Las Vegas nightclub industry suffers layoffs and furloughs

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Courtesy / Drai's Nightclub

2 Chainz performs at Drai’s Nightclub Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020.

Mon, Mar 23, 2020 (3:15 p.m.)

With Las Vegas Strip casinos shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic, independent operators of nightclubs and dayclubs are making massive cuts.

Multiple reports have the Hakkasan Group laying off its entire Las Vegas workforce of 1,600 people, extending former employees two weeks’ pay and health benefits through the end of this month. Among the company’s worldwide venues are Hakkasan nightclub and restaurant and Wet Republic dayclub at MGM Grand, Omnia nightclub at Caesars Palace and Jewel nightclub and Liquid pool club at Aria. Hakkasan Group also operates the Level Up gaming lounge at MGM Grand and the Searsucker restaurant at Omnia.

Drai’s Nightclub, Beachclub and After Hours at the Cromwell has furloughed its entire staff and today released this statement: “We have made the difficult decision to furlough our employees during this time of uncertainty. Those with health benefits through the company will have their insurance premiums covered by Drai’s for the foreseeable future. Our hope is that this shutdown will end soon and our hardworking team will be able to return back to work as quickly as possible.”

The Tao Group, which maintains Tao nightclub, lounge and restaurant at the Grand Canal Shoppes at Venetian, Marquee nightclub and dayclub and the Beauty & Essex restaurant at the Cosmopolitan and Lavo restaurant at Palazzo, has "temporarily" laid off its hourly venue staff.

“We could never have imagined this, a completely unexpected and fast-moving blow that would devastate our entire industry," states the Tao Group statement, also released today. "Tao Group is a family, and we are establishing a Tao Group Hospitality Relief Fund that will assist our employees who might face a range of personal hardships in the coming weeks and months. We want them to be safe and remain connected to us and one another. We are determined to do everything we can to ensure we have a thriving business for all of our employees to come back to as soon as possible.”

Other prominent clubs such as XS and Encore Beach Club at Wynn and On the Record at Park MGM are operated by their home casinos. MGM Resorts International announced on Friday that in addition to two weeks of pay for furloughed full-time employees, the company is including part-time hourly employees impacted by the closures as well, and paying benefits for all eligible employees in MGM Resorts health plans through June 30.

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