LVCVA Could Face $200M Loss from Coronavirus Pandemic

Las Vegas Convention CenterThe Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), which hosts many of Vegas’ massive annual conventions, trade shows, and more, could be facing an enormous economic loss due to the coronavirus crisis.

From room tax revenue alone, they expect to see a loss of nearly $200 million, according to their 2021 fiscal budget report.

With Governor Sisolak mandating the statewide closure of all casinos effective March 18 through April 30, as it currently stands, it effectively kneecapped room tax revenue across the state, with the LVCVA feeling the heavy impact of it.

According to LVCVA CEO, Steve Hill, the authority’s share of room tax revenue will fall from $300 million to around $100 million, a hefty drop indeed.

Because of the expected losses, Hill asked to reschedule the authority’s 2021 fiscal budget presentation for next month.

Hill and the entire authority were looking forward to the direction they were heading in for their 2021 fiscal year, saying that they were set to break records in “a number of different ways,” but that’s since changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Instead of an exciting fiscal year, one that the authority very much looked forward to, they’re not preparing for a year of hardships and the roadblocks ahead.

Room Bookings, Conventions, Meetings and Trade Shows Make Up Bulk of LVCVA Revenue

Here’s a fun fact: The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority actually inherit a whopping third of Las Vegas’ total room tax revenue. As far as where the other two-thirds of the room revenue is distributed, it goes to supporting local schools and infrastructure projects.

Room tax revenue is where the bulk of where LVCVA’s revenue comes from. Another major portion of their revenue, of course, comes from the conventions, meetings and trade shows hosted throughout the year.

Their events are primarily held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, which is going under some major renovations, and other scattered locations throughout the Vegas valley.

Conventions were one of the first things to take a major hit, outside of casinos, because of the coronavirus pandemic. Convention vendors, who normally have jobs lined up for months in a row because of the constant demand, are suddenly out of work.

With event cancellations and postponements, it’s uncertain and largely unlikely that these things will be rebooked with the current state of the pandemic. From these traditional events that have been either canceled or postponed, the LVCVA expects to lose out on nearly $60 million, according to Hill.

Hill predicts that even if meetings will be rescheduled, they will probably be in smaller numbers than what they’re used to seeing and hosting. He cites “health and safety” as being the prime motivation behind smaller event gatherings.

LVCVA Looking to Where They Can Make Budget Cuts

It’s no surprise that the LVCVA is looking to where they can cut costs to offset their economic loss.

Today, the board even approved a $79 million budget cut for its 2020 fiscal year.

As a part of the budget cut, the authority will be furloughing and laying off 350 employees. In an announcement made on Tuesday, LVCVA said the company is furloughing roughly 270 employees and laying off 80 employees.

In total, the organization has 455 employees, so this is a major announcement and company-wide effort being made to make up for losses incurred by the COVID-19 outbreak. That announcement is included in 11 other areas where major cuts are going to be made in an effort to salvage their budget.

Those other areas include the elimination of performance bonuses, which apply to managers and company executives, a hiring freeze, and voluntary early retirement for select employees.

LVCVA Ending Millions Worth of Contracts

In addition to budget cuts, LVCVA also announced that they would be ending $9 million worth of contracts with their tourism ambassadors. They’re also putting a halt to the $12 million worth of miscellaneous changes they had planned for their operations.

The $540-million renovation of the convention centers, that was set to be worked up for two years, will also be put on pause.

Two of their Major Projects Will Carry On Despite Budget Cuts

While the authority is making major changes to deal with revenue loss, two of their most visible projects, a $1 billion expansion project, and the $53 million underground people move project, are still hauling forward.

They’re still on track to wrap up later this year.

According to LVCVA Chairman Larry Brown, the second tunnel, which is located under the convention center’s main entrance, is about halfway done. He added that they’re on track to finish at a faster pace than anticipated.

Las Vegas Convention Center to be Used as Makeshift Medical Facility

While the Las Vegas Convention Center has been effectively rendered as non-operational with the current closures, Clark County leaders, along with the Southern Nevada Health District and the valley’s hospitals announced their plan to utilize it as an “alternate care center.”

The space will be used as a makeshift medical facility as needed for COVID-19 patients, should the hospitals experience an overwhelming surge of patients and maxed-out capacity.

According to Clark County Fire Chief, John Steinbeck, a plan has been prepared in partnership with Army Corps of Engineers to make up to 900 beds available at the Las Vegas Convention Center should the need arise.

Hill, the authority’s CEO, said that the Convention Center has been a community resource for years, and the coronavirus pandemic is “no exception.

