Las Vegas Sun

January 20, 2019

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The Strip:

SLS Las Vegas announces layoffs soon after opening

Weekly's First Look at SLS

Christopher DeVargas

The pool and exterior of the Foxtail lounge at SLS Las Vegas before the resort opened to guests.

SLS Las Vegas Opens With Fireworks

Fireworks explode during the grand opening of SLS Las Vegas, formerly the Sahara, in the early hours of Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014. Launch slideshow »

A couple of months after its splashy grand opening, SLS Las Vegas announced it has laid off 2 percent of its workers after evaluating business needs.

In a statement, SLS officials say they are dedicated to "exceptional service standards, and are beyond optimistic on the continued evolution and growth of the North Strip."

The reduction was felt in front and back-of-house operations.

The 1,600-room property opened on Aug. 23. At the time, SLS President and COO Rob Oseland said the resort employed 3,400 people. Altogether, opening the SLS lead to the creation of 6,000 direct and indirect jobs, according to SLS spokesperson Allee Bennett. Indirect jobs are positions created elsewhere as an effect of a company's economic impact on the surrounding community.

The news didn't worry observers.

Alex Bumazhny with Fitch Ratings said it was normal for a casino to trim its workforce shortly after debuting because business can be difficult to predict before opening.

What's less common is the low number of layoffs in this case, less than two percent, said Arte Nathan, a retired human resources executive for Wynn casino-hotel properties in Las Vegas and now a faculty member at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

"It's hard to get it exactly right. But if you're 98 percent right, that's pretty good," he said.

On Saturday, Sun entertainment reporter Robin Leach tweeted a link to a blog post from a former SLS employee who shared his letter of termination publicly.

The SLS underwent a $415 million renovation and has nine restaurants and three nightclubs and entertainment venues.

Local leaders have praised the property for its revitalization potential on the north Strip. Clark County Commissioners Steve Sisolak and Christ Giunchigliani declared Aug. 23, 2014, as SLS Day.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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