ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - The new Downs Casino and Racetrack is moving its neighbors to the front of the line a two-day job fair next week.
The casino at Central Avenue NE and Louisiana Boulevard is set to open in June, and hundreds of staff will be needed to run it.
Hiring starts Monday with the first day reserved for residents of the five ZIP codes surrounding Expo New Mexico, the state fairgrounds. On Tuesday the job fair opens up to all job seekers.
The job fair is being held inside the racetrack grandstands, site of the former casino.
"I think Albuquerque should be excited that they're getting a casino of their own right in the heart of Albuquerque here," Chief Operating Officer Scott Eldridge told KRQE News 13.
Construction on the $20 million, 65,000-square-foot casino is in the final stages of construction with plans to open in mid June.
Despite a controversial start amid claims of unfair dealings with the Downs lease , the project moved forward.
The new casino will have 700 slot machines, live horse racing simulcasts, a bar and a food court. The next step is hiring 400 workers.
"Plenty food and beverage positions from cashiers and servers to cooks and chefs, gaming positions, slot attendants, slot shift supervisors, slot tech positions. We have security positions," Eldridge said. "We want to embrace our neighbors and be a good neighbor, and I think best way to do that is have neighbors working with us."
Eldridge says people who live near the casino will get first dibs on the jobs.
"It's exciting new facility that we've been long waiting for," casino manager Sharon Lucero said.
More positions might become available later depending on how successful the casino is.
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