Layoffs, canceled shows and gigs are starting to hit Las Vegas in its entertainment and hospitality core -- the Strip.

UPDATE (8:30 p.m.): MGM Resorts International announced in a company-wide letter on Friday that "several" employees have tested presumptive positive for COVID-19. 

The letter, signed by MGM Resorts President and COO Bill Hornbuckle, said the company temporarily closed the MGM Northfield Park property in Ohio and have suspended operations at all nightclubs and day clubs. 

Spas and salons in MGM Resorts properties will suspend operations on Monday. Additionally, the letter said 150 food and beverage outlets will close on a rolling basis. 

Furloughs and layoffs were expected to begin next week, the letter said. "We deeply regret the hardship it will place on these individuals and their families."

Read the full letter here:

Dear Colleagues,

This is a challenging time and it has been an especially difficult week. I would like to thank each of you for showing the leadership and dedication that makes this company great. I promised to communicate with you in a transparent manner and will continue to do so.

We are now learning that several of our employees have tested presumptive positive for the coronavirus, and we expect that there will be more in the coming days. Please keep them and their families in your thoughts and prayers. Their co-workers and those individuals who have had close prolonged contact have been notified. We are working with the health district to address these cases as quickly as we can.

In light of this news, we are recommending that all corporate employees whose teams are able to do so work from home beginning next week. Your leader will let you know if your team is one that is able to work from home. As always, if you are feeling ill, please stay home and consider using our telemedicine options. Information on the procedures will be shared with you and the policies can be found on MyMGM and LEO. If you have questions, please call the HR Hotline: (702) 693-7221 or (888) 719-7171.

As the nation grapples with the effort to contain the coronavirus, the travel industry has been challenged, and our company is no different. Business demand has decreased significantly. In response, we will temporarily close MGM Northfield Park tonight and have suspended operations of all nightclubs and day clubs. Our spas and salons will suspend operations as of Monday. Also, on Monday, approximately 150 food and beverage outlets will close, with more closing on a rolling basis. We are working diligently to minimize the impact on our employees through furloughs and layoffs which will begin next week. We will continue to pay our Flexible Time Off (FTO) eligible employees on furlough for two weeks and our hourly employees can use all available Paid Time Off (PTO) in their bank. We’ve also made the decision to maintain existing employees’ benefits, for individuals who are on our health plans and impacted by the layoffs or furloughs through June 30th. Some areas of our business operations have already begun layoffs in areas most immediately impacted by the slowdown in demand. These decisions are never made lightly, and we deeply regret the hardship it will place on these individuals and their families.

We are actively engaging with our industry colleagues, trade associations, and Federal delegation on legislation being considered by the Federal Government to provide financial relief for America’s workers and businesses.

There is much about this unique crisis that is unknown. But one thing that I do know is that MGM Resorts will weather this storm. We are resilient and we will lean on one another to get us through. In the not so distant future, I know we will be ready to welcome the hundreds of thousands of guests who come to our facilities every day to be served by the most amazing employees in the industry.

Bill Hornbuckle, President and COO

Joaquin Lomeli was told by his managers at a spa inside Vdara to file for unemployment on Friday afternoon. 

"I'm still in shock ... They pretty much told us within a month they were going to reevaluate how business is doing," said Lomeli. 

"It's a little scary," said Christina Shaw. 

Shaw impersonates the biggest blondes in showbiz: Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears and Faith Hill. 

"People call and I'm like, 'Yeah what do you need me to do today?' said Shaw. 

She said she doesn't know when she'll get one of those calls again. 

"I've lost about $2,000 worth of gigs so far. I'm expecting to lose more ... it's been pretty upsetting," she said. 

Shaw was suppose to emcee some of the college basketball events. 

"As soon as I got that news that was really heartbreaking because that was a lot of shifts, a lot of extra money and I'm getting married in August," said Shaw. 

Her fiance works in the industry, too. He's a performer with Cirque Du Soleil. He normally has two shows a night but it's been cut down to one. 

"That is half the paycheck unfortunately," said Shaw. 

UPDATE (7:20 p.m.): MGM Resorts said an employee of the Luxor Hotel & Casino tested presumptive positive for COVID-19.

According to MGM spokesman Brian Ahern, they are coordinating with SNHD to notify people who may have had contact with the employee or need additional support. 

A notification was sent to Luxor employees on Friday asking if they are contacted by the health district and asked to self-quarantine, they "urge you to adhere to their directives and guidelines."

The said they believed the risk of contact was minimal. 

ORIGINAL REPORT (1:21 p.m.): LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- An employee with Hakkasan Group in Las Vegas tested presumptively positive for the coronavirus.

A notice sent to employees identified the person as an employee of Wet Republic dayclub at MGM Grand.

In a statement from Hakkasan Group, officials said they would temporarily suspend all Las Vegas venue operations until further notice. They said the corporate office would also close temporarily.

We have learned that one of our employees has tested presumptively positive for COVID-19. The safety and well-being of our guests and employees has always been and will remain our top priority. Due to the unforeseeable ongoing impact of the COVID-19 virus we will temporarily suspend all our Las Vegas venue operations until further notice. We will also be closing our corporate office for one week. Our intention is to resume operations, pending further developments. In coordination with all recommended health and safety protocols from the Southern Nevada Health District, we will be continuing a professional deep cleaning and sanitation process of all Las Vegas venues.

"We believe the exposure at Wet Republic has been limited," the notice said.

MGM Resorts announced Friday all nightclubs and dayclubs would be closing due to coronavirus concerns. OMNIA at Caesars followed suit.

The Southern Nevada Health District announced nine new presumptive positive COVID-19 cases in Clark County Friday, bringing the total to 15 cases so far.

Copyright 2019 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


FOX5 Multimedia Journalist

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