LAS VEGAS -- More than 400 people will lose their jobs just before the holiday season begins as the Plaza Hotel in downtown Las Vegas closes.
The Plaza Hotel and Casino told hundreds of workers they will no longer be needed when the hotel begins major renovations. Plaza Hotel and Casino marketing staff confirm that November 11 is the last day their rooms will be open. The casino floor, restaurants and the Rat Pack show will remain open.
Neighboring business leaders and the Mayor are calling the hotel renovation a short term loss but a long term gain.
"You can never feel good about a situation in which some 400 plus employees are going to be out of a job," said Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman.
He adds the Plaza owners told him hotel renovations should take a year-and-a-half. A Plaza Hotel spokesperson refused to answer most of our questions. A hotel employee who was just laid off told says they first received word last Tuesday with a letter confirming it on Friday.
Long time guests knew many of the rooms remained empty, but were still surprised at the news.
"It's still a part of old Vegas. It's the only place I ever stayed. I come from Clearwater Beach, Florida a couple of times a year and this is the spot I stay at. The prices are great, the sports book is phenomenal and this is where me and my buddies have always stayed," said Jim Terry, Plaza Hotel guest.
The Plaza Hotel was built in 1971 and started off as the Union Plaza. The neighboring Fremont Street Experience doesn't expect the temporary shutdown to affect their visitor count. They say they welcome the changes any renovations will bring.
The 400 plus people laid off were told they were permanent layoffs. But the Mayor says the Plaza Hotel's owners say they hope to transfer some of those workers to their other properties.