In Las Vegas and millionaire businessman Michael Gaughan has reportedly announced that he is to furlough almost all of the around 2,200 employees of his shuttered South Point Hotel and Casino ‘for an indefinite period’ from May 3 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
According to a Monday report from the Las Vegas Review-Journal newspaper, the 2,163-room facility with its 80,000 sq ft gaming floor was temporarily closed on March 17 as Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak took steps to counter the spread of a coronavirus strain that has so far killed over 43,000 Americans. The 24-story property is now due to remain mothballed until at least the end of the month with Gaughan revealing that it is subsequently set to be maintained by a skeleton staff receiving paid time off credits and two meals a day.
South Point Hotel and Casino opened in 2005 on a 60-acre plot of land located some six miles south of the Las Vegas Strip and is currently one of the few non-union casinos in the Nevada city. Nebraska-born Gaughan reportedly issued a statement in which he declared that the shuttered venue’s staff are to have their health benefits honored through to the end of the month with all other aids being discontinued after May 3.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that the businessman’s letter additionally encouraged the furloughed workers to immediately apply for unemployment benefits as they will be ‘better off’ courtesy of receiving ‘more money from both the state and federal government’ than is set to be made available by the now-mothballed South Point Hotel and Casino.
Gaughan’s letter reportedly read…
“The employees of South Point Hotel and Casino are extremely important to us and we have been doing everything we can to assist them during this difficult period. As a result of the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the resort closure mandate through April 30, 2020, by Governor Sisolak, we have had to make a very difficult decision to furlough most of our employees for an indefinite period beginning on May 3.”
The newspaper reported that Gaughan’s statement offered a bit of hope to the impacted South Point Hotel and Casino workers by detailing that he hoped to begin rehiring them once the statewide casino closure order is lifted, However, this claim was accompanied by the caveat that a ‘lack of business’ in Las Vegas means that this process could ‘take several months’ to complete.