The management company that operates two large downtown Hartford hotels has laid off more than 300 employees permanently in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are only now beginning to see the true impact of COVID-19 on the hotel’s business operations presently and into the future, which is much more detrimental than originally anticipated,” a Waterford Hotel Group executive wrote in a notification to the Connecticut Department of Labor. “The governmental COVID-19 directives have resulted in restrictions on business, large gatherings and travel in general.”

Waterford Hotel Group previously enacted furloughs March 17 before taking the further step in light of the continuing downturn in business and leisure travel, wrote Fabio Pari-Di-Monriva, director of operations for Waterford Hotel Group which operates the Hartford Marriott Downtown and Hilton Hartford. The layoffs affect 182 employees at the Hartford Marriott Downtown. Another 21 employees are having their hours reduced.

The Hilton Hartford Hotel is laying off 124 employees and reducing hours for another 30, according to the letters submitted Monday to the Department of Labor.

“We anticipate an increased reluctance to travel even after governmental directives are further relaxed, which will further damage the hotel’s demand and operations,” General Manager Nick Lorusso wrote.

Travel has failed to snap back even after the state’s phase 2 reopening, and the state’s decision to pause its phase 3 reopening will further damage the business, the letter stated.