Judy Bagley, a casino cashier who traded chips for cash and vice versa, found out about recession's toll another way.
"My supervisor came and said I had to close the booth and she was going to count me out and I was to go and meet with the manager and director," Bagley told CNN. "When I went up there they said my services were no longer needed and my job was being eliminated."
So three months ago, after more than 28 years at Fitzgeralds, she was out of work.
At Fitzgeralds the motto is "Luck of the Irish." But, by the numbers, this is hardly a lucky time in Vegas:
- Nevada's unemployment rate is 10.4 percent.
- The number of visitors arriving in Vegas by plane in March 2009 was down nearly 12 percent from March 2008, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.
- Attendance at Las Vegas conventions was off 30 percent in that same March to March comparison.
- And the average daily hotel room rate -- they drop when the vacancy rate is up -- was down more than 31 percent in the city's March 2008-March 2009 comparison.
"These are times completely different than anything I have experienced in my lifetime," Mayor Oscar Goodman told CNN in his City Hall office. "I didn't see this coming, and when it hit it hit virtually overnight."
Read the entire story at CNN.com www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/05/22/sotu.veg