Saracen Casino Resort said Thursday (Aug. 6) it will hire approximately 800 new workers in the next few weeks as it prepares for an upcoming grand opening in early October.
“The heart and soul of the resort property will be its team members, about 1,200 in all,” said John L. Berrey, the outgoing chairman of the Quapaw Nation, developers and owners of the upscale resort. “Of the entire development process – years of planning, building, the hard work, numerous challenges and all the excitement – these 1,200 jobs and the lives they impact are what mean the most to me. It really tugs at my heart.”
Berrey said there have been about 300 jobs in place since last October when the nearby Saracen Annex and Q-Store opened on the east side of Pine Bluff just off of U.S. Highway 65-B across from the Pines Mall. Additionally, more than 50 supervisor- and manager-level team members were recently added to prepare the various departments and training programs ahead of the resort’s opening.
Of the 800 new positions for hire, Berrey said most will require a pre-opening paid training period of one to two weeks, with some positions needing a 30-day paid training period.
Nearly half of the new workers will staff Saracen’s food and beverage department. There will be six restaurants and the lounge bars. Other positions currently hiring are for groundskeepers, parking attendants, information technology, and marketing. A hotel tied to the casino will open in 2021 and up to 70 more workers may be hired at that time.
Saracen is the newest casino in Arkansas. The Quapaw Nation won the casino license in Jefferson County after voters approved Amendment 100 in 2018 to expand casinos in the state. Two casinos are already in existence at Oaklawn in Hot Springs and Southland in West Memphis. A fourth casino license was recently awarded to Gulfside Casino Partnership for operations in Pope County.
“It’s the hospitality industry, and it’s about making every guest feel like he or she is the most important guest in the building that day,” Berrey said. “These are good jobs with good pay and benefits. Also they are the kinds of jobs that make you feel good about what you’re doing by treating every customer like a VIP.”