Thursday, Dec. 18, 2008 | 7:37 p.m.
Beyond the Sun
As employers nationwide shed workers amid the deepening recession, MGM Mirage will kick off the country's largest hiring spree Jan. 5 as it seeks more than 12,000 workers for its $9.2 billion CityCenter resort and other company-owned properties.
"This is an unprecedented opportunity, even without the economic downturn," said Bill McBeath, president and chief operating officer of Aria, CityCenter's 4,000-room hotel-casino and centerpiece. "We get to be one of the bright and exciting stories in today's dismal economic times."
CityCenter's six hotel and condo towers will open within 60 days of one another in late 2009, beginning with the Vdara condo-hotel, tentatively scheduled to open Oct. 1, and ending with Aria on Dec. 16. The company will accept applications for four CityCenter towers and its Crystals mall, which fronts the Strip. Third-party managers appointed by owners will run the Veer towers, two 800-unit condominium high-rises.
About half of CityCenter's 12,000-plus employees will transfer from other MGM Mirage properties, with internal candidates getting a three-month head start over applicants from the general public. Managers expect to place qualified applicants into roughly 6,000 jobs vacated by incoming CityCenter workers throughout the company, McBeath said.
The company will leverage the CityCenter opening as a means to lure top-shelf applicants to MGM Mirage, he said.
Job seekers must begin the process by filling out online applications at www.citycentercareers.com. Hiring officials will review applications with candidates in person or over the phone and schedule in-depth interviews for those who pass muster.
MGM Mirage also will publicize jobs at community job fairs in coming months.
The company expects more than 100,000 applicants for jobs that will start orientation training as early as September.
Across the Strip, Steve Wynn's Encore hotel will open Monday with more than 5,000 employees whittled from more than 100,000 job applications.
Less than half of Bellagio's employees were transfers from other company-owned properties when Wynn opened the resort in 1998. But Mirage Resorts, now part of MGM Mirage, was much smaller then, recalls McBeath, who ran Bellagio before joining CityCenter's executive team.
Traditionally hard-to-fill jobs such as housekeeping and kitchen positions probably won't be a problem in this job market, while competition will be stiff for in-demand jobs like dealers and servers, McBeath said.
While experience is important, enthusiasm ultimately trumps an impressive resume, he said. "I can train people to do most things but I cannot train people to be enthusiastic and positive."