Now that the Hard Rock Las Vegas is set to completely shut down for an eight-month renovation and rebranding project, emerging as Virgin Hotel Las Vegas, employees are going to have to find something else to do during the closure. The venue’s new owners, Virgin Hotels and JC Hospitality, want to reward those employees who decide to return after the upgrades are done and have announced that they will offer a not-too-shabby bonus to those returning workers.
The work to convert the iconic Hard Rock venue to an equally iconic Virgin property is going to get underway next February, right after the Super Bowl. Everything at the resort is going to have to come to a halt, which is bad news for the employees. However, thanks to an employee retention program, blandly dubbed “Stick Around and Come Back,” if employees do decide to stick around and come back, they can pick up a bonus of as much as ten weeks’ worth of their pay.
JC Hospitality’s CEO, Richard “Boz” Bosworth announced the program, explaining in a statement, “While many employees are sure to find work elsewhere, those who want to work in the new Virgin Hotels Las Vegas property will not be required to interview again for their previously held jobs. The ownership group and operating partners are committed to paying them to return and we want them to return.”
The new Virgin Hotel will, in theory, be ready for business before the end of next year, but everyone involved wanted a little extra cushion. While the upgrades, renovations, housecleaning and rebranding are scheduled to last eight months, a little leeway needs to be given for unforeseen surprises found during the process. Boz appropriately called it when he stated, “An approximate eight-month closure would be most efficient and ensure a timely opening prior to January 2021. We might be ready in October, but construction is an imperfect process.”
News of the bonus was welcome by many in the gaming industry in Las Vegas, and certainly is out of character. In what is often an anti-employee environment, Virgin founder and CEO Sir Richard Branson, as he usually does, is standing out from the crowd and establishing his own rules. Bethany Khan of the Culinary Union sees the bonus as a sign of possible changes coming to Vegas, telling the Las Vegas Review-Journal, “When workers know they are valued, they can provide the highest quality of service and hospitality.” Providing bonuses and showing employees they’re appreciated are great ways to show they’re valued.