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Chris Jones

Wynn: No One Will be Laid Off

7 November 2005

One day after Steve Wynn told Wall Street analysts "another major adjustment" in the work force at Wynn Las Vegas would occur next week, both he and a key resort executive stressed that employees need not worry about losing their jobs.

"We fully expect attrition, but we're not conducting any kind of organized or major layoffs," Andrew Pascal, president and chief operating officer of Wynn Las Vegas, said Friday.

Those on the job at the $2.7 billion megaresort "have nothing to worry about," Pascal added, saying talk of layoffs arose from "a misunderstanding" of Wynn's comments in Thursday's third-quarter earnings conference call.

On Friday, Wynn clarified, "In 35 years in Las Vegas, we've never had a layoff."

The company's earnings statement said Wynn Resorts Ltd. has improved its efficiency since Wynn Las Vegas opened April 28. That improvement came in part because the resort's employee count fell from a second-quarter average of 9,600 to approximately 8,200 in the three-month period ending Sept. 30.

Speaking Thursday from Macau, Wynn told analysts, "We are lowering our FTEs, our full-time employment counts, and we'll make another major adjustment on Nov. 10. We continue to work on our margins. We have a lot of room left, and we're feeling like we'll be able to show that as we go forward."

Large resorts commonly shed workers in the first six to 12 months after opening, and Wynn Las Vegas has been no exception.

But Pascal said 90 percent to 95 percent of the resort's work force reductions have come through "normal attrition." He expects that trend to continue as Wynn Las Vegas trims its work force to slightly less than 8,000 employees.

Wynn Las Vegas is already "very close" to its ideal staffing level, Pascal added.

"As employees leave the company voluntarily, we don't feel the need to replace them," Pascal said. "That's because the people that we have continue to refine their skills and their approach to performing the job and get ever more productive. That's what is happening here."