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Las Vegas News:
Nov. 21, 1999.
Maxim closure set for Sunday
By Richard N. Velotta
LAS VEGAS SUN:
The Maxim hotel-casino is set to close its doors for good
Sunday, two weeks before anticipated, because a key
supplier won't service the property.
In a three-paragraph statement issued Friday, Maxim
executives said the 800-room off-Strip hotel would close
Sunday. Officials said the hotel's last guests would check
out by noon and the doors of the casino would close at 5
A memorandum issued to the hotel's 791 employees said
they would receive their last paychecks next Friday.
Ed Nigro, chief executive officer of Max Gaming LLC, the
lessor of the Maxim, said in the statement that the
property is closing down earlier than expected because
Mission Industries, the vendor that supplies all linens to
the hotel, would not continue to provide services on a
"Without these supplies, without the ability to replace
Mission (Industries') services and without the operating
funds from Premier Interval Resorts, the Maxim Hotel
must close prior to the lease termination date of Dec. 6,
1999," the statement said.
Andy Zimmerman, chief financial officer of Mission
Industries, said the company would not make any public
comment and would only correspond directly with Maxim
Nigro and his executive team were in meetings Friday
afternoon and could not be reached for comment.
Premier Interval Resorts, based in Dallas, also could not
Nigro said in October that Premier has refused since
August to provide the Maxim with $300,000 needed for
operating funds and won't explain why.
Nigro was scheduled to meet with Premier lawyers earlier
this month, but they didn't show up for the meeting and
Nigro said he wasn't contacted.
Premier said two weeks ago it was "in negotiations with
prospective operators to run the Maxim," but the company
hasn't issued any statements about who would run the
Nigro has said that he suspects Premier wants to default
on its financing agreement so that it can cancel long-term
labor agreements with six unions that have helped keep
the Maxim afloat. The unions have granted concessions
to Nigro in return for contracts running through 2003.
Nigro believes investors plan to buy the Maxim and reopen
it as a nonunion property.
The release issued Friday said Max Gaming has
repeatedly sought a transition plan with Premier in the
hopes of avoiding a shutdown, "however, each attempt
"There's no way to protect those jobs," said Jim Arnold, a
spokesman for the Culinary Union, one of the unions with
which the Maxim has a contract. "It's a sad situation
because the Maxim has been around a long time and
many of their employees have been on the job for 20
Arnold said the union has exhausted its legal efforts to
keep the hotel afloat and is now concentrating more on
seeing that employees are properly compensated and
placing some employees in jobs at other properties.
The Culinary was one of the participants in a recent job
fair for employees in which 27 companies interviewed
Maxim workers in an effort to find jobs for them.
Arnold said the closure of the Maxim is an example of the
down side of big resort openings.
"The bigger these properties get, the more smaller
properties are getting hurt," Arnold said. "It worries me to
death that we may see more closures in the future. It's
great when the new resorts open, they're fabulous and
they bring in a lot of tourists.
"But it's a shame that so many employees will be without
jobs, especially right before the holidays."
A memorandum to Maxim employees dated Friday said
employees' final paychecks would be distributed between
8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Nov. 26 at the hotel's front desk.
Wages for all hours worked through Sunday would be
paid, but vacation and "floating holiday" pay won't.
The memo said vacation and holiday accruals would be
submitted to Premier for payment. Employees also were
told they would receive instructions on how to file for
unemployment benefits when they receive their last
When the property closes Sunday, owners must be on
hand to see that critical sprinkler, alarms and fire-control
systems remain functioning, a Clark County Fire
Department spokesman said. The fire department is not
expected to be on site when the final closure occurs.
A spokesman for the State Gaming Control Board could
not be reached for comment on the shutdown procedure
for the casino's 700 slot machines and 22 table games.
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