HMSHost, the company that provides many of the food and retail outlets at McCarran International Airport, plans to permanently lay off 940 employees.
“HMSHost continues to see an unprecedented decline in traffic in airports and on the motorways,” the company tells the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation. “The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated the travel and restaurant industries and, unfortunately, HMSHost sits at the crossroads of both. Never in the history of aviation and the hospitality industry, have we experienced such catastrophic customer traffic declines.” The letter from HMSHost is required by the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, which notifies the state 60 days in advance about layoffs.
The latest passenger numbers from June saw 867,528 passengers fly through McCarran, down from 2,989,768 in June 2019. Since March, HMSHost temporarily closed some of the dining outlets at the airport, including restaurants and bars in B Gates and at Terminal 3, Bud 29 Track Lounge and The Layover Bar on the main concourse, and some outlets in C Gates and D Gates.
HMSHost says that employees who were temporarily furloughed in March will convert to permanent layoffs on October 15 if they have not been called back to work.
A majority of the positions are fast food attendants, followed by hosts, servers, baristas, bartenders, and managers and supervisors.
Sky Chefs Inc., which provides airline catering at McCarran, plans to lay off 86 of its employees effective October 1, also citing the decline in passenger traffic due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Back in February, HMSHost signed a seven-year contract extension with McCarran International Airport valued at approximately $1.5 billion to open new and remodeled locations. The company planned to bring La Familia with tacos and tequila and PZA with pizza, meatballs, and breakfast to the airport starting in 2021.
Last year, passenger traffic at McCarran International Airport hit an all-time high of 51.5 million, the airport’s third consecutive year of record volume.