“Coronavirus: When will Nevada's hotel-casinos reopen? - Reno Gazette Journal” plus 3 more

“Coronavirus: When will Nevada's hotel-casinos reopen? - Reno Gazette Journal” plus 3 more


Coronavirus: When will Nevada's hotel-casinos reopen? - Reno Gazette Journal

Posted: 25 May 2020 06:11 AM PDT

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Casinos throughout Nevada were closed Wednesday, along with other nonessential businesses, following an unprecedented order from Gov. Steve Sisolak. He urged residents to stay home to help curtail the spread of the new coronavirus. (March 18) AP Domestic

LAS VEGAS – The pandemic has turned Nevada's premier tourist destinations into deserts of uncertainty. 

No one can say when COVID-19 will loosen its grip or when the economy might rebound, but everyone longs for the day it might leave as quietly as it came and vacations can resume.

On Friday, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak announced the target date to reopen Nevada's gaming industry is June 4, pending an evaluation in the state's COVID-19 data and the results of a meeting with the Gaming Control Board on Tuesday.

Many resorts are already accepting reservations. 

Here's what we know about how hotel-casinos are angling to reopen in Nevada. The RGJ will update this list as more information becomes available: 

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Las Vegas

MGM Resorts

MGM Resorts has not announced official dates for properties.

The company revealed it won't open all hotels at once – but rather start with two or three targeted at different traveler budgets. 

New York-New York Hotel & Casino is already accepting reservations for June 1.

These properties are accepting bookings for July 1, according to property booking websites:  Mandalay Bay, Delano, Luxor, Excalibur, Park MGM, MGM Grand, Aria, Vdara, Mirage and Bellagio.

Caesars Entertainment

Rather than opening all properties at the same time, the chain will first welcome guests to Caesars Palace and the Flamingo Las Vegas.

"Reopening Las Vegas in a phased approach will be a significant milestone for Caesars Entertainment as the country continues to emerge from this necessary closure period," said Tony Rodio, CEO of Caesars Entertainment in a statement.

Both Caesars Palace and the Flamingo will offer hotel rooms, dining options and access to pools – as well as slot machines and table games.

The websites of these properties are taking reservations: Caesars Palace, The Cromwell, Harrah's, LINQ, Paris, Bally's, Flamingo and Planet Hollywood.

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Wynn Resorts

CEO Matt Maddox said Wynn and Encore could open in late May, but data must first show it is safe to do so.

"That is assuming we stay in line with the benchmarks and that the environment is safe for customers and for all of our employees," Maddox said.

While no opening date has been decided, Wynn is taking reservations starting June 1.

Las Vegas Sands

The Venetian Resort is taking reservations for stays starting June 1.

Las Vegas Sands Corp. plans to open its two properties in phases. First the Venetian tower will open – and then the Palazzo tower at a later date.

Station Casinos 

Station Casinos also plans to reopen casinos in phases, but no opening date has been announced.

Red Rock, Green Valley Ranch, Palace Station, Sunset Station, Boulder Station, Santa Fe Station, and Wild Wild West are taking reservations starting June 1. 

 Fiesta Rancho, Fiesta Henderson and Texas Station are not accepting reservations. 

Station Casinos will hold off opening Palms, Fiesta Henderson, Fiesta Rancho and Texas Station until data reveals how business is doing in the wake of COVID-19.

Boyd Gaming 

The websites of Fremont Hotel, Aliante, Sam's Town, Suncoast, The Orleans and California Hotel are accepting reservations for stays starting June 1. 

Gold Coast and Main Street Station are not accepting bookings at this time, according to their websites.

"We are optimistic that we will be able to reopen most of our properties over the next several weeks," Boyd CEO Keith Smith said in a press release, "and we look forward to offering our guests a safe and enjoyable entertainment experience."

The Strat

The north Strip resort formerly known as the Stratosphere is taking reservations on its website for stays starting May 29. 

The Cosmopolitan

The Cosmopolitan is taking reservations starting June 4, according to the property's website.

Sahara Las Vegas 

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Sahara Las Vegas is taking reservations starting June 1, according to its website.

Reno

Atlantis, EldoradoSilverLegacy and CircusCircus are accepting reservations for June 1. 

Grand Sierra Resort and Casino is accepting reservations for stays starting May 29, but the company's plans will be subject to announcements from the governor's office about reopening measures. 

The Peppermill announced a tentative June 1 reopening date in an email sent to its frequent guests.

The hotel-casino will implement extensive safety training and also test its employees prior to re-opening. Peppermill employees will be required to wear masks at all times, with guests also being encouraged to do so. 

Sparks

The Nugget Casino in Sparks announced on Thursday that it will resume operations soon, with added health and safety protocols in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Lake Tahoe

The Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe also announced that it will resume hotel operations on June 4.

"We couldn't be more excited to welcome back our guests and community," the hotel-casino posted on its Facebook page: and will be taking enhanced steps in order to ensure your safety and wellbeing while on-site.

Contributing: Jason Hidalgo, Reno Gazette Journal. 

Ed Komenda writes about Las Vegas for the Reno Gazette Journal and USA Today Network. Do you care about democracy? Then support local journalism by subscribing to the Reno Gazette Journal right here

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MGM Resorts: Hotel-casino layoffs could become permanent Aug. 1 - Reno Gazette Journal

Posted: 20 May 2020 09:01 AM PDT

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Casinos throughout Nevada were closed Wednesday, along with other nonessential businesses, following an unprecedented order from Gov. Steve Sisolak. He urged residents to stay home to help curtail the spread of the new coronavirus. (March 18) AP Domestic

LAS VEGAS – An unprecedented economic slowdown in the wake of coronavirus forced MGM Resorts International to temporarily lay off nearly 63,000 resort workers.

But some of those furloughs may become permanent cuts, according to a company letter sent to Nevada employment officials last week.

"We were optimistic at the time of the initial layoff in March that we would be able to reopen quickly," wrote MGM Resorts' Senior Vice President of Human Resources Laura Lee in a May 11 notice to the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation. "However, we have had to reassess our reopening date given the duration and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic."

Given the unknown nature of COVID-19 and how it might spread in coming months, MGM Resorts can't promise employees will keep their jobs. 

"Our sincere hope continues to remain that this layoff is temporary," Lee Wrote, "but in light of the continuing pandemic and our extended closure, we are unable to say that the layoff may not last more than six months for at least some portion of our employees."

The expected date of separation for the undisclosed number of workers is Aug. 31, according to the notice.

Read the full letter here: 

The letter came days after a company earnings call revealed the depth of economic fallout and the extent of layoffs that put tens of thousands out of work.

"The most difficult step," said MGM Resorts acting CEO Bill Hornbuckle in the call, "was to furlough nearly 63,000 employees. This was painful and it's a hard decision to make, but we are actively preparing for the day that we can welcome them back."

Yet the notice to Nevada officials warns that many of those employees may not return.

"Although we continue to remain hopeful that this layoff is temporary," Lee wrote, "we are unable to assess a more specific return to work date, and we are providing your agency this notice that the layoff beginning during the 14-day period from March 2, 2020 through March 15, 2020, may continue beyond six months and/or could be permanent."

In a May 5 letter to employees, Hornbuckle announced all furloughed employees enrolled in the company's health plan will receive continued benefits through August 31. 

Read Hornbuckle's full letter here: 

MGM Resorts, operator of a dozen properties in this gambling and entertainment capital, forecasted a grim financial future: significant decrease in revenue, cancellation and non-booking at hotels, restaurants and entertainment events – as well as postponements and cancellations of convention bookings.

The spread of COVID-19 staggered stock prices of Las Vegas casino companies like MGM Resorts. In late February, the company's stock price hovered around $32 per share.The stock today is less than half that. 

While some companies anticipate opening on June 1, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak has not ruled out reinstating stricter virus-prevention measures if there's a spike in new COVID-19 cases or hospitalizations.

Nevada has started the first phase of its COVID-19 recovery plan, softening a mid-March shutdown on certain nonessential businesses. Sisolak has yet to offer a firm timeline for moving on to the second phase of the reopening blueprint.

As hotels plan reopening dates, COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Nevada

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nevada crested 7,000 on Tuesday, increasing to 7,046.

That's a jump of 140 cases over what was reported Monday, according to new numbers posted to the Nevada Health Alliance dashboard.

The number of deaths in the state remains at 365.

Ed Komenda writes about Las Vegas for the Reno Gazette Journal and USA Today Network. Do you care about democracy? Then support local journalism by subscribing to the Reno Gazette Journal right here

Read or Share this story: https://www.rgj.com/story/news/2020/05/19/mgm-resorts-las-vegas-casino-layoffs-could-become-permanent-aug-1/5221383002/

A look at when and how Nevada casinos plan to reopen - The Nevada Independent

Posted: 21 May 2020 02:00 AM PDT

Although most retail businesses in the state were allowed to open May 9 to in-person service with extra precautions as part of the state's "Phase 1" reopening, casino resorts were noticeably excluded.

While gambling is at a standstill — losing the state general fund an estimated $160 million in gaming taxes this fiscal year and costing the state countless more dollars in economic activity — gaming regulators have taken some preliminary steps toward reopening.

Last week, licensed operators received a notice allowing them to open on-site restaurants within specific guidelines. The Nevada Gaming Control Board scheduled an informational workshop for Tuesday to hear from state and health officials about readiness for reopening and possibly take action.

Gov. Steve Sisolak has announced June 4 as a target date for reopening Nevada's gaming industry, though whether casinos are actually allowed to open will depend on continued positive trends in the state's COVID-19 data and the results of the Tuesday Gaming Control Board meeting. In the meantime, regulators are requiring companies submit reopening plans that incorporate some baseline health and safety measures.

Many companies have publicly released details about how they'll do things differently once they reopen. Here's what we know about the plans of some of the largest casino companies in Nevada. If you have suggested updates, send an email to [email protected]

Casino Companies

MGM

Properties: Mandalay Bay, Delano, Luxor, Excalibur, New York-New York, Park MGM, Aria, Vdara, Mirage, Bellagio, MGM Grand

Reopening date: Unknown. The New York-New York is accepting room reservations with check-in dates as early as June 1.

Details: CEO Bill Hornbuckle said on an earnings call last month that the company won't open all resorts at once, but will start with a few catered to different price points. 

He pointed to mid-priced New York-New York and higher end Bellagio as the likely first two. 

"Then from there we're talking about what other properties should open, if any, at that point in time," he said, according to USA Today. "We'll go slow. We'll be responsive and responsible."

The company announced on Twitter that free parking will be available at resorts after they open, a shift from a recent move to charge for self-parking.

Status of employees: In early April, MGM Resorts CEO Bill Hornbuckle said the company has furloughed about 60,000 employees — the vast majority of its workforce outside of Macau.

Hornbuckle said in an interview with CNBC's Contessa Brewer that the company has 82,000 employees worldwide. About 13,000 work in Macau, and 69,000 don't.

"It's been devastating," Hornbuckle said about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Upon news of the state-mandated closures, MGM Resorts announced it would pay employees for two weeks and pay health insurance premiums through August. Many of the furloughed employees are on unemployment.

Caesars Entertainment

Properties: Caesars Palace, Harrah's, LINQ, Paris, Bally's, Flamingo, Planet Hollywood, The Cromwell

Reopening date: Unknown. Caesars Palace is taking reservations for hotel stays with check-in as early as May 29.

Details: Caesars said on May 21 that it would be reopening Caesars Palace and the Flamingo and the "on the date and time for reopening specified by the State of Nevada." Some stores and restaurants in the Caesars-owned LINQ Promenade would also be reopening, as well as the High Roller Observation Wheel.

Some amenities will not be available immediately upon reopening, including live entertainment, bars, spas, buffets and valet parking. 

Fees for self-parking have been suspended.

Caesars-owned casinos elsewhere in the country are starting to open, including properties in Arizona and Louisiana, but no date has been provided for Nevada casinos. 

"Our casinos are beginning to reopen around the country," the company said on its website."The precise date casinos are permitted to open will vary from state to state and is dictated by government or tribal officials in each jurisdiction."

Last week, the company said it would be opening up resorts in phases based on customer demand. 

Status of employees: Caesars Entertainment announced April 2 that it was furloughing about 90 percent of its employees in 13 states. The company employs about 64,000 workers in its U.S. and international resorts. 

