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Harrah's Cherokee Casinos 2020 Economic Impact Report

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In a time when it was needed most, Harrah’s Cherokee Casinos remained unwavering in their commitment to supporting employees and their local communities by showcasing their generosity, compassion and perseverance through the difficulties of 2020. 

Reflecting on the year, Brooks Robinson, Regional Senior Vice President & General Manager of Harrah’s Cherokee Casinos, emphasized the company’s stance on serving others. 

“No one could have predicted the events that would unfold in 2020, but I am proud of the way we pushed through the challenges we faced and continued in our efforts of being a good community partner and employer,” said Robinson. Every year we strive to give back to our local communities and show our employees how much they are appreciated; but this past year, more than ever, it was imperative for us to continue to serve others locally and be a support for our team members who give so much to the success of our business.” 

Community outreach is an important core value of Harrah’s Cherokee Casinos, so the company consistently looks for opportunities for its employees to volunteer with non-profit organizations in Western North Carolina. In 2020, employees of Harrah’s Cherokee Casinos and their families accumulated over 26,000 volunteer hours through the company’s H.E.R.O. (Harrah’s Employees Reaching Out) program. Employees volunteered with local organizations including Jackson County Neighbors in Need, Swain Cancer Support, Rotary Club of Asheville, Valley River Humane Society and Sarge’s Animal Rescue. 

In addition to their volunteer efforts, employees also made notable monetary contributions including a $23,900 donation to Lunchbox Heroes, a program that helps provide school lunches to students in Jackson, Swain, Graham, Cherokee, Haywood, Macon and Clay counties, and a $10,500 donation to PAWS Animal Shelter. Furthermore, Harrah’s Cherokee Casinos supported local non-profit organizations through sponsorship donations, totaling over $146,000 in cash and services for 2020. 

Harrah’s Cherokee Casinos continued to show its support to its employees as well. On Wednesday, March 18, 2020, the company temporarily closed its doors as a precautionary measure due to COVID-19. For the next month, Harrah’s Cherokee Casinos continued to pay its team members in an effort to help reduce financial burdens. For the year, the company disbursed over $183 million in salaries, wages and benefits for its 3,300 employees. 

Continuing their efforts to support the local economy and local businesses, Harrah’s Cherokee Casinos also paid over $35 million for contracts and services in addition to contracting over 43,000 area hotel rooms to help accommodate guests.