M Resort slashes staff by 5 percent

The recently opened M Resort laid off about 5 percent of its 2,000-person work force this week.

The $1 billion hotel-casino opened on March 1 at the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard South and St. Rose Parkway to rave reviews and massive crowds, which caused the property to hire 250 additional workers within its first week of operation.

However, as the newness tapered off, M Resort managers began re-evaluating staffing levels and other aspects of the property, which has 390 rooms, a 90,000-square-foot casino, nine restaurants and 60,000 square feet of meeting space.

“This is a normal adjustment of fine-tuning your property that every hotel-casino that has opened in the last 20 years has gone through,” M Resort Chief Executive Officer Anthony Marnell III said Friday. “Obviously, it’s not a fun thing to do.”

Marnell couldn’t pinpoint where the bulk of the layoffs took place, other than they affected workers throughout the property in areas where costs needed to be saved.

“We’re actually still hiring in some areas,” Marnell said, adding that a few laid-off workers were offered jobs in other parts of the resort. “We still have significantly more employees than we did when we opened the doors. Like other casino operators, we have to operate more efficiently.”

Marnell placed the number of layoffs at around 100 employees.

“The market is very choppy right now,” Marnell said.

The opening of the Henderson-area casino seemed to invigorate that southern part of the Las Vegas, which was considered somewhat underserved by a locals gaming property.

In March, gaming revenues fell almost 10 percent countywide compared with a year ago, but the revenue decline at Henderson-area casinos was 4 percent. Analysts said M Resort’s opening helped boost those figures.

“We’ve seen a drop-off in the number of bodies coming through the building, but different segments of the business are still growing,” Marnell said.

Several employees interviewed opening night said they had been laid off at other Strip and locals casinos and were thankful for their jobs at M Resort.

Contact reporter Howard Stutz at hstutz@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3871.

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