by Ray Poirier | Las Vegas-styled casinos cant be built overnight. So, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation cant be faulted for planning a Foxwoods Resort multi-million dollar expansion that included an MGM Grand styled-hotel with all the amenities.
And opening the 30-story hotel/casino at its Connecticut reservation in May just happened to be the time when the facility was ready to bring in the crowds.
Nobody, however, could have foreseen that a slowing economy and high gasoline prices would keep customers away in droves.
Here in September, the Pequots have announced that they have had to lay off 700 employees by eliminating management and staff positions. This on top of the 200 employees that were let go in June.
"Although it has taken a few months," said Council Chairman Michael Thomas, "the recessions impact can now be clearly seen in our industry. Unfortunately, the time has arrived when we must face the difficult decision and align our payroll costs with current revenue levels."
The slowdown isnt unique to Foxwoods. Its neighbor, Mohegan Sun, recently delayed the final projects in its $925 million expansion. They also have pared the operating payroll by eliminating some 600 jobs.