Harrah Reno and Peppermill Reno announced worker layoffs. Some 50 Nevada state employees will also be laid off.
Harrah’s Reno Laying Off more than 400 employees
Layoffs were announced for two hotel casino properties in Reno, Nevada. Caesars Entertainment has announced that the company will be laying off 471 of its employees at Harrah’s Reno hotel casino. The closure was intended to flatten the curve of COVID-19 spread in the state. Now, three months later, regardless that the ban of non-essential businesses has been lifted, the property remains closed. Brad Belhouse, regional president for Caesars, commented the layoffs by saying that “Harrah’s Reno will be permanently closed and all employees will be terminated.“
Although no date was set, it’s expected for the layoffs at Harrah’s Reno to start as of August 1. The Harrah’s Reno property will be transformed by CAI Investments. CAI plans to revamp the existing property into a new multifunctional development under the name of Reno City Center.
Caesars pointed out that the continuing merger with Eldorado Resorts is the main reason to decide and keep the doors of Harrah’s Reno closed. Eldorado Resorts’ acquisition of Caesars dates back to last year with a deal worth some $17.3 billion. Although the initial plans were set for the first half of the year, the COVID-19 outbreak in the country postponed the finalization of the deal. Presently, Eldorado hopes to finalize the deal by August.
Reno Peppermill Announced That Employees Laid off
Elsewhere in Reno, another hotel casino has announced layoffs. Peppermill Resort Hotel said that it will be laying off some 103 employees. Similar to Harrah’s, the layoffs are planned to come into effect on August 1. Billy Paganetti, Peppermill general manager, commented on the layoffs by saying:
When we originally provided notice of furloughs effective March 17, 2020, we did not foresee the furloughs could last beyond six months or become permanent.“
He continued by pointing out that nobody could have seen the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Although Peppermill reopened doors for visitors expectations are that the revenue will be far less than what was observed last year. One of the main reasons is that travelling conditions are yet to be normalized. Furthermore, many events in the Silver State, which normally draw hundreds of thousands of visitors, were either postponed or cancelled.
Numbers by the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority showed a shocking decline in tax revenue for the Reno-Sparks hotel casinos. According to those numbers, April’s revenue amid the COVID-19 shutdown shows revenue of $3.5 million. In comparison, last year’s results were at $32.2 million, which shows a sharp decline of 89%.
Keeping in mind that the industry sustained a big hit from COVID-19, Nevada’s economy also felt the impact. Last week, Governor Steve Sisolak announced that some 50 state employees will be laid off due to state budget cuts. Also, all state employees will have to take one furlough day each month starting in July. In addition, pay raises were frozen. Although those measures may sound drastic, the initial plan was to relieve some 450 state workers.