LAS VEGAS – A decline in travel between Hawaii and southern Nevada has led U.S. casino company Boyd Gaming to cut almost 300 workers at two downtown hotels.
In letters to Nevada unemployment officials, Boyd revealed 284 employees at the California Hotel and Casino and Main Street Station will lose their jobs on Nov. 13.
"As we are all aware, the pandemic continues with no predictable date for its end," a Sept. 13 notice said. “The economy continues to struggle and extended travel-related restrictions are preventing many customers from visiting our properties.”
The layoffs – 116 at Main Street and 168 at California – affect every manner of casino worker, including bartenders, chefs, cocktail servers and card dealers.
"The reductions are the direct result of continued declines in tourism to Las Vegas, particularly from the Hawaiian market," Boyd spokesman David Strow said in an email.
Historically, Boyd's downtown properties have been dependent on tourists from Hawaii. Travel restrictions there have led to a steep drop in visitors to destinations like Las Vegas.
Read the full letter here:
The cuts come at a time when Nevada recorded a 13.2% unemployment rate – the highest in the nation – in August, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In Las Vegas, the jobless rate surpassed 15%.
In July, Boyd Gaming laid off thousands of furloughed workers in 10 states as visitation levels remained far below pre-pandemic levels. The layoffs hit at least 25% of Boyd's 24,300 employees – a total of 6,075.
Boyd is best known for the Fremont Hotel, California Hotel and Casino, Gold Coast, Sam’s Town, Suncoast and The Orleans resorts in Las Vegas.
The publicly traded Las Vegas company had about 10,000 employees in Southern Nevada and another 14,300 nationally, according to its last annual report.
It has properties in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio and Pennsylvania. All company casinos have reopened, except three in Las Vegas.
The Nevada closures in mid-March followed an order by Gov. Steve Sisolak aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19.
Contributing: The Associated Press
Ed Komenda writes about Las Vegas for the Reno Gazette Journal and USA Today Network. Do you care about democracy? Then support local journalism by subscribing to the Reno Gazette Journal right here.
This article originally appeared on Reno Gazette Journal: Boyd Gaming to lay off hundreds at downtown Las Vegas hotels