Stay Tuned

Well, it’s certainly no surprise that the coronavirus crisis is rocking the Las Vegas economy in ways never seen or imagined before.

We commend the industry’s ability to fight the good fight and their resourcefulness in keeping their head above water.

While this is a trying time for the gaming and tourism industry, as well as many other industries, we have no doubt that Las Vegas will eventually bounce back even stronger than ever. We only hope that’s sooner than later.

Stay safe and healthy out there, everyone!

Las Vegas Convention Vendors Face Scarce Business due to Coronavirus Concerns

Las Vegas Convention CenterThe effects of the coronavirus in Las Vegas are starting to be seen more and more in recent weeks. With several of the Strip’s buffets temporarily closing, to industry workers being fearful of job security, as COVID-19 continues to expand, it continues to make its mark on the city.

Those who work for major conventions in Las Vegas are particularly feeling the impact.

Jesse Jenkins, an audio and video engineer in Las Vegas that sets up displays for big conventions, says work in the valley hasn’t been this scarce since the Great Recession.

Jenkins, who finishes up his work at the ConExpo-Con/Ag construction equipment show on March 17, which is being held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, says he has no further work to take on after his current job ends.

This is unusual for Jenkins, who says he is used to having work scheduled up to six weeks in advance.

And he’s not the only one. He’s noticed other convention workers in the field struggle to find work amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

As the coronavirus continues to grow, and the cases of those affected in Clark County go up (there are now four confirmed cases in the valley) more conventions are either canceling or postponing their scheduled events.

 

“Our work is looking pretty bleak the next two months,” Jenkins emphasized. “It’s scary.”

IATSE Local 720 Takes a Hit

IATSE Local 720 is the 1,700-member union who performs various behind-the-scenes work at various trade shows in Las Vegas. Their important work includes managing audio and visual effects, putting up monitors, LED walls, and whatever else is needed for the shows to run without a hitch.

Jenkins said the union started feeling the effects of the coronavirus impact about two weeks ago.

This dip in steady work comes from conventions pulling or altering plans, but not only that, for conventions that are still scheduled to take place, such as ConExpo, many exhibitors are abandoning ship.

When exhibitors pull out the last minute, it leaves a lot of the on-call union members with days without work.

“We’ve had 100-by-100-foot booths load in the show and then decide to cancel and leave,” Jenkins said. “The next couple of months, my membership will be hurting.”

Recent Convention Cancellations and Changes

National Association of Broadcasters 2020 trade show, Las Vegas Convention Center April 18 – 22 – The software firm, Adobe, joined five others who recently backed out of the upcoming trade show. The show is still scheduled to take place until further notice.

IWCE (International Wireless Communications Expo) 2020, scheduled to take place March 30-April 3 at the Las Vegas Convention Center – CURRENTLY POSTPONED.

SuiteWorld20, now scheduled to take place August 10 – 13 at The Venetian Resort and the Sands Expo Convention Center – Oracle NetSuite postponed the conference four months past their original planned date, which was April 20 – 23.

2020 Veterans Stand Down, scheduled to take place March 25 – CURRENTLY POSTPONED.

Channel Partners Conference & Expo, TBD, at The Venetian and Sands Expo – According to a recent statement made on Sunday, the event has been postponed “with the intention to announce a new date shortly.” It was originally scheduled to take place March 9- 12.

NXT Global Summit, the inaugural conference featuring the latest trends in technology and media, has been officially canceled. It planned to be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center on July 14-15.

Aruba Networks, an engineering company that planned to host an upcoming conference on March 23-27, has swapped its in-person event over to a digital, video event. According to the show’s website, their conference will be done via video, streaming and smaller local events “rather than an in-person event in Las Vegas.”

Atlassian Summit 2020 has also turned their in-person conference, scheduled to start March 31, into a remote event that will take place April 1-2.

Entire Industry is Hurting in Las Vegas

Noelle Haddad-McCann, president of TNG Models, a local modeling and talent agency that books models for a variety of shoots, events, and trade shows in the valley, says they’ve also been feeling the impact from the outbreak.

They’ve lost three bookings for events in the past week, and continue to see jobs being canceled.

The agency, who can get up to 15 inquiries on a typical Monday morning, says phone calls have slowed down this week.

“It seems like everything is just on pause,” Haddad-McCann said. “Companies are hesitant to contract new deals because nobody knows how this virus will affect our city over the next 4-12 weeks. … We’ve already seen a large decrease in new booking inquiries over the last week. It feels like nobody’s coming to Vegas.”

