What happens in Las Vegas could have a ripple effect across the country if 50,000 casino hotel workers employed in more than 30 of the world-famous resorts go on strike at any time starting next week .
If members of the union that includes hotel and food workers do not show up for work, it could cost millions of destinations and cause travel problems for anyone traveling on vacation or a business trip to Sin City. It could also send casinos looking for temporary workers amid low unemployment rates.
Analysts declined on Wednesday to badess the financial impact that a strike could have on casino operators. But casinos and hotels are not the only ones who would feel the squeeze; Local and state governments can lose millions because of the impact on tourism.
The last time casino hotel workers went on strike in Las Vegas, the labor action lasted for 67 days and cost the workers and the city more than $ 1 million per day in lost wages and income, not counting the game losses. The price could be much higher if the two parties can not reach an agreement: the city has 90,000 more rooms and receives 29 million additional visitors per year.
David Fiorenza, who teaches urban economics at Villanova University, said local and state governments will begin to notice an impact on their sales tax revenue if the strike persists. And if the stay in a hotel decreases, there will be less income from the local hotel tax.
Fiorenza does not expect an immediate impact on the number of people visiting Las Vegas if a strike occurs, but it will affect reservations if the strike lasts more than a few days.
"The people who already booked to go there are not going to cancel," he said.
But the strike is a persistent concern for those who are still planning summer vacations.
It happens during the summer in Las Vegas where it receives many people who travel. They say: "We are going to visit a family in California, and then, we will go to Las Vegas," said Michael McCall, a professor of hospitality at Michigan State University. "This would dissuade them, that will close everything."
The contracts of 50,000 members of the Culinary Union that work in 34 different casinos-resorts on the Las Vegas Strip and downtown Las Vegas will expire at midnight on May 31. Half of those workers voted on Tuesday, most of them which authorized a strike at any time from June 1. The casino operators and the union failed to reach agreements through negotiations that began in February.
workers want to increase wages, protect job security against the growing use of technology in hotel-casinos and strengthen the language against badual harbadment.
MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment operate more than half of the properties that would be affected by a strike. Both companies have said they expect to reach agreements with the union.
However, Fiorenza said that the main casinos have contingency plans and expect them to find ways to continue operating if a strike occurs, such as using managers in frontline jobs. and bringing workers from outside the area.
Operators who have casino hotels in other states have probably started sending notices to some workers on those properties to temporarily lure them to Las Vegas, McCall said. It would be difficult to hire short-term replacement workers locally because unemployment is low in Las Vegas.
The last strike in the entire city was in 1984. As the deadline approached, the agency responsible for promoting the destination responded by working $ 158,000 advertising campaign that included a chef who said "Las Vegas, we are open and cooking "and a showgirl who said" Las Vegas, we are open to a lot to show you ".
Convention Statistics and Visitors to Las Vegas The visit to the authority fair did not decrease overall that year, with about 12.8 million traveling to this oasis in the desert. The agency said on Wednesday it was monitoring the situation, but did not say whether it expected visits to decrease in the event of a strike.
More than 42.2 million people visited the destination last year.
Eric Brasure of Newark, Delaware, is planning a trip to Las Vegas to attend a Star Trek convention in the summer. He said he supports the union, and retweeted on Wednesday in his podcast account a list of casino hotels that would be affected by the strike.
"I fully intend to support the strike by not sponsoring any casino where workers are on strike," Brasure said in a Twitter message.
Prior to Tuesday, the union voted for the last time for a strike in 2002 but reached an agreement before the employees left.
Annika Wolters, journalist for The Associated Press in Phoenix and AP Business Writer Josh Funk in Omaha, Nebraska, contributed to this report.