LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – Formula 1, Super Bowl LVIII, and a host of conventions: as the over 150,000 Las Vegas hotel rooms are anticipated to book out for multiple large-scale events in the coming months, data shows over 1,800 hotel jobs remain vacant in the valley.

As of Monday morning, reported 1,818 hotel position openings across the valley. Though it’s less than half a percentage point of all hospitality jobs in the valley (the Las Vegas Visitor and Convention Authority recorded 229,440 hospitality jobs in its April 2023 Economic Impact of Southern Nevada’s Tourism Industry report), they’re jobs, nonetheless, that support the roughly 40 million annual visitors that yielded an estimated $79.3 billion output in 2022.

Stephen Miller, director of research for UNLV’s Center for Business and Economic Research, said there are more jobs available than people looking to fill them following increased federal unemployment benefits during the pandemic and workers choosing other careers.

“For every six workers, we got 10 jobs out there open,” Miller said during a virtual interview Monday afternoon. “Workers have gotten more power in the labor market, which means the employers have to become more innovative in terms of tracking employees.”

Several open hotel positions fall under the representation of the Culinary Union. As Secretary-Treasurer Ted Pappageorge puts it, potential workers are looking for better pay and an overall better quality of work life than before.

“These jobs are going to have to have a pathway, a career ladder, where if I’m going to be a room cleaner, which is the big need, I know that I am not stuck there, that I have an opportunity to promote and move my way up,” Pappageorge said during a virtual interview Monday afternoon. “These companies are making record profit, room rates are through the roof, visitation is through the roof. They’re going to have to share the pie.”

The Westgate Resort & Casino, for one, has felt hiring struggles. Gordon Prouty, vice president of public relations, says filling those positions became more difficult post-pandemic.

“It’s going to continue to be more difficult as more and more properties are opening, particularly a large property nearby that’s going to be competing for hires as well,” Prouty said in the middle of the casino floor Monday morning. “Those biggest areas (of need) are housekeeping – the GRA’s (guest room attendants)– and then security.”

Fontainebleau Las Vegas will be the newest hotel to open on the strip. A source familiar with hiring operations told 8 News Now that approximately 6,500 positions are sought to be filled in a multi-phase recruitment effort by December 2023.

To compete with efforts like this, Prouty says a referral program has been introduced to compensate current employees for recommending people for employment. Additionally, they’re offering more money for certain employees upfront that usually would take years to receive.

“It used to be 80% of the contract at hire-in. It would take you a couple of years to get to the 100% level. We’re offering that right from the start,” Prouty said. “When they come to Vegas, they expect the best Vegas experience possible. We need a full staff to be able to ensure that.”