MADISON, Wis. — Potawatomi Hotel & Casino is laying off 1,600 employees from its Milwaukee facility due to a decline in tourism business due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Potawatomi had 2,600 employees before shutting down in March. About 1,000 people were brought back to work for the casino's reopening in June. The remaining employees will be laid off starting Aug. 15, Wisconsin Public Radio reported Friday.
"It's one that hurts," said Rodney Ferguson, CEO and general manager of Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, in a statement. "Those affected helped build Potawatomi Hotel & Casino into the most visited entertainment destination in the state of Wisconsin. That is not lost on members of business or tribal leadership."
Ferguson said the business will expand operations "as the science guides us and pandemic conditions dictate. Decisions will continue to be made in the best interests of guest and team member health and safety."
Earlier this month, Delaware North, which employs concession workers and vendors for Lambeau Field and Miller Park, announced 1,300 layoffs. Marcus Corp. also announced it would lay off 425 employees at its hotels in Wisconsin.
The number of positive cases for COVID-19 in Wisconsin topped 40,500 on Friday, with 833 deaths. The seven-day average of new cases was 822, the highest since the start of the pandemic in February.
The Madison School District on Friday announced that students will start the upcoming school year learning fully online, for at least the first quarter. The Wisconsin State Journal reported that district officials pledged the experience will be more robust than the distance learning offered in the spring as schools swiftly transitioned online.
Grading will return to traditional practices, attendance will likely be taken daily instead of weekly, and the learning model will emphasize more direct teacher-to-classroom instruction over video chat, administrators said.