MGM MIRAGE announced today
that plans for recovery and rebuilding its Beau Rivage Resort in Biloxi, MS
are underway. As the assessment process has begun, the company will commit to
rebuild the resort, utilize employees in recovery and reconstruction wherever
possible and aid impacted employees.MGM MIRAGE Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Terry Lanni and other
senior executives toured the Beau Rivage site on Tuesday, evaluating damage
with experts, discussing recovery strategies and meeting with impacted
employees as they picked up payroll checks and information on benefit
adjustments enacted to aid their plight.
“Viewing the devastation is something I will never forget,” said Mr.
Lanni. “What has happened to this community is unimaginable, but we are
committed to our employees and neighbors.”
Recovery and Rebuilding
Bobby Baldwin, President and CEO of Mirage Resorts, who also toured the
damaged resort on Tuesday said, “We plan to rebuild and rebuild quickly.
While we will take the time necessary to carefully assess the situation, we
are also dedicated to identifying the fastest way to rebuild and restart the
Gulf Coast economy and the lives of our employees and their community.”
To date, MGM MIRAGE has invested some $800 million in Beau Rivage. The
resort is considered by many the crown jewel of the Gulf Coast gaming
industry. With the announced rebuilding program, MGM MIRAGE will have
invested more than $1 billion in the Gulf Coast region once the hotel
Workers have already cleared most of the mud and debris from Beau Rivage
so assessment of the structural integrity and essential systems such as
electricity, plumbing and HVAC can begin.
“Massive numbers of man-hours and labor will be required to restore Beau
Rivage and the Biloxi area in general,” said Mr. Baldwin. “We plan to utilize
Beau Rivage employees wherever possible.”
Already more than 70 employees have been repositioned to recovery jobs
with contractors performing the initial restoration activities. “We currently
have 300 such positions available and will continue to fill these with our
employees wherever possible,” Mr. Baldwin noted.
During the height of Hurricane Katrina, MGM MIRAGE positioned staff in
four states preparing recovery efforts in anticipation of the storm’s passing.
In addition to call centers and a check-in website established last week
to answer employee questions, Tuesday saw the opening of the Beau Rivage
Recovery Center on the grounds of the Beau Rivage employee parking lot.
Payroll checks are being distributed from the Recovery Center to employees
still in the area. Checks are being shipped overnight to those who cannot
pick them up in person.
“We’ve been able to open a Dining Hall that is serving meals to employees
and their families. We will continue to increase the quality and capacity of
our assistance as local infrastructure permits. We expect to triple the number
of meals we can serve in the next few days,” said Mr. Baldwin.
A Job Center to match available workers with open positions at other MGM
MIRAGE properties will soon be up and running at the same location. “For any
employees who wish to relocate, we will absorb as many employees as possible
into our Nevada operations,” Mr. Baldwin said.
All appropriate remaining items in Beau Rivage retail warehouses, i.e.
clothing, will be distributed to employees and their families.
Beau Rivage employees have remained on payroll with full benefits since
the closure of the resort more than a week ago. There has been no
interruption in payroll or benefits.
With regard to future employment status, Mr. Lanni announced a commitment
to pay employees for 90 days from today.
“We have determined that we will be able to extend payroll and benefits to
our 3,400 Beau Rivage employees for an additional 90 days,” he said. “This
includes all earned vacation, including additional vacation earned during the
next 90 days as well as continuation of full health insurance for those 90
days. Finally, we are committed to rehiring all Beau Rivage employees when
the resort reopens.”
Adjustments in employee benefits also have been made to aid employees
through the disaster. Co-payments on medical, dental and prescription drug
claims are being waived. “Out of Network” restrictions on doctors and
pharmacies have been lifted so employees can seek medical attention and fill
needed prescriptions in whatever community they have found shelter. The
company also will continue to provide 401K matching contributions during this
Extending efforts beyond employees and into the Biloxi community, MGM
MIRAGE has announced all outstanding vendor invoices will be honored in full.
MGM MIRAGE announced a $1 million seed donation to the company’s
employee-funded Voice Foundation. The company also will match, without limit,
dollar-for-dollar every employee donation made by its 70,000 member workforce
through the end of the year.
These funds will be devoted to Beau Rivage employees and their families to
aid in their efforts directed at their long-term recovery needs.
“The gaming industry completely turned around the Gulf Coast economy over
the past decade. This region will continue to look to our industry to create
economic activity. We plan to uphold our commitment to these communities in
this extraordinary time of need,” Mr. Lanni said.