Despite leaving the casino company that bears his name in 2018, Steve Wynn is still very much interested in the fate of twin properties on the Las Vegas Strip.
The Wynn and Encore, which staff an estimated 15,000 people, were the subject of a recent phone interview between Fox Business correspondent Maria Bartiromo and the former CEO of Wynn Resorts.
As the desire to reopen for business spurs executives from gaming companies to clamor for stay-at-home orders to be lifted, Wynn reaffirmed the general sentiment bluntly.
There’s an overwhelming impulse for people to return to their normal, habitual behavior. People are not going to accept being under house arrest, no matter what some governor says to them.
Wynn went on to speculate how complicated the logistics of reopening casinos would prove to be, noting that running an integrated resort can cost nearly $3 million per day.
If you open part of the hotel, which employees do you bring back to work? If you open the hotel, how many of the restaurants do you open? Do you cater to the conventions? And incidentally, when you have this huge employment base and you open enough restaurants to serve at least part of your occupancy, if you don’t fill those rooms, these hotels can lose millions of dollars a day.
He noted that the most important obstacle to overcome was the fallout from the airline industry effectively shutting down. Without people flying in to Las Vegas, Wynn believes the majority of out-of-state tourists will drive in from California.
Wynn Optimistic About Macau
Macau’s borders are currently closed to foreign tourists, but Wynn Resorts former CEO believes the company’s strategic positioning in the international gambling hub could prove advantageous.
With casinos currently open across the region, Macau could rebound well before Nevada-based companies can open their premier properties in Las Vegas. Wynn mentioned in his interview with Bartiromo that during the recession in ‘08, the company was able to survive based on how much income it was generating in China. More importantly, he noted the company never had to enact mass layoffs during that time.
Wynn Resorts New CEO Shares Reopening Plans
Matt Maddox, the current CEO of Wynn Resorts, recently penned an opinion piece titled “A Plan to Re-Open Nevada” for the Nevada Independent. In the op-ed, Maddox discusses the state’s economy, COVID-19 response, and the company’s reopening plans. Notably, he reveals Wynn Resorts anticipates paying furloughed employees salaries and wages to cost the company $3 million per day.
Recently, Wynn Resorts shared a 23-page document outlining the company’s new health and sanitation program. Employees will be provided with personal protective equipment (PPE) and receive training on how to properly dispose of used equipment. Resorts will also provide guests with masks should they arrive without their own.
The plan specifies that pools will still be accessible to guests. However, pool-side seating will be spaced to allow for social distancing. Interestingly, Wynn Resorts has decided to do away with valet services to decrease staff and guest interactions.
While it may be a while for things to actually return to “normal” for casinos, Wynn Resorts is hoping to reopen one of its two premier properties on the Strip. Regardless of whether it’s the Wynn or Encore that opens first, the company will reportedly keep its poker rooms closed for the foreseeable future.
Encore Boston Harbor, which Wynn Resorts opened in late June 2019, doesn’t have a reopening date. However, Maddox noted similar safety measures will be put in place to comply with guidelines provided by the state of Massachusetts.