Hotel Industry on ‘Brink of Collapse,’ Resorts Warn More Layoffs Without Federal Relief

The American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA), the industry’s leading trade association and lobbying voice in DC, is warning Congress that more than two out of three (67 percent) of US hotels can’t last another six months without federal assistance.

Nearly all tribal and commercial casino resorts closed in 2020 because of the coronavirus. While most have since reopened, the Palms, seen here, being one exception, the hotel industry is warning Congress widespread permanent closures could be on the way. (Image: Las Vegas Review-Journal)

A survey conducted by the AHLA of its members reveals that 74 percent of hotels will be forced to lay off additional employees if they don’t soon receive access to government funding. Sixty-eight percent of hoteliers say their workforce is less than half of its pre-COVID-19 payroll. Roughly 50 percent of hotel owners say they’re in danger of being foreclosed on by their commercial real estate lender.

These are real numbers, millions of jobs, and the livelihoods of people who have built their small business for decades, just withering away because Congress has done nothing,” said AHLA President Chip Rogers.

“We can’t afford to let thousands of small businesses die and all of the jobs associated with them be lost for many years,” Rogers continued.

The AHLA is calling on Congress to provide extensions through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to keep hotel workers employed. The Association is additionally seeking financial relief through the Federal Reserve and Treasury, including limited liability language for hotels, and tax provisions to assist severely impacted hotels and their employees.

Mammouth Hotel Industry

No state relies more on tourism than Nevada. The Silver State’s largest employer is MGM Resorts, which operates nine casinos on the Las Vegas Strip.

The Nevada Hotel and Lodging Association is an AHLA member. The AHLA reports that Nevada has 566 hotel properties, with approximately 194,400 guestrooms. Hotels employed 370,741 people in Nevada last year and generated a gross domestic product of $27 billion. Hotels delivered $4 billion in state and local taxes and $5 billion in federal revenue.

MGM Resorts has permanently laid off 18,000 positions nationwide, including 10,000 in Las Vegas. Other Las Vegas casinos and Nevada-based operators have also cut jobs — Treasure Island, Sahara, M Resort, and Boyd Gaming, to name a few.

Union Calls for Change

The Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165, both affiliates of UNITE HERE, collectively represent some 60,000 workers in Las Vegas and Reno. The vast majority of their members are employed by casino hotels in Las Vegas.

The Culinary Union is urging its members, and other Nevadans, to vote for Democratic candidates on November 3. The union says blue candidates are best suited to lead the post-COVID-19 recovery.

In a release issued today, Culinary says it supports Joe Biden for president, and Democratic candidates for Nevada’s four House congressional seats up for election — Dina Titus, Patricia Ackerman, Susie Lee, and Steven Horsford.

“Donald Trump is a threat to the livelihoods of workers and our families,” opined Culinary Union Secretary-Treasurer Geoconda Argüello-Kline.

Devin O'Connor

Gaming Legislation, Politics, Casino Business, Entertainment----Devin O’Connor’s passion for politics and background in the world of pop culture television give him insight into the gaming industry backstories that often drive news these days. After graduating from Penn State University with a theater arts degree, he worked at MTV Networks/Viacom from 2005 to 2010 as a writer and producer, where his credits included Total Request Live, New Year's Eve specials, and a special featuring poker superstar Daniel Negreanu. He later moved on to the HGTV/DIY Network, where he created, wrote, and produced three series specials: That's So House Hunters, That's So 80s, and That's So 90s. Devin came on board with in 2014. He lives in Pennsylvania, and is an avid marathoner, having completed 15 races to date. Email:

View Comments

  • Vegas. Stock...i never thought it sell so quick.. .. Vegas currency. Rules the world. Rich for a day but only in vegas. Still made it to the top broke as hell. And its pretty much like family. All sides of the fence celebrate life to.the best.

  • All of the casinos will go under, just give it another year. I could care less and look forward to it. They deserve it for nickel and diming everyone over the past 10 years with resort fees, water fees, toilet paper fees, stick it to you fees, catchup and mustard fees, parking garage fees, fees for straws. Let alone you can’t even sit down and play a machine without them programming it to take your money in 1 min like the Cookie Monster.

