We’re now in May, which means it’s likely it won’t be too much longer that Las Vegas Strip casinos stay closed.
The statewide shutdown of casinos happened the second week of March and was originally only expected to stay in effect until the end of the month. But, the shutdown got extended to April 30, and now Nevada is under a phased reopening plan.
It’s been a necessary extension, with how fluid the coronavirus pandemic has been, and with the growth of cases in Nevada. However, government officials believe the state reached its peak around April 24.
With casinos preparing to reopen by implementing coronavirus safety protocols, MGM Resort executives are in talks over which of their properties they’ll likely reopen first.
In Thursday’s first-quarter earnings call, Acting MGM Resorts International CEO, Bill Hornbuckle, provided a glimpse into what visitors can expect from the chain, saying that New York-New York and Bellagio will most likely to be the first of the company’s Nevada properties to reopen when the time comes.
MGM Resorts has 13 outlets in Southern Nevada, to be exact, including City Center’s Aria and Vdara, Excalibur, Luxor, Mandalay Bay, Delano, MGM Grand, The Signature at MGM Grand, The Mirage, Park MGM, and 42.5% ownership of T-Mobile Arena.
MGM Releasing Reopening Strategy Within the Coming Weeks
According to Hornbuckle, MGM Resorts will be unveiling its reopening strategy in the coming weeks.
First reopening priority for the company? Ensuring that each of their unique properties is putting health and safety at the forefront of the operations. Hornbuckle says that the key to economic recovery will lie in their ability to build consumer confidence.
The company has been working with public health officials and experts in the epidemiology and biosafety fields to develop a set of safety protocols that will help provide the safest possible environment for staff members and guests.
Reopening measures will include social distancing, providing adequate personal protective equipment to staff, stringent sanitation of public areas and high-contact items, crowd management, and more.
MGM’s Will Move at a ‘Slow, Responsive, and Responsive’ Rate in Reopening
MGM will first reopen two or three properties first, namely Bellagio and New York-New York, to target different traveler’s budget.
The Bellagio is a luxury mid-Strip resort geared toward visitors who are looking for a more high-end experience of the Strip, as the property includes high-end shops, the famous Bellagio fountains, a conservatory and museum.
The New York-New York is a midprice hotel on the south end of the Strip that’s located close to T-Mobile Arena and Park MGM and includes a roller coaster, Irish pub, and arcade on property.
Hornbuckle says that after they reopen the first couple of properties, they’re going at a slow, responsive and responsible pace when it comes to opening the rest of their properties.
Of course, it will be dependent on how the Las Vegas Strip will fare in general with the reopening of casinos amid the pandemic that’s still currently going on.
MGM also advised that they would not be opening all of their restaurants at the hotels just yet and that they’ll be provided the options of takeout food and beverage.
What About Concerts, Sports Events, and Other Big Shows?
With the uncertainty of Las Vegas will fare once it reopens for business, it’s no surprise that Hornbuckle believes these types of events will be off the radar for the foreseeable future.
“I think the idea that we’re going to get 15,000 people in T-Mobile (Arena) for a concert anytime this year is probably a stretch,” Hornbuckle said.
Hornbuckle says MGM will likely start with smaller, more intimate performances when it comes time to reopening those specific entertainment outlets.