Major resorts on the Las Vegas Strip are now closing in response to the spread of coronavirus.
Wynn Resorts will close its two luxury hotel-casinos on the Strip for two weeks starting Tuesday. MGM will cease casino operations on Monday and will completely close its properties on Tuesday.
“Despite our commitment to dedicating additional resources for cleaning and promoting good health, while making difficult decisions to close certain aspects of our operations, it is now apparent that this is a public health crisis that requires major collective action if we are to slow its progression,” Jim Murren, Chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts, said in a statement.
Murren added, “This is a time of uncertainty across our country and the globe and we must all do our part to curtail the spread of this virus. We will plan to reopen our resorts as soon as it safe to do so and we will continue to support our employees, guests, and communities in every way that we can during this period of closure.”
The company announced the closures of Wynn Las Vegas and Encore after Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak ordered that all K-12 public schools in the Clark County School District close.
After two weeks, the company will evaluate the situation, according to a release sent to investors. Some employees will stay at the properties to maintain facilities and security.
MGM will not take reservations for new arrivals prior to May 1.
The closures follow the suspension of several hotel amenities at Wynn Las Vegas, including the buffet, poker room, sports books, clubs, spas, salons and fitness centers.
COVID-19 has led to slowed demand and unprecedented disruptions along the Las Vegas Strip tourism corridor – financial fallout now leading to layoffs and furloughs for thousands of workers.
Employees will still get paid at Wynn
Wynn CEO Matt Maddox announced in a video shared with employees that economic hardships will intensify for the company.
“Based on what we’re seeing, our business volumes are going to be basically empty over the next few weeks,” Maddox said. “Our hotel occupancy will be in the low teens – and that, to me, is not our concern. What our concern is that we all get through this together.”
But Wynn employees won’t have to worry about pay, Maddox said.
“What we’re going to do through these challenging times is make sure that all of our full-time employees – whether you’re in a closed outlet or you’re working here – will be getting their pay,” he said. “We don’t know where this is going to end, but we do know that it will.”
Wynn Resorts announced Saturday that Encore Boston Harbor will close to the public for two weeks on Sunday.
Will the rest of the Strip follow?
Wynn’s decision to close luxury properties in Las Vegas could be an indication of what’s in store for the rest Las Vegas Strip.
Facing the intensifying spread COVID-19 across the U.S., MGM Resorts International last week closed three hotel-casinos in three states: New York, Massachusetts and Ohio before announcing its Las Vegas decision on Sunday.
Several employees there have tested positive for COVID-19. One worked at the Luxor Hotel & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip, according to MGM spokesman Brian Ahern. Another worked at the Wet Republic pool at the MGM Grand.
“We expect that there will be more in the coming days,” MGM Resorts President Bill Hornbuckle wrote in a letter to employees announcing layoffs would start next week.
© 2020 The Columbus Dispatch
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.