The Parkway Plaza, now under new ownership, laid off about 50 employees Wednesday and will be closed for six months as its new owners renovate the largest hotel in Casper.

The identity of the new ownership remains unknown.

Tabitha Overgard, the hotel's sales manager, said the employees will be offered their jobs after the renovations are expected to be done in April.

"In April, we will be opening up with a national company," Overgard said while employees hauled their belongings in boxes to their vehicles.

"We're looking forward to, hopefully, when the time comes, to having all of our employees back, allowing them to have their jobs," she said. "Unfortunately, this is what has been handed down to us and what we need to do."

She did not identify the company.

A search of Natrona County Clerk's Office property records shows the Parkway is still owned by CRU Casper, LLC -- a subsidiary of the Costa Mesa, Calif.-based CRU Real Estate Group.

CRU Casper, LLC, bought the hotel in June 15, 2015. At that time, its management vowed it would become the premier hotel in Wyoming.

Since then, it has had numerous difficulties including bouncing payroll checks, and failing to pay taxes to the Wyoming Department of Revenue.

The latter problem resulted in the notification of the Wyoming Liquor Division, which told the City of Casper that its liquor license is "on hold," meaning it cannot buy alcoholic beverages from the division, the only legal outlet in Wyoming.

A former Parkway Plaza employee told Casper City Council in November 2016 that hotel management told him use company credit cards to go to local liquor stores to buy alcoholic beverages.

In May 2017, the hotel owed $41,277.17 in unpaid sales and use taxes from November 2016 through February 2017, and owed the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services $47,396.89 from April 2016 through December 2016 for unpaid workers' compensation taxes, according to liens filed with the Natrona County Clerk's Office.

The financial troubles continued especially with liens filed by the state's Department of Workforce Services unemployment tax division and the Division of Workers' Compensation.

Within the past two weeks, the unemployment tax division filed a lien against CRU Casper, LLC, and owners Chirag Patel and Anil Patel for the second quarter of this year for $17,669.94.

Likewise, the Division of Workers' Compensation filed a lien against CRU Casper, LLC, for the second quarter of this year for $7,341.26.

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