As the situation continues to unfold, we are seeing A LOT of information shared and debated across various platforms (i.e. social media, news, etc).
Over the past few days I’ve kept my eye on one travel destination that generally feels the pressure a bit more than other locations when travel slumps – Las Vegas.
In this case Las Vegas is in the throes of a full-fledged crisis. Coronavirus has caused major conventions to cancel and many leisure travelers to bail on visits, sending hotel occupancy into a tailspin, and it’s likely to get worse before it gets better.
On Friday, MGM Resorts International announced there would be layoffs and furloughs starting this coming week.
Later that day, Wynn CEO Matt Maddox sent a video assuring workers their jobs were safe as the industry experiences a downturn from the coronavirus pandemic.
WYNN/ENCORE CLOSING CASINO?
Fast forward 48 hours and Vital Vegas just published what appears to be a leaked internal memo from Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox stating that both Wynn Las Vegas and Encore will close on March 17, 2020 (Tuesday) night at 6:00 PM local time and the closure is expected to last two weeks.
All full-time Wynn Las Vegas and Encore employees will continue to be paid during the shutdown, and a limited number of employees and management will remain at the properties to secure and maintain the facility.
I assumed Las Vegas was feeling the heat as many Las Vegas hotels closed their poker rooms and began temporarily canceling all large entertainment gatherings – including buffets, nightclubs and theater presentations late last week.
Both the Wynn Macau and Encore Macau were two of the properties in the Chinese territory to temporarily halt operations during a 15-day casino shutdown at the beginning the month. Additionally, its property in Massachusetts, the Encore Boston Harbor, is set to close to guests by 6 am EST today (Sunday).
MGM CLOSING CASINO TOO?
Just a few hours later MGM Resorts announced that it would close all casino operations at Las Vegas resorts as of midnight, March 16, 2020.
NOTE: MGM Resorts operate the Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, The Mirage, Luxor, New York-New York, Excalibur, and Park MGM. It also owns 50 percent of CityCenter, which includes Aria and Vdara.
As I’ve said in many of my other “coronavirus posts,” it’s getting dicey out there.
Las Vegas hotels closing poker rooms, buffets, nightclubs and theater presentations is one thing but closing the entire hotel is unchartered territory.
I think it’s also safe to assume that Caesars Entertainment – Bally’s, The Cromwell, Flamingo, The Linq Hotel and Casino, Paris, Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino, Rio All Suites Hotel and Casino, Caesars Palace, and Harrah’s – will follow suit too.
It also worth noting that there have been at least two confirmed cases of MGM employees with COVID-19 – one who worked at Luxor, another at Wet Republic pool – so there is understandably a bit of concern when there are, literally, thousands of tourists transiting through any one hotel daily.
Did anyone have plans to go to Las Vegas over the next two weeks (or near future)? What do you make of this?