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Resort job fair draws thousands in Concord

Thousands of out-of-work Charlotteans overwhelmed a job fair this afternoon hoping to be one of 500 people hired at a new resort in Concord. Deborah Hadden planned to spend about 30 minutes applying for jobs with the new Great Wolf Resort in Concord. But when she arrived at Lowe's Motor Speedway for the job fair this afternoon, she found a line of thousands and at least a two-hour wait outside. "If I don't find a job soon, I will lose my home, because I'm only receiving unemployment," says Hadden. "So that's why I'm out here in the cold, hoping to get a job." Out of work for 8 months now, Hadden is hoping for one of the administrative jobs at the resort, but says she'll take whatever they offer. "If it pays 10 bucks an hour, that's alright," says Hadden. "It's called surviving." About 500 jobs are available, ranging from front desk to food service to life guards at the new resort and water park set to open in April. Great Wolf General Manager Phil Cunningham says about 75 percent are full time positions with benefits. The company expected to see five thousand applicants over the three-day job fair. Within hours, today, they surpassed that number. He notes that's not surprising, though, since U.S. jobless claims hit a 25-year record in January and unemployment in the Charlotte area is now nearly 9 percent.