MGM Resorts Temporarily Closing Buffets Due to Coronavirus Fears

Las Vegas BuffetThe coronavirus continues to make its national impact. Many major events have been either canceled or postponed due to it, and more recently, the travel, hospitality, and food & beverage industries are now getting hit on the Las Vegas Strip.

On Tuesday, MGM Resorts International announced that seven of their Strip buffets will temporarily close as a response to the rampant coronavirus scares. Closure of the buffets at Aria, Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, The Mirage, Luxor, and Excalibur will go into effect this coming Sunday.

The statement that announced the closure advised that these changes “are temporary and will be evaluated on a weekly basis.”

In regards to the buffet closures, MGM Resorts International gave this statement to 8 News Now:

“The safety and health of guests and employees continue to be a top priority as the company works with local health officials on protocol and procedures during this time.”

While it’s unsure whether the buffet closures have anything to do with dropped occupancy levels at the various properties or the nature of gathered crowds with buffet dining, it is a reflection of MGM Resorts International prioritizing their customer’s safety and overall comfortability in these types of settings.

Safety Protocols of Strip Buffets that Will Remain Open

For Vegas properties that are choosing to keep their buffets open to the public, they are implementing safety protocols to ensure that cleanliness and sanitization methods are the highest priority.

Wynn Las Vegas, for example, announced on Wednesday that its buffet “will have stationed culinary staff at each food station to serve our guests, which eliminates the need for guests to touch serving utensils.”

The Wynn team is even taking it a step further to give their patrons peace of mind by “routinely cleaning all hard surfaces and have placed hand sanitizing stations at the entrance for guests to utilize prior to entry.”

Caesars Entertainment released a company statement saying that “Caesars buffets remain open and we are incorporating cleaning and hygiene protocols into the buffets as well as the rest of our operations across the company.”

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas to keeping a watchful eye on the development of COVID-19 concerns across the valley, in a continued effort to “assess and make adjustments as needed.”. They released a statement saying:

“We are actively monitoring the situation while following guidance and recommendations from the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).”

The Strat and Station Casinos have yet to respond to inquiries regarding any possible closures of their buffet or restaurant operations.

Coronavirus Affecting the Entire US

COVID-19 concerns have recently caused many cancellations and postponements of major events in the United States. Here’s a look at some of the biggest affected events:

Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade was canceled, while Chicago’s version of the parade has been postponed.

Austin’s SXSW festival, which brings over $300 million into Austin’s economy, was canceled. No refunds on those tickets were given, but the option to use the purchased tickets during 2021’s festival was given as a solution.

Billboard recently reported that Coachella and Stagecoach will postpone the two major music festivals until October.

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, known as the ASCAP Experience, canceled its annual conference in Los Angeles.

The New York City Half-Marathon, scheduled to take place on March 15, was canceled.

The Google Cloud conference, Google Cloud Next ’20, scheduled to take place April 6-8 in San Francisco, switched from being a physical event to a “free, global, digital-first, multiday experience.”

Chicago State University canceled two of its scheduled Western Athletic Conference basketball games. ESPN reported that these cancellations “are believed to be the first by a major sport in the United States due to the virus.”

On top of major events from the entertainment, music, and tech industries being affected, a slew of concerts from the country’s top musical performers have also been hit due to travel restrictions and general virus concerns.

Mariah Carey postponed her Hawaii show to November. Khalid’s Free Spirit World Tour has held back its entire Asia leg due to travel advisories. American rock back Green Day also canceled several of their tour dates in affected countries.