As Resorts World opening nears, the job applications flood in

Lori Calderon has looked through so many job applications that she often finds herself evaluating potential hires for Resorts World on her personal time.

“We’re waking up at night sometimes and taking notes, I’m doing that myself,” said Calderon, the Resorts World executive director of talent acquisition. “We’re identifying individuals every day who will be receiving offers.”

As of last week, 85,000 applications had been received for various open positions at Resorts World, the $4.3 billion project on the north end of the Strip, just south of Circus Circus, expected to open this summer.

Open jobs range from entry level to management roles and include a variety of departments, including finance, food and beverage, surveillance and security, information technology and casino floor positions.

Casino floor jobs range from table games dealer and cage supervisor to cocktail server. Hiring managers have been working frantically in their attempts to keep up with the pace, Calderon said.

Around 400 employees have been hired so far.

A team of a dozen “talent liaisons” is working every day to review applications. Calderon said the team is “in constant communication with applicants.”

Auditions for table games dealers started Monday, Calderon said. She said that about 1,500 have applied for those jobs and that pay for all available jobs is “very competitive with other Strip properties.”

Most front-of-the-house employees will be hired in the “weeks leading up to opening,” Calderon said. An opening date for the resort hasn’t been announced yet.

In addition to many applications from the Las Vegas area, Calderon said she’s seen a lot of job seekers from Southwestern states like California, New Mexico, Utah and Arizona, but also some from the East Coast, especially the New York area.

She said a significant number of applications have come from employees at other Las Vegas resorts.

That list includes Las Vegas resident Corey Dominick, who applied recently for a surveillance position at Resorts World.

“I’m not surprised that they’ve gotten all that interest,” Dominick said. “I know there’s a lot of people out of work, and a lot of people working at other places who have applied. I’ve never worked at a new casino before, so I decided to throw my hat into the ring.”

Virginia Valentine, president and CEO of the Nevada Resorts Association, said the opening of Resorts World “will provide a much-needed economic boost to our community.”

Valentine said the wide range of interest in Resorts World jobs shows that resort industry positions “remain highly sought-after” despite what has been a difficult past year for the industry.

Steve Miller, a UNLV business professor and director of the school’s Center for Business and Economic Research, said about 60% of the jobs that were lost when casinos went dark in March and April have come back. But some of the others are surely Resorts World applicants.

In Las Vegas, according to the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, December figures show the region down about 62,000 leisure and hospitality jobs from the same month in 2019, which was just before the pandemic.

Adding 6,000 jobs isn’t going to cure what ails Southern Nevada’s economy, Miller said, but it is a start.

“The bulk of the jobs we’re still missing are in those sectors that require face-to-face contact,” Miller said. “I call them the gather-together sectors. In order to do business, you need to have physical contact, like a lot of the jobs in hotels and leisure and hospitality and restaurants and bars.”

According to state officials, Nevada’s unemployment rate is hovering around 9%, still too high for comfort, but much lower than when the figure spiked to an all-time high of 30.1% in April.

In Las Vegas, the unemployment rate is about a percentage point higher than the statewide rate.

Calderon said there’s still time for job-seekers to apply at Resorts World, but the window is quickly closely.

“The time is now,” she said. “It’s a large applicant pool, and we’re going to continue to communicate with applicants as much as we can. It’s a big job and we still have a lot of work to do.”

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