"We're actively seeking ways to reduce our energy consumption and get energy from alternative sources," Shustrov said.
According to Piret Betlem, board member at Kalev Spa Hotel and Waterpark in Tallinn, their company increased their prices in January already, but nonetheless plan to do so again this fall.
"The price increases aren't big — we're talking about a few euros," Betlem said. "But unfortunately we need to adjust upward."
Hotel room rates, meanwhile, fluctuate daily. "Hotel prices change according to demand," she explained. "June fell below expectations, July was good and then prices are higher."
Meeli Eelmaa, director of the water park at Kalev Spa, said that the water park will not be publishing a new price list this fall.
"Maybe for a few specific products related to additional costs, such as adult swimming lessons," Eelmaa said. "Generally speaking, there won't be any major changes."
According to the director, the water park is also trying to sign up for a fixed-price electricity package, which they did not previously have.
According to Laulasmaa LaSpa executive director Anne Mallene, their company has increased prices as well.
"With our Water Center tickets, it depends on the day, but the increase will be in the €1-2 range," Mallene said. "This will cover increased fixed costs and labor costs."
According to the director, costs have increased several times over, although solar panels on the roof of the building help reduce costs somewhat.
"In July 2019, our electricity bill was €19,000," she said. "This year, however, it was €33,000. The solar panels reduce that by €3,700."
In addition to price increases, Mallene is also worried about COVID-19 related restrictions.
"Heading into the fall, there are steps that need to be taken — will COVID rear its head, will it mean restrictions, will it not?" she asked. "Closing down a big water center is simple — you drain the water. But reopening [reheating new water] takes a week."
Editor: Aili Vahtla