Las Vegas Sun

March 19, 2019

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With Encore complete, Wynn lays off design employees


Steve Marcus

The Encore is shown to the left of the Wynn Las Vegas on the Strip.

A look inside Encore

A look inside Steve Wynn's new $2.3 billion Encore hotel and casino. Images were provided by Encore Las Vegas, which isn't allowing video to be shot inside the resort.

Encore Las Vegas

The Encore is shown to the left of the Wynn Las Vegas on the Strip. Launch slideshow »

Beyond the Sun

With the $2.3 billion Encore Las Vegas resort up and running on the Strip, Wynn Resorts is now trimming the size of its development staff.

Wynn Design and Development, the design and construction affiliate of Wynn Resorts, says 53 people were laid off Friday, reducing the workforce from 129 employees to 76.

"This action, while difficult, is a result of a natural contraction of staff after major project completion such as Encore," John Littell, president and chief operating officer of Wynn Design and Development, said in a statement. The 53 employees will receive administrative leave and full compensation and benefits for 60 days. Their average tenure with Wynn Design and Development was just under 15 months, the company said.

Encore is a sister property to Wynn Las Vegas, which opened in 2005.

Keith Schwer, director of UNLV's Center for Business and Economic Research, today said employment prospects in Las Vegas are currently poor in the design and development industry. Several high-profile projects on the Strip and around the Las Vegas Valley have been shelved or are on hold because of the economic slowdown.

"But with creative people, they probably have better than average abilities to do other things — it may not be what they want to do," he said. "They've been in high demand in the past. It's a very cyclical set of activities. They come and go and we are in an ebbing phase for that."

Schwer said it's unclear when the Southern Nevada economy will turn around as it's dependent on the national economy.

"We depend on people coming here to spend money," he said.

And it's critical for the federal government to now prime the nation's economic pump to make that happen, he said.

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