On-site massage service providers are also being affected since their business involved skin-on-skin contact. Las Vegas-based Professional Massage Inc. says March is typically their busiest time of the year, but that hasn’t been the case.

The company president, Tori Sadiki, says the massage therapists are noticing the dip in business.

“We’ve seen a small decrease over what we’d typically have this time a year,” Sadiki said. “It’s hard to tell because it’s a busy time for us anyway.” “We’re trying to be positive,” Sadiki continued. “It’s one of the busiest months for the city, so we’re hoping that carries us through.”

While industry professionals generally don’t expect that business will be impacted very long, convention members and other affected industry members are being encouraged to save in the meantime to help navigate current losses amid the current coronavirus scare.

Wynn’s New Convention Center is Finally Open

In 2018, Wynn Resorts has discussed plans to open a brand new convention center and meeting space. This week, Wynn’s new convention center officially opened to the public. Today, we’re going to talk about what this new center has to offer.Wynn Las Vegas Casino Logo

Wynn Resorts is working on several new projects right now. 2019 wasn’t great for the company and as of now, things don’t seem to be improving. This is the perfect time to check out where the company is headed this year.

Let’s get into it!

2019 Wasn’t Great for Wynn Resorts

For decades, Wynn Resorts has been considered one of the best casino companies in the world. It was founded back in 2002 by Steve Wynn, who served as CEO until very recently. Things starting going downhill in early 2018, when allegations of sexual abuse against Steve Wynn began to surface.

Several women came forward with stories of misconduct by the powerful CEO. At first, he vehemently denied the allegations. Eventually, he stepped down and sold all of his shares from the company. He then tried to stay out of the public spotlight.

These allegations hurt Wynn Resorts’ reputation. The company eventually filed a lawsuit against Mr. Wynn and ultimately received $20 million from the former CEO. Wynn Resorts eventually decided to name Matt Maddox as the company’s new leader.

Maddox had served as president of the company since 2013. He was promoted to CEO in a position that was expected to last until February of 2021. In December, the company decided to extend his role until 2022. He seems to be doing a good job.

Wynn Resorts has also struggled with some of its overseas properties. Macau, in particular, has been a tough market for the Las Vegas-based casino company. This doesn’t mean things are slowing down, though.

As we mentioned earlier, this company just finally opened its new convention space. Here’s what it has to offer.

Wynn’s New Convention Center Has Bookings Through 2028

Las Vegas is one of the country’s top convention destinations. There are a huge number of major conventions here that draw in thousands of visitors every single month. Since 2019, construction has been underway on Wynn’s new convention center.

This massive property has now officially opened to the public. It’s one of the most impressive convention centers in the city, with two stories and 430,000 square feet of space. It’s actually an extension of the current Wynn Meeting and Convention Space and features an 83,000 square-foot ballroom.

According to company officials, this is already a major success. This new convention center already has bookings lined up until 2028. The new setting of this venue, located directly next to the Wynn Golf Club, is also exciting for many convention-goers.

Chris Flatt, executive vice president of hotel sales and marketing, commented on the opening of this venue to the media this week.

“We were scheduled to open in March and we have a very high percentage of repeat business here and had several customers of ours that literally wanted to be the first groups in the hotels,” he said. “We actually opened about three weeks earlier than anticipated.”

Wynn’s new convention center is open to the public and is already hugely successful. Several other major Las Vegas companies are scheduled to open new convention space, as well. Unfortunately, Wynn’s operations in Macau don’t seem to be improving.

Macau’s Casino Closures Costing Wynn Resorts Millions Every Day

Wynn Resorts operates a huge number of major casino-resorts all across the country. It also runs several major resorts in Macau. This city struggled to attract gamblers in 2019 and things don’t seem to be improving thus far into 2020.

Last year, Macau was hurting due to the US-China trade war and protests in Hong Kong. Now, the Wuhan coronavirus is taking a toll on the city. As a way to prevent infection, leaders in Macau decided to close down all of the territory’s casinos.

This is taking a serious toll on gambling operators here. Wynn Resorts claims that it’s losing between $2.4-$2.6 million every day due to these closures. CEO Matt Maddox isn’t concerned, claiming the company can withstand the losses.

It’s unclear how long this will last for. Death tolls due to the coronavirus are increasing, yet infection rates seem to be dropping. Hope is that officials in Macau manage to stop the spread of this deadly virus before it hits even more countries.

Things aren’t all bad. Wynn’s new convention center is up and running and will likely earn the company serious revenue. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Macau reclaim its spot as the world’s most profitable gambling hub before long, too.

Stay tuned for more Las Vegas casino news over the next few months!