MGM Resorts International is considering closing some of its Las Vegas Strip properties during the middle of the week. It is also keeping an eye on the possibility of operating on limited hours like other Strip casino operators like Wynn Resorts. The moves come as the demand in Las Vegas casinos continues to be low amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
During a quarterly earnings call, MGM CEO Bill Hornbuckle said:
“There are certain amenities, certain towers, certain brands potentially that could face closure from mid-November — give or take — through the holiday season.”
An MGM spokesman later clarified that the closures are not full property closures but only limited to midweek operations.
Las Vegas casinos have felt the effect of the slow tourism since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic last March. With a steep decline in airline travel, visitors have been few and rare in Sin City. According to a report, the arrivals at McCarran international airport declined by more than 60 percent in September 2020 as compared to the numbers of the same month last year.
Likewise, the falloff in group conventions has also taken its toll on the economy. Prior to the pandemic, Las Vegas was the convention capital of the world with over 22,000 conventions, exhibitions, and events per year The sharp drop in these events have heavily impacted midweek reservations.
Following The Lead
With scarce business, some LasVegas casino resort operators have decided to close during the midweek. For instance, starting October 19, Wynn Las Vegas and Encore are closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays due to low consumer demand. The resorts are open from 2pm of Thursday until noon time of Monday. It’s possible that MGM could follow their lead.
MGM reported a net revenue of $1B for the quarter ending September 30, 2020 which is down 66% from the revenues posted during the same period last year. The net loss attributed to the company was $535M or $1.08 per diluted share. During the third quarter of 2019, the company reported a net loss of only $37M. MGM’s Strip properties posted net revenues of $481M for the quarter which is a huge drop of 68% from the third quarter of 2019.