Owner a no-show at closed spa

Women stand outside Rituals Spa in Guilfird, May 15, 2014.

GUILFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — A Guilford spa that was expected to re-open today hasn’t so far, leaving many customers and employees frustrated and concerned.

For the fourth day in a row Friday, customers have shown up at Rituals Spa only to find the business is closed without any explanation.

“I was going to use my gift certificates that my daughter had gotten me for my birthday and anniversary and they’re not open,” said Jane Bertrend of North Branford.

Bertrand is just one of many customers who are now frustrated and concerned. The same goes for the 20 employees who are left without a job. News 8 first spoke with some of them Thursday. Since then, they have filed for unemployment.

“All of us, pretty much all of us,” said Kim Caron. “There might have been one or two of us that haven’t, but we’ve all filed.”

Employees say since Sunday, spa owner Tom Wilson has not shown up for work. News 8 tried contacting him repeatedly. He finally called News 8 and said the spa would open this morning. But he never showed up.

Kurt Linske says he’s not happy after he bought his wife a nearly $200 gift card for Mother’s Day.

“I got up this morning and she said ‘oh, they are going to be open today so you should go down and get the money back for it’, and here I am and as you know it’s not open,” Linske said.

Some of the employees we spoke with say even if the owner reopens the spa, they don’t plan on coming back to work.

“After something, a stunt like this, we’ve completely lost all our trust in him,” Caron said.

News 8 went back to Wilson’s Madison home for a second day in a row to try and find him. No one was there, and he’s yet to return our phone calls.

Spa employees say the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection is now involved.

Claudette Carveth from Consumer Protection told News 8 in an email “we are reviewing the circumstances surrounding the closure. Consumer complaints should be sent to us including copies of the gift card(s), proof of payment, and any facts surrounding the purchase (ads or promotional representations).”

Carveth said employees who have wage and hour complaints should file a report with the Department of Labor.

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