July 31, 2009 - 11:00 pm
Hugo Vera was sitting on a couch outside the Planet Hollywood Resort job fair Thursday morning holding a bottle for his 4-month-old daughter, Ezmeralda.
Ezmeralda’s 2-year-old sister, Cristian, was nearby while mom, Diana Alverez, was in the adjacent ballroom filing out an application.
Alverez was one of the 400 hopeful people who were in line at 9 a.m. for the beginning of Planet Hollywood Resort’s two-day job fair. The first people had been waiting since 5:30 a.m.
The Strip hotel-casino is hiring 800 workers for the new 1,201-room PH Towers, which will open in November. The property took applications for housekeeping, maintenance and security positions Thursday, and will take applications for food and beverage, front office and management today starting at 9 a.m.
Alverez has begun looking for a housekeeping job again after giving birth to Ezmeralda, but with little luck, the 24-year-old Vera said.
"It is hard right now," Vera, who works at the Las Vegas Outlet Center on Warm Springs Road, said. "She’s been looking for housekeeping jobs."
Alverez has applied around town for jobs but has yet to get many callbacks, Vera said. But the couple remains hopeful.
Hope was on the faces of many of the applicants looking for work in a market with 12.3 percent unemployment for Clark County. The state reported there were 124,893 people out of work in June statewide.
Planet Hollywood Resort President Bill Feather said that a few thousand more people have applied online since the PH Towers launched its job application Web site two weeks ago.
"It’s great because we’re hiring 800 positions and it’s a good time for us to get the best of the best," Feather said.
The PH Towers job fair comes while CityCenter across Las Vegas Boulevard is hiring nearly 12,000 workers for a December opening. The new Hard Rock Cafe a half-mile south on the Strip is hiring 500 people for a September opening.
Approximately 5,000 people turned out for a two-day job fair for 800 jobs offered at the Hard Rock Hotel in late June.
Feather said Planet Hollywood Resort is prepared to handle "thousands" of job seekers during the process.
The PH Towers is a 51-story tower being built on four acres of land next to the Miracle Mile Shops. The project is a partnership between Planet Hollywood Resort and Westgate, a Florida-based timeshare company.
About 20 percent of the inventory will be time shares, with the rest used for hotel-room inventory for the resort, which now has 2,496 rooms.
Plans call for two more towers totaling 1,586 more rooms by November 2013.
The employees hired at the job fair will work for Planet Hollywood Resort, which will operate the tower for Westgate.
Feather said job offers will be made in the next few weeks with training starting in September.
Contact reporter Arnold M. Knightly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-477-3893.View the slide show
TOWERS PARTNERS FACE LAWSUIT
Planet Hollywood Resort’s partners in the new PH Towers are facing a lawsuit in federal court filed by former workers seeking unpaid wages for work performed trying to sell time-share units in the tower opening in November. The lawsuit in U.S.
District Court of Nevada was filed in April against Florida-based time share companyWestgate Resorts and its owners, claiming violations of state and federal labor laws.
The lawsuit was filed by former marketing employees, including greeters and certain marketing management, for unpaid wages from Westgate related to tours, promotion and sales of the timeshares in PH Towers. Planet Hollywood Resort is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit.
The lawsuit charges violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act for failure to pay minimum or overtime wages; violations of Nevada labor laws involving unpaid wages, unpaid minimum wage, overtime wages, unpaid wages owed after discharge and breach of contract. Westgate Resorts denied the allegations in its response. A motion hearing in the case is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Monday.
The former employees are represented by Leon Greenberg and Renobased labor attorney Mark Thierman, the same team that has been representing some of the Wynn Las Vegas dealers in court and before the state Labor Commissioner.
ARNOLD M. KNIGHTLY LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL