Caesar’s to Reopen The Rio Before 2021

Outside the Rio Casino in Las Vegas
The last of Caesars Entertainment’s more than five dozen casinos nationwide to remain shut down due to the pandemic will be making its return very soon.

Caesars first opened its key properties like Caesars Palace Las Vegas, Flamingo Las Vegas, Harrah’s Las Vegs, Paris Las Vegas, Bally’s Las Vegas, The LINQ Hotel + Experience, and Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. At the end of last month, The Cromwell also reopened as the final resort on the strip to do so. Now, only the off-strip The Rio remains closed, but not for long.

According to the gambling company, The Rio will return to serve its clients before the end of the year.Said Caesars Entertainment CEO Tom Reeg during Thursday’s quarterly earnings conference call:

“We opened Cromwell last week. I’d expect to see Rio open before the end of the year.”

Drop in Demand

The Rio closed last March when Las Vegas casinos were ordered nonessential businesses to shut down during the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Casinos were allowed to reopen last June 4th but on 50% capacity with social distancing measures put in place plus the mandatory wearing of face masks for guests and employees.

According to the Las Vegs Convention and Visitors Authority, midweek occupancy dropped to 39% in September, down 47% from the same month in 2019. On the other hand, weekend occupancy was reported at 66%, down 30% versus September 2019.

No Midweek Closures

Because of the slow demand, Wynn Las Vegas shut down Encore for midweek hotel bookings starting October 19th and closed its restaurants while the resort is closed from 2pm Mondays to 2pm Thursdays. Park MGM followed the lead, closing its hotel on weekdays beginning November 9th.

MGM isn’t joining the trend. Reeg says the MGM has an average overall occupancy of 60%- 50% during weekdays and mid to high 90% during weekends. Because of this, he says there is no need for them to enforce midweek closures as Vegas “continues to get better” for them.