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Allegiant, Tao Nightclub, others give state notice of layoffs

Updated October 9, 2020 - 6:09 pm

Seven more Las Vegas companies — including Allegiant Air and several Tao Group Hospitality venues — have warned the state in recent weeks of an estimated 138 combined impending layoffs.

The notices were made public Friday through letters that follow the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, which is meant to ensure employees are notified before significant layoffs so they have time to find work elsewhere.

Allegiant Air

Allegiant Air laid off 50 administrative employees Thursday “due to the unforeseen business circumstances caused by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to a WARN Act letter dated Wednesday.

Several types of positions within the company’s Las Vegas headquarters were affected, including analysts, engineers and managers. The employees do not have bumping rights, and the layoffs are expected to be permanent. The company also cut nearly 100 open positions, according to an internal memo from Allegiant’s chief financial officer, Greg Anderson.

It is the second round of layoffs from the airline company. In June, it laid off 87 employees and eliminated 220 total positions.

In his memo, Anderson said the pandemic “continues to apply massive headwinds” to the airline industry.

While the company had been hopeful it could avoid further layoffs as demand began “rapidly returning” in June, business trended downward as COVID-19 cases spiked in communities the airline serves.

“In a year which started with record growth, including the announcement of the largest route expansion in company history, this is certainly not at all what we envisioned,” Anderson said. “It is heartbreaking to lose valued colleagues and friends, and we all share in that loss. Please know these position eliminations come as a last resort, but are also incredibly meaningful in helping us get back to a break even cash flow status.”

Health benefits will continue through the end of the year.

Allegiant Air shares were up 1.7 percent Friday morning, trading at $123.85 on the Nasdaq.

Tao Group Hospitality

Restaurant and nightlife company Tao Group Hospitality has laid off 14 employees across five venues on or about Sept. 30, according to filings with the state.

Maggie Feldman Rubenstein, a spokeswoman for the company, said the letters were standard filings, and “it is the company’s intention to keep and rehire as many employees as possible as business levels allow.”

The letters, dated Oct. 1 and 2, said the company enacted the layoffs after Gov. Steve Sisolak’s raised the maximum occupancy restrictions for gatherings to no more than 250 people, or 50 percent of capacity.

“While we hoped the restrictions on indoor event and gathering spaces would be temporary, it is clear now that the restrictions will remain in effect indefinitely,” the letters read. “(The occupancy restrictions) will continue to cause, among other things, a drastic impact on the Venue’s business and ability to continue operating at this time.”

The nightclub industry has been hit hard by the pandemic, with many operations at a standstill since March. Nightlife company Hakkasan Group — which operates some of Las Vegas’ most notable clubs, including Hakkasan Nightclub at the MGM Grand and Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace — let go of 1,600 workers in March, nearly its entire workforce.

Layoffs at Tao Group Hospitality include a kitchen manager at Lavo inside Palazzo; six employees in finance, marketing and security at Marquee Nightclub and a kitchen manager at Beauty & Essex bar-restaurant inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas; two marketing positions at Tao Nightclub at The Venetian; and three floor managers and one kitchen manager at Tao LV Restaurant at The Venetian.

Bright Horizons Children’s Center

Bright Horizons Children’s Center LLC, inside the MGM Grand, said in a Sept. 28 letter that it has permanently closed and that 74 furloughed employees would be permanently laid off as of Sept. 30.

The company had tried to sell itself to a new provider and keep staff. While a new provider had signed a letter of intent with the MGM Grand to take over the site, the transition failed to close by Sept. 28.

The layoffs comply with federal law, which states that furloughs longer than six months must be considered an official employment loss.

“Bright Horizons has concluded that it will be unable to reopen the daycare center,” the letter said. “Bright Horizons did not foresee how significantly and for how long a time the epidemic and related governmental lockdown orders, including orders regulating the reopening and operations of daycare centers, would affect the center’s operations and the transition to a new provider.”

The company said the unforeseen circumstances prevented it from giving employees 60 days’ notice.

A spokesperson for the company did not return a request for comment.

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson. Las Vegas Sands operates The Venetian and Palazzo.

Contact Bailey Schulz at bschulz@reviewjournal.com. Follow @bailey_schulz on Twitter.

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