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Pandemic-related staffing shortages cause some temporary restaurant closures

Posted at 4:05 PM, Dec 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-31 00:38:03-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — New Year’s Eve is usually a big time of the year for Las Vegas restaurants but some are temporarily closing their doors this weekend because of staffing shortages and a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Whether it’s indulging your sweet tooth or grabbing some coffee, that’s what the Crepe Station is known for. Owner William Tejeda says the new year's holiday is normally a busy time for his business.

“It’s winter you know. We have crepes and we have coffee so people like it in this time.”

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But his location on Lake Mead is temporarily closed because he doesn’t have enough workers. Tejeda says the latest surge of COVID-19 cases has made an existing issue worse.

“We’ve been having trouble with people because they’re getting sick or they don’t want to work, so basically the whole year we’ve been dealing with this,” he said.

His business isn’t the only one feeling the effects. Lawry’s Las Vegas is also shutting down until the first week of January due to staffing issues. Good Pie in downtown Vegas is closing down until New Year’s Day due to positive cases among workers. Tejeda says closures like these ensure current employees aren’t overworked with service and quality not compromised for customers.

“You want to give the best to the customers and if we’re short, we can’t do that,” he said.

Financial advisor Jason Baucom says this time of the year will draw hundreds of thousands of visitors to Las Vegas.

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“It’s the biggest holiday of the year where you find the most amount of people traveling to Las Vegas as a destination,” he said.

Baucom says businesses closing right now will be taking a big hit.

“It unfortunate that business will be temporarily closed for New Year’s Eve because that one day in December makes their whole month and gets it starting right for the following year. It is a definite blow to their financial well-being,” he said.

Tejeda says he’s lucky to have two other locations staying open to accommodate crowds, but knows other restaurants aren’t so lucky. He has a message for any visitors.

“Support all the small businesses here because we don’t want to close it down. We want to close temporarily but not forever,” he said.

Tejeda says he hopes to reopen this location in about 2-3 weeks once he is able to hire enough people.