Billionaire Tilman Fertitta said he’s had to temporarily lay off roughly 40,000 workers at his casino, hotel and restaurant empire to limit the economic damage caused by government-imposed shut-downs.
He said restaurants and casinos could be allowed to operate at 30% to 40% of capacity to soften the economic impact of the restrictions and allow companies to stay in business.
‘Have to Survive’
The owner of the National Basketball Association’s Houston Rockets said he has been talking with banks about potentially raising as much as $200 million of additional liquidity “as a little bit of insurance.”
Still, he’s confident his businesses have access to enough cash to ride out the current volatility and he’s even considering buying back some of Golden Nugget’s debt when things begin to rebound.
”As soon as I see us making the turn and everything is going to reopen we are
100% going to buy back our debt,” he said. “I see that as a great opportunity.”
For now, all of Fertitta’s casinos have been ordered to shut and even the restaurants that are operating by offering take-out are only bringing in 4% to 5% of their typical business. His company has been burning through a few million dollars of cash per day, he added.
“We are doing basically no business,” Fertitta said. “I want to hire every employee back. This is very hard on a lot of working families but we have to survive or there is no company.”