31 Jul Navajo Gaming Extends Closure and Begins 2nd Phase of Temporary Layoffs
Navajo Enterprise Prioritizes Safety, Continues Seeking Funding
Flagstaff, Ariz. – The Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise (Navajo Nation Gaming) Board of Directors approved the continued closure of its four gaming properties in coordination with the Navajo Nation President and Vice President’s (OPVP) Executive Order No. 008-20 through at least August 16th. The first phase of layoffs of over 900 employees due to the limited financial position of the enterprise commenced on July 28th. The second phase of the layoffs an additional 140 team members will commence on August 4, 2020.
Navajo Nation Gaming has been closed for 19 weeks since it closed its doors on March 17th. Going into the closure, Navajo Nation Gaming was in a strong financial position with cash reserves earmarked for development projects and accelerating debt service payments. The enterprise redeployed these cash reserves as well as a relief funding from the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) to continue to pay 1,180 team members during this 19-week period. Funds are now running critically low and the enterprise is unable to continue paying all 1,180 team members.
Navajo Nation Gaming firmly believes that continuing to provide pay and benefits to our team members is absolutely essential during these uncertain times. Navajo Nation Gaming has been working closely with the Navajo Nation Office of the President and Vice President and the 24th Navajo Nation Council to receive financial assistance from the CARES Act, to continue to cover fixed operating expenses and payroll during the continued closure.
Navajo Gaming’s Human Resources team has worked with each team member to notify them how and when the temporary layoff will impact them. Simultaneously, Navajo Gaming Leadership continues to seek alternate funding and is ready to reopen as soon as safely possible.
Navajo Gaming Interim CEO Brian Parrish added, “Our team members are Navajo Gaming’s source of strength! We are very grateful for their patience and enduring commitment to our enterprise as we navigate through these difficult times. They are the reason we’ve been able to give back to the Navajo Nation and the Diné People for more than 10 years. We will continue to keep our team updated on our progress in securing the necessary funding to sustain our Enterprise and the safe reopening of our gaming operations.”
The Navajo Nation Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches continue to work tirelessly on reviewing and approving CARES Act funding allocations. If Navajo Gaming receives CARES Act funding, it would enable us to immediately return our Team Members from lay-off to an administrative leave with pay status and reopen when it’s prudent and have the resources needed to build the enterprise back up to pre-crisis business levels. Our Board of Directors and senior management team remain in constant contact with Navajo Nation Leadership to provide support and information throughout this process.
Navajo Nation Gaming is one of many Navajo Nation-owned and operated enterprises that is charged with the mission of creating jobs, increasing revenues and stimulating incremental economic development. To learn more visit www.NavajoGaming.com