|FIESTA DEAL AWAITS FINAL HURDLE
Monday, November 20, 2000
By JEFF SIMPSON
LAS VEGAS - North Las Vegas gaming and liquor license
the remaining obstacles blocking Station Casinos' $185 million
purchase of the Fiesta hotel-casino, after the Nevada Gaming
Commission approved the deal Monday.
The commission voted 5-0 to approve the Fiesta purchase,
Station Casinos expects to complete in early January.
The North Las Vegas City Council voted 5-0 Wednesday
Station Casinos' city gaming and liquor license applications after
union official raised concerns about layoffs expected from the
City officials have yet to decide whether to place the
on the council's Dec. 6 agenda or to schedule a special meeting to
consider the matter.
Station Casinos Executive Vice President and general counsel
Nielson told the gaming commission that union criticism of his
company is misguided.
Labor organizers point to the expected layoffs of about
Fiesta workers and the layoff of 900 workers at the Santa Fe before
Station Casinos bought that nearby neighborhood casino for $205
"I don't want to use a sensitive term, but I think that's
math," said Nielson. "We're creating more jobs at Santa Fe Station
and the Fiesta, and those jobs have higher wages and benefits."
Culinary Local 226 Staff Director D. Taylor disagreed.
"These firings are quite bad for the community, quite
bad for the
industry and quite bad for the workers," Taylor told the commission.
"Wholesale terminations are not necessary for successful gaming
companies, but only with Station have we had wholesale terminations."
Taylor spoke during the commission's public comment
regulators had approved the Fiesta purchase. His union doesn't
represent workers at the Fiesta, a nonunion property, although Taylor
said he was speaking on the workers' behalf.
The labor organizer also criticized Station Casinos for
Fiesta workers go while negotiating a deal with Ameristar to buy The
Reserve in Henderson.
Station Casinos, which is selling its two Missouri gaming
properties to Ameristar, agreed to protect the jobs of Reserve
workers in return for the same guarantee at their Missouri properties.
Nielson said he believes a huge majority of the Fiesta's
will eventually be offered jobs with Station Casinos, although he
admitted that only 200 of the 700 Santa Fe workers who applied for
jobs with the company have been hired to date.
"We owe it to our team members and shareholders
to hire the very
best employees we can find," he explained.
Nielson said 269 current Station Casinos employees have
been accepted for transfer to the Fiesta, and that about 800 of the
Fiesta's current employees have filled out applications at the
company's hiring center.
The Fiesta currently employs slightly more than 1,000
Nielson added, with his company planning to have 1,016 employees on
staff when the purchase takes effect.
In other Monday action, the commission voted 5-0 to approve
licensing of the Herbst family's Terrible's hotel-casino.
It is built on the site of the old Continental Hotel,
forced into foreclosure and later closed on March 31, 1999.
The new property is tentatively scheduled to open in early
December, general manager Mark Sterbens told the commission.
Phone: (702) 383-0478
Fax: (702) 380-4590