Las Vegas: Circus Circus, Tropicana plan layoffs of a combined 872 workers Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports · July 22, 2020 at 4:02 pm Two older Las Vegas Strip resorts – Circus Circus and Tropicana – will permanently lay off a combined 872 workers this fall, according to Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act notices that operators of the casinos filed with the Nevada Department of Employment. The layoffs are the latest employment reductions since Nevada’s casino industry went through a 78-day closure in an effort to slow the coronavirus pandemic. Resorts were allowed to reopen on June 4 under capacity restrictions and health, safety, cleaning, and social distancing guidelines mandated by the Gaming Control Board. Circus Circus, which is owned by billionaire Phil Ruffin, reopened the property on June 4 along with his Treasure Island resort. The Tropicana, which is owned by regional casino operator Penn National Gaming, is not open but is accepting hotel room reservations on its website beginning Sept. 1. Penn also owns M Resort in Henderson, which opened June 4. In the letters, casino operators said the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed business operations. Tropicana said it will lay off 620 employees beginning Oct. 15 over a 14-day period. The casino did not specify the positions affected by the job losses. “These layoffs at Tropicana Las Vegas, Inc. are the unfortunate result of COVID-19 related business circumstances that were sudden, dramatic and beyond our control,” Tropicana Assistant General Manager Mike Thoma wrote in the WARN Act notice dated July 3. “The impact on our business was not reasonably foreseeable until now.” Thoma wrote the “significant drags on our business” would continue for an undetermined time period. “We could not have anticipated when our properties would be allowed to reopen and how restrictive the new operating conditions would be, and the negative impact this would have on business volumes,” he said. Penn National, which has owned the Tropicana since 2015, sold the 34-acre Strip resort to real estate investment trust Gaming and Leisure Properties in late March for $337.5 million in rent credits but will continue to operate the resort under a lease agreement. GLPI has said it wants to sell the hotel-casino. Penn, which operates 41 gaming properties in 19 states, has announced layoffs in several of its markets. Circus Circus management said 252 employees will be terminated on Sept. 1. The company said it furloughed 2,074 employees on March 17, the day before casinos were closed by a governor’s directive. According to the letter, job eliminations will be in phases starting Sept. 1. The largest number of positions eliminated will be 93 guest room attendants. Ruffin acquired Circus Circus at the end of last year from MGM Resorts for $825 million. The more than 100-acre site includes several undeveloped land parcels, including a 37-acre parcel at the corner of the Strip and Sahara Avenue that currently serves a festival ground. He is converting a 10-acre recreational vehicle park into a swimming pool complex similar to Mandalay Bay’s on the south end of the Strip, which includes a wave machine, sand beaches, and a lazy river water ride. Last week, regional casino operator Boyd Gaming Corp. laid off roughly 25 percent of its workforce Monday due to “significant restrictions” on the company’s business. Boyd cited the WARN Act letters the company sent to employees at its 29 casinos in 10 states in early May, notifying them of potential layoffs in July. Boyd told its workforce the layoffs could impact 25 percent to 60 percent of its employees. In a statement last week, Boyd the layoffs “are at the lower end of the range outlined in the WARN Act letters.” Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.