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Station Casinos laying off a ‘significant’ number of workers

Updated May 1, 2020 - 1:05 pm

Station Casinos announced Friday that the company is laying off a “significant” number of both property and corporate employees, effective May 16.

“We have tried to retain our entire team, but in the face of this continued uncertainty we can no longer do so,” CEO and Chairman Frank Fertitta III said in a letter sent to staff Friday.

The news comes after Gov. Steve Sisolak announced the state-mandated closures of casinos will be extended to at least May 15 — when “Phase 1” of the state’s reopening is set to begin. Sisolak added that casinos would “not be opening at the start of Phase 1.”

Fertitta plans to reopen Station Casinos’ properties “in phases,” with Red Rock Resort, Green Valley Ranch Resort, Santa Fe, Boulder Station, Palace Station, Sunset Station and the company’s Wildfire division likely to be the first to open their doors.

The Palms, Fiesta Henderson, Fiesta Rancho and Texas Station will reopen after the company is able to assess business performance “in a post-COVID-19 world.”

“When we are permitted to reopen, we don’t know what business will look like,” Fertitta said, “other than knowing that business levels will be lower as a result of this unprecedented crisis.”

To counter the financial downfall from the phased approach and social distancing restrictions, Station Casinos is making “meaningful staffing level reductions” at the properties that will open first and at its corporate office, along with “significant reductions” at properties that are not reopening in the initial phase.

The letter didn’t say exactly how many workers would be let go. The casino operator had roughly 14,000 employees as of Jan. 31, according to its latest annual filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Full-time staff who are laid off will be paid through May 16, and the company is extending medical, dental and vision benefits through Sept. 30, including coverage for full premium costs after May 16.

Those whose employment status is unaffected by the layoffs will continue to receive regular pay and benefits through at least May 31.

Previously, Station Casinos had said it would offer regular pay and health benefits to all hourly and salaried full-time team members through May 15, and it moved nearly 700 part-time employees to full-time status so that they could receive full benefits.

Fertitta advised those affected by the layoffs to seek unemployment insurance benefits and federal benefits and said Station Casinos will assist staff with access.

“This has been the most challenging and painful situation in our company’s history,” Fertitta said in the letter. “We are hopeful though that Las Vegas will rebound swiftly and allow us to rehire many of our valued team members when we emerge on the other side of this crisis.”

Contact Bailey Schulz at bschulz@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0233. Follow @bailey_schulz on Twitter.

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