The phrase “emergency job fair” isn’t often uttered in the Atlantic City casino industry these days, but the Golden Nugget has found itself such an emergency following the closing of the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel last month.
Aiming to hire 50 people who can start as soon as Friday, the Golden Nugget Atlantic City will hold job fairs Wednesday and Thursday with plans to add even more staff in the coming weeks. Officials said the call for new employees is due, in part, to increased business from former Atlantic Club players as well as the property’s attempts to lure customers from other casinos with loyalty card upgrades.
Executive Vice President and General Manager Tom Pohlman acknowledged that it’s an unusual situation in the Atlantic City market that’s seen seven straight years of revenue declines.
The Golden Nugget, however, saw business begin to spike six weeks ago when Atlantic Club closed, and that pattern has continued, he said speculating that Atlantic Club customers may be drawn to the Golden Nugget because it’s a smaller, boutique-style property.
The casino has offered one-tier upgrades to Atlantic Club card holders and has extended that offer to other properties. Over the weekend, the casino was visibly fuller than in previous weeks.
“Our volumes have just gone through the roof. Fridays and Saturdays are stronger than the volumes we see in the summer,” Pohlman said. “It’s a good crazy, but we don’t want to sacrifice service, so we need help immediately.”
That includes filling all support-level positions such as dealers, slot attendants, cocktail servers, valet, cage cashiers and front desk attendants, among others. Pohlman said he expects that the 1,600 employees who were laid off when Atlantic Club shut its doors will be among those vying for the positions.
The casino will be hiring “on the spot,” he said, adding that drug testing and uniform fitting will be on site during the job fair from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day.
The surge in business for Golden Nugget was recorded in January’s casino revenue reports. As a smaller property, Golden Nugget falls toward the bottom half of the the pack in gambling revenue, coming in eighth out of 11 casinos with $10.5 million in January.
However, the casino is one of only four resort properties to see a revenue increase last month, up 10 percent from January 2013. That compares with an overall market decline of 9 percent, to $186 million, in January.
Golden Nugget’s increases were due to gains in slot revenue. The casino took in $2.8 million in table game revenue, down slightly from the $3 million it saw in January 2013, but its slot revenue spiked by 18 percent.
The casino brought in $7.7 million in slot revenue from the $84 million gamblers put into slot machines. That’s up from $6.5 million in slot revenue seen in January 2013.
February’s revenue results will be released March 12.
Pohlman stressed that he doesn’t believe all of the casino’s increases are attributed to former Atlantic Club players. The casino recently brought on a new international marketing team headed by Gary Ng, a 20-year veteran of casino marketing and hotel administration. He has served as director of Asian Marketing at Trump Taj Mahal and has worked at several other Atlantic City properties.
The casino also recently hired Jim Burns, formerly of Caesars Entertainment, as senior vice president of casino marketing. High rollers often follow known employees to new properties, and casinos promote their additions to teams.
“People know their names. We’re building a high-end team,” Pohlman said.
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