Harrah's Lake Tahoe lays off 60 workers

STATELINE, Nev. (AP) -- Harrah's Lake Tahoe has laid off 60 workers to cut costs at the height of the summer season.

The cuts, which include 46 full-time workers, came after last week's report by parent company Harrah's Entertainment Inc. of a combined 3.5 percent drop in second-quarter revenues at its Reno and Tahoe properties. Harrah's said its Tahoe cash flow fell 21.7 percent.

Harrah's corporate officials blamed a several factors for decreased earnings, including higher gasoline costs and a slowing northern California economy.

"Northern Nevada is under siege," said Phil Satre, Harrah's chairman and chief executive officer.

The layoffs announced Thursday -- about 3 percent of the south shore hotel-casino' 2,100 employees -- came on the same day the Nevada Gaming Commission approved Harrah's Entertainment's $625 million acquisition of Stateline-based Harveys Casino Resorts, which operates Harveys Resort & Casino across from Harrah's Tahoe.

Harrah's Tahoe spokesman John Packer said the approval had no bearing on the layoffs and is a direct result of the tough summertime gambling economy.

He said the last time Harrah's Lake Tahoe experienced a similar summertime slump was in 1995.

Harrah's laid off 31 workers last March, Packer said.

Packer said those let go Thursday represented a wide swath of Harrah's staff, from hourly employees to supervisors in hotel, casino, maintenance and other jobs. He said no managers or executives were included.

Packer said full-time workers let go will receive severance based on years of service with Harrah's. He refused to say how much.

He also said those laid off will receive outplacement assistance and would retain tenure if rehired.


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