It paid employees for the first two weeks of the shutdown and is paying employee health insurance premiums until June 30 or when employees return to work. Many employees are drawing unemployment benefits.

Wynn Resorts

Properties: Wynn, Encore

Reopening date: Unknown. Officials project late May. The company has said that restaurants Allegro, Jardin, Lakeside, Mizumi and SW Steakhouse will reopen May 29 and include special "Welcome Back to Wynn" three-course, prix-fixe menus.

Details: CEO Matt Maddox told employees in a video May 6 that he thinks the company could be ready to reopen by the end of May. 

"We've been working very closely with the state and local officials, as well as the gaming control boards, to contemplate when it would be safe for when to begin to reopen," he said in the video posted on Twitter. "While I can't guarantee that we're going to be opening at the end of May, it is really dependent on the science and the data coming out. We are preparing for that eventuality."

Status of employees: Employees have been paid throughout the shutdown and will continue to be paid through the end of May, Maddox said on the video. There are about 15,000 employees covered by the pay extension.

Las Vegas Sands

Properties: Venetian, Palazzo

Reopening date: Unknown. The Venetian is taking reservations for arrivals starting June 1.

Details: As part of a phased reopening, the Venetian resort will be the first to reopen, followed by the Palazzo, the company announced Tuesday. The company said it will be performing COVID-19 testing on employees over a two-week period to prepare for welcoming guests again.

The company is launching a "Share the LOVE" program which donates a free night at The Venetian to a frontline "community hero" or first responder for every room night booked through the program.

Status of employees: Las Vegas Sands plans to continue paying its estimated 9,300 workers until its "anticipated reopening in June," according to a company statement.

Station Casinos

Properties: Red Rock, Green Valley Ranch, Palace Station, Sunset Station, Boulder Station, Santa Fe Station, Texas Station, Fiesta Rancho, Fiesta Henderson, Wild Wild West, Wildfire casinos

Reopening date: Unknown. Hotels are taking reservations for stays beginning June 1.

Details: CEO Frank Fertitta III, who leads the company that focuses on locals rather than tourists, said in early May that the first properties to reopen would be Red Rock Resort in Summerlin, Green Valley Ranch Resort in Henderson, Santa Fe Casino in North Las Vegas, Boulder Station, Palace Station, Sunset Station, and the company's smaller Wildfire properties, according to CDC Gaming Reports.

Another four casinos, including Palms, Fiesta Henderson, Fiesta Rancho, and Texas Station, would reopen at an undetermined date "once we have a chance to assess how our business is performing in a post-COVID-19 world."

Status of employees: Station Casinos had committed to paying its employees through the much of the shutdown, but announced May 1 that it would need to do layoffs. Company leaders said employees affected by the layoffs would still be paid through May 16 and those who were affected would be paid through at least May 31.

According to notifications that Station Casinos filed with the state, the layoffs were expected to affect 6,434 of its 14,000 employees.

Boyd

Properties: Aliante, Gold Coast, Sam's Town, Suncoast, The Orleans, California Hotel, Fremont Hotel, Main Street Station

Reopening date: Unknown. The Aliante is taking reservations for stays beginning June 1.

Details: Boyd started reopening casinos in Louisiana and Mississippi on May 20 and 21. 

The company said in a press release on May 18 that it would provide updates on additional reopenings as information becomes available. 

"We are optimistic that we will be able to reopen most of our properties over the next several weeks, and we look forward to offering our guests a safe and enjoyable entertainment experience," said Keith Smith, Boyd Gaming's president and CEO. 

Status of employees: 

Boyd paid staffers during the shutdown through April 10, and maintained their health coverage through June 30 or when they return to work, whichever arrives sooner. But they put most of their workers on unpaid furlough. 

"Implementing furloughs was a last resort for us, but a necessary step to protect our company, especially given the current lack of visibility regarding property re-openings," Boyd President and CEO Keith Smith in a statement.

Boyd has about 25,000 employees at 29 properties in 10 states.

Blackstone

Properties: The Cosmopolitan

Reopening date: Unknown. Customers can make room reservations for stays starting June 4.

Details: On its website, the casino says it "will remain temporarily closed until further notice." The resort will discontinue parking fