Windsor

Ongoing strike at Caesars Windsor hurting local tourism industry

The ongoing strike at Caesars Windsor will continue to hurt the tourism industry in Windsor and Essex County, after 53 per cent of casino employees voted 'no' to new deal presented to them on Friday.
Caesars Windsor is the biggest tourist attraction in the region. (Jonathon Pinto/CBC)

The ongoing strike at Caesars Windsor will continue to hurt the tourism industry in Windsor and Essex County.

About 53 per cent of the casino employees voted 'no' to new deal presented to them on Friday. In the last vote, 59 per cent voted to reject a tentative deal.

"It's very unfortunate and a very sad day for the tourism industry," said Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island CEO, Gordon Orr.

"Caesars Windsor is our number one tourist attraction so when that's taken out of play, it affects people's decision to come here," he said.

Orr said surrounding hotels have picked up some of the clients who lost their reservations due to the strike. "So, the downtown hotels in the interim have actually seen an influx of rooms by way of guests being displaced during the short term," he said.

But cancelled shows and fewer people to direct to other regional tourist spots has left a hole in the region's tourism industry. 

"When thousands of people go in there (Caesars Windsor) on a daily basis, they leave behind an economic footprint," he said.

Orr added the strike could also have an effect on future bookings. 

"The longer it's closed the more people will know of what's going on here and it's a small industry," he said. "And this sort of news will spread throughout it and people will be cautious if they are booking entertainment or events or conventions in a negotiation year where there's a potential that, at the last minute, your business will be displaced or cancelled."  

Despite this, Orr said he's confident that the casino's customers will return there when the strike is over.

"The good news about Caesars Windsor is that it's got the largest loyalty rewards program and they're very, very good to their guests,' said Orr. "There's no doubt in my mind that once Caesars Windsor is back up and running, they'll be rolling out the red carpet and VIP treatment to welcome back their loyalty members."

now