MGM Resorts to Furlough 140 Vegas Casino Managers
MGM Resorts has announced 140 casino managers in Las Vegas will be furloughed while hundreds of seasonal pool employees will be hired.
In an odd turn of events, MGM Resorts has announced that 140 managers across its properties in Las Vegas will be furloughed, while 400 individuals will be hired to work as pool employees starting in February. The furloughs are not the oddity here, as it is expected amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. However, turning around and hiring hundreds of new employees seems at bit strange at this time.
Hiring Pool Employees
Analysts feel that hiring the pool workers is a sign that the company is confident that the COVID-19 issue will start to dwindle down as vaccines become more available to the public. While the company is furloughing many managers, they also plan to rehire them back in the future.
Brian Ahern, a spokesman for MGM, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the company is focused on bringing employees back as the levels of business start to recover. The company is optimistic that the distribution of the vaccine along with other developments will help business levels to grow and staff can return.
Those managers who were furloughed received the news on Wednesday of this week. The change comes at a time when the visitor numbers in Las Vegas continue to suffer. In November, only 1.5 million people visited the city. This was a 57% decline from the same month last year.
The pandemic began in March 2020, so we are quickly approaching a year since its start. Since that time, MGM has furloughed almost 63,000 employees. Around 18,000 were laid off back in August. Despite the changes, the company announced last week they are hiring 400 seasonal workers for jobs related to the swimming pools of the properties. MGM plans to hold an online career fair to find the new employees.
Positions available include security officers, lifeguards, attendants, and retail. Jobs could start as early as next month and go through November.
Will It Pay Off?
Hiring 400 new employees for pool work seems like a gamble for MGM Resorts. The company seems to think that the virus will slow down or at least people will start traveling again this year. However, that might not be the case. And if they do, will they be willing to lounge by the pool?
Pool areas are often crowded and even a small crowd could be a problem, depending on how the virus is doing in the city in the next few months. It is a risky bet and one that might not pay off. The company might not see pool traffic which will lead to more layoffs or furloughs in the future.
People are not going to be willing to visit the pool areas if they feel they are at risk. No one wants to wear a mask in a swimming pool, and if an order for mask wearing is still in place as summer approaches, then the swimming areas will be void of people. Individuals might be willing to book cabanas or more secluded spots of casino properties as they would be safer due to the exclusion, but who knows if that will even be something travelers will want to do.
If the company is relying on vaccinations to help, they may be waiting for quite a long time. The process of vaccination in the United States has been slow going. It was expected by December that around 20 million people would have been vaccinated. That has not happened, not even close. At the rate we need to be going, it will be many months and maybe even a year or more before there is enough vaccine to be able to treat everyone in the United States.
We shall see if the decision will pay off for the brand or if they will be the same boat in a few months deciding who to lay off or furlough.