Las Vegas hotels and casinos are facing a service staff crunch which makes it extremely difficult for them to keep daily operations running smoothly and especially housekeeping “Guest Room Attendants” are in high demand.
The two biggest players Caesars Entertainment and MGM are now aggressively pursuing a recruitment spree to hire new service staff, offering big bonuses and high hourly wages.
It’s been very interesting experiencing Las Vegas during the last two weeks both in terms of seeing the crowd size, type of travelers and to observe the operational challenges the hotels (and casinos) have to deal with.
One example is Caesars Entertainment (CET) where they’re currently seeking to immediately fill 500 spots for Guest Room Attendants aka housekeeping as demand in Sin City is skyrocketing.
Likewise MGM is urgently seeking Guest Room Attendants and is offering hourly pay between $19.49 – $20.48 which is rather high compared to the industry standard.
When checking in at various resorts in Las Vegas over the past weeks I found the front desk / VIP Lounge associates always saying their biggest problem right now is to offer guests on time check-in’s as often it takes until the late afternoon until housekeeping managed to turn over all the departing guest rooms.
Even as elite tier with MGM Mlife and Caesars I found myself unable to check in until 2pm at times which is rather rare. Usually the casino hotels try to make rooms available for their players club tier guests as soon as they come available but that appears to be increasingly difficult.
Standard check-out time in Las Vegas Casino Hotels is 11AM and the standard check-in 4PM. This gives casino hotels two extra hours of leeway so to speak over common hotels where standard check-out times of 12pm and check-in times of 4pm apply.
Prior to and especially during the pandemic when Las Vegas Casino business was on a downward trajectory the companies decided to downsize their employment numbers and let a lot of people go. With the current unemployment benefits nationwide including Nevada (soon running out) it has proven a challenge for many hotels to get people back to work, especially since many of the former service sector employees have found new careers or decided to go back to further their education.
Now they have to offer big incentives to even get people to apply for jobs and on top of that they can’t really be all too picky who they end up hiring.
At the same time Las Vegas has been buzzing with activity. It was one of the first cities to reopen amidst the pandemic. The cities hotels and entertainment venues have worked hard on developing protocols to safely bring their operations back online. I couldn’t believe how busy the city is right now but from talks with GSA’s here the upscale properties such as Wynn/Encore, Venetian/Palazzo, Bellagio and the newly opened Resorts World are struggling to find guest to not only pay the high room rates but also bring in substantial gaming revenue. The current clientele seems to prefer the more affordable price range of the 3*-4* properties. Casinos were very busy though.
One thing that isn’t exactly instilling confidence is that officially only fully vaccinated guests are allowed to walk indoors mask free, however based on a personal sampling I did there is a maximum of 3% mask wearing guests at any given time. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to tell you that there aren’t 97% of all people here vaccinated so the policy in Las Vegas is basically “Don’t ask, don’t tell” as far as regulations concerning masks and vaccinations is concerned. This has earned Las Vegas the unglamorous title of sustained Covid-19 hotspot by the federal government this month.
Las Vegas hospitality industry is in a staff crunch. They can’t find enough people to come in for work at the moment, at least not while the Covid-Assistance scheme for unemployment is ongoing. The situation might normalize itself again once these payments stop and people have an actual incentive to go find a job again.
Las Vegas visitor demographics have also changed quite a bit. The upscale clientele that used to frequent expensive hotels is largely missing and so are the convention visitors (due to the lack of conventions). At the same time the health precautions are applied extremely loosely to say the least. All employees are wearing masks but ~ 97% of guests aren’t.