he Trump Hotel in Las Vegas, which is part-owned by the Trump Organization, notified the Nevada Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation (DETER) that 552 workers would temporarily lose their jobs.
In the letter, which was sent in April but was made public last week on DETER's website, human resources director LaDawndre Stinson explained that: "based on the fluid and rapidly evolving nature of this situation, however, at this time we are unable to provide a specific date at which we will be able to recommence regular hotel operations and return affected employees to work."
Almost all of the employees are with the Culinary Union, Nevada's most powerful labor organization representing 60,000 hotel-casino workers, USA TODAY reports.
In response to mandated COVID-19 business closures, the Trump Organization, which is managed by President Donald Trump's sons Eric and Donald Jr., laid off or furloughed hotel employees in New York, Washington D.C., Miami, Chicago, Vancouver, Honolulu and Las Vegas, according to The Washington Post.
Trump has addressed the shutdown of his own ventures and subsequent job cuts across the country, including in Nevada.
"You can’t have many hundreds of employees standing around doing nothing," Trump said at the White House on April 21, noting that social distancing regulations have closed clubs, hotels, and golf courses. "There’s no customer. You’re not allowed to have a customer."
Trump gave qualified support to Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak's closure amid the pandemic – even though the move shut his own hotel.
"They closed a big hotel down in Nevada that I have in Las Vegas. It’s a very severe step he took. I’m OK with it," Trump said. "But you could call that one either way."
Trump co-owns the Las Vegas hotel with Phil Ruffin, a billionaire casino mogul who also owns the iconic Treasure Island resort across the street. Ruffin and Trump are business partners – and good friends.
Public documents show Ruffin's Treasure Island notified Nevada officials there would also be mass layoffs at the resort: 2,225 employees put on furlough.
"These furloughs will continue indefinitely," wrote human resources vice president Gayle Kurokawa. "but are intended to be temporary and last less than six months."
Across Las Vegas Boulevard is another important figure in Trump's universe: Republican megadonor Sheldon Adelson.
With an estimated net worth of $41.4 billion, Adelson is the wealthiest person in Nevada and one of the 20 wealthiest people in America.
Adelson and his wife, Miriam, are the GOP's most prominent financial backers. They contributed more than $123 million to conservative politicians in the 2018 election cycle – more than any other U.S. citizen.
His Las Vegas Sands Corp. is one of the largest casino and resort companies in the world with the Venetian and Palazzo resorts on the Strip and lucrative casinos in Macau.
Unlike Trump and Ruffin, Adelson has emerged as one of the few billionaire hotel operators to keep paying employees throughout the COVID-19 shutdown.
"I hope to do that right up until the time that we can reopen our businesses," Adelson wrote in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "It’s not only the right thing to do — it’s good business."