Last updated on July 21st, 2020 at 11:31 am
Potawatomi Hotel & Casino said Friday that it has permanently laid off about 1,600 employees who were temporarily furloughed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
After suspending operations in mid-March, the downtown Milwaukee casino originally furloughed about 2,600 employees. About 1,000 of those employees were brought back to reopen the casino in early June, public relations manager Ryan Amundson told BizTimes Milwaukee Friday afternoon.
He said the remaining 1,600 employees received notice of permanent layoffs on Friday, set to take effect Aug. 15.
“The coronavirus pandemic has forced Potawatomi Hotel & Casino to scale down operations substantially and place a cap on guest traffic to a fraction of normal levels. As a result, we have recently made the difficult decision to notify a large number of our staff on a temporary furlough that we consider the furlough to be permanent because of its unforeseeable length and impact,” said Rodney Ferguson, chief executive officer and general manager of Potawatomi Hotel & Casino in a statement.
Ferguson said the decision was not made lightly, as those affected helped shape Potawatomi into “the most visited entertainment destination in the state.”
“The business will expand operations as the science guides us and pandemic conditions dictate. Decisions will continue to be made in the best interests of guest and team member health and safety,” he said.