    Besides, no one dresses up anymore in Vegas. Tired of all the slobs walking around in the nice resorts. People have no shame of their etiquette and how they look. How do my wife and I enjoy a nice steak dinner at high end restaurant when a young couple next to us are wearing a baseball cap backwards and yoga pants with flip flops??? The workers at the restaurant dress up and its disrespectful when other customers come rolling in like complete slobs.

    Casino workers are getting screwed by the greedy greedy pig casino owners (don’t need lecture on publicly held companies thank you very much). I hope they all survive this and can find different avenue of employment somewhere else.

    Now per this coronavirus issue it will be politicized for a very long time coming and the politicians (vast majority are lawyers by the way) will destroy all businesses. While they sit at home collecting fat kickbacks and dirty under the table deals the ordinary people will suffer. Time to revolt!

  • Isn't Trump in charge? Of course the union is not going to endorse a party that's anti union and anti labor. Except the police union of course, 'cause they represent the attack dogs. You racists Republicans can't even admit this is Trump's watch and his failure. But don't worry, we'll take it from here. Stay Union. Vote Biden 2020.

  • Biff, historically, officially and correctly, it is the "Democratic" party, despite what drug addict, Rush Limp Paw, teaches you.

  • Here are a few facts. In the state of Nevada, the Governor, the State Senate and the State Legislature are all controlled by the Democrat party. ALL OF THEM! And who made that happen? THE UNIONS! And what have Unions got in return for that? Nothing that I can think of! Democrats promised to make Nevada a Union friendly state and undo "right to work" and anti-union employment laws. Did they address that? NOPE! So Democrats promised Union labor the moon to get their help to get power. And once Democrats got the power? They flipped Union labor the bird!

  • Seriously-you are urging for your union workers to vote for the representatives that have allowed your state to not reopen? This makes no sense. If you were in healthcare, you would understand that not even the experts were correct on COVID! It is a moving target that keeps changing. Don’t listen to corrupt politicians. Open your minds, and use common sense. Who, shut Nevada down? Why, if a bar serves food it can be open, and if not, it is okay? Who, supports protesters and praises their efforts (social distancing out the window), but condemn church congregation and some political rallies? If Americans don’t open their minds, they will slowly let government control their beliefs. Be independent and free with your beliefs,

  • Vegas got boring about 15 years ago when everything got supersized with no end in sight, and began to feel just plain tacky. The vibe changed, people too, wandering around like bored zombies, looking for...something. Just as with the mega cruise ships. Big is not always better.

  • Democrats are keeping the state closed for a virus that has a 99.6% survival rate. But yah blame the orange man, because that makes you feel better. Now lets get to "resorts" wanting a bailout. I say fakk NO! First off these " resorts " are half azz in everything they do. When you have super 8 and days inn charging a resort fee, you know a change is needed. Are you telling me MGM cant make it with the $45 resort fee everyday, and $20 parking everyday? Don't forget 7$ for a 20 oz gatorade or $10 for a dasani water. So big deal they dont make 2 billion in profit, they'll have to settle for 1 billion... Once caesar rewards started adding resort fees and charging for parking thats when I stopped patronizing these establishments. I now stay off strip and or airBnB ECT. Even though i can get a room sun-thur for $40-45 dollars total a night from caesars I choose to spend my money elsewhere. Vegas lost its appeal once corporate hedge funds took over. And now a days to many casinos all around in every state almost, I don't see it recovering any time soon.

  • Blame it on your idiot liberals. Trump has a package planned but Pelosi wants money for liberal cities destroyed by their own rioting. Democrats are the most worthless pieces of shit there is. Vegas has become way overpriced and greedy ever since 2008. I’d come out 5-6 times a year. Not anymore, bye bye Vegas

  • Eventually Nevada will realize every time a Republican is president, they have to face massive layoffs.... or not, whatever.
    They’ll probably be convinced it’s just a “major coincidence”.

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Devin O'Connor