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Potawatomi Hotel & Casino lays off around 1,600 workers due to COVID-19 pandemic

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Potawatomi Hotel & Casino said it has to lay off a 'large number' of employees due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

CBS 58 was told Potawatomi Hotel & Casino had 2,600 before the shutdown. Around 1,000 were brought back for the reopening in June and the rest were sent layoff notices on Friday.

CEO and General Manager Rodney Ferguson provided the following statement on Friday, July 17:

"The coronavirus pandemic has forced Potawatomi Hotel & Casino to scale down operations substantially and place a cap on guest traffic to a fraction of normal levels. As a result, we have recently made the difficult decision to notify a large number of our staff on a temporary furlough that we consider the furlough to be permanent because of its unforeseeable length and impact. These permanent layoffs take effect August 15th.

As a business that places care for its team members as a top priority, this is a decision that was not made lightly. It’s one that hurts. Those affected helped build Potawatomi Hotel & Casino into the most visited entertainment destination in the state of Wisconsin. That is not lost on members of business or tribal leadership.

The business will expand operations as the science guides us and pandemic conditions dictate. Decisions will continue to be made in the best interests of guest and team member health and safety."

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