Topaz Lodge meets with workers

More than half of the Topaz Lodge's employees met with management on Monday to hear what the future held for them.

Owners of the lodge offered all the employees work until May 3.

"The lodge has been a big part of this community for over 50 years," owner Rob Cashell said. "Our family has owned it for almost six years now and we have tried to carry on the tradition of helping the community.

"Just like the community interest we have had with Boomtown and The Alamo, we have tried to be actively involved in the community," he said. "During the Walker (Cannon fire) and the Topaz fire (Gate Complex), we tried to be a part of the community and help as much as we could."

Lodge employees will be working two shifts, at 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. The shifts will be eight hours a day for a 40-hour week.

The casino portion of the Lodge was closed after an April 3 fire in the attic.

"Those wanting to work will be paid their regular wage during that time," Ross said. "As you know, we have cleanup, cleanup" and the employees echoed "more cleanup," in unison.

The meeting took place at the Topaz Lake Volunteer Fire Department Monday morning.

The meeting was attended by about 80 employees, as well as Douglas County commissioner, Doug Johnson and Topaz Lodge general manager Rick Ross.

Three representatives, Dianna Stone from the State of Nevada Department of Unemployment, Christina Slade from JobConnect and Janet Locurto from JOIN were on hand to offer information about how to file unemployment claims while the lodge undergoes reconstruction to repair damage caused by the fire.

Douglas County Commissioner Doug Johnson told employees how important they were to the community.

"The main reason I wanted to be at the Topaz Lodge employee meeting was to let South County know they do have support and that I will be there, if needed, to help expedite the process to get everyone back to work." Johnson said.

"We are hoping to open up no later than June 1," Cashell said. "We appreciate all our employees for their active support." he said.

Stone told employees about the unemployment process and how to work in the system to expedite any claims they might have. After May 3, employees, who have vacation time accrued, may use that if they choose, to extend their pay period to the reopening of the lodge. Their benefits will stay in effect and they can make their co-pay on insurance at the lodge as needed. Paychecks will be available at the General Store every Thursday as, for the time being, the checks will have to be mailed out through the corporate offices rather than created at the lodge.

Workers can go on the Internet and file an unemployment claim through or call the claim center for Northern Nevada at (775) 684-0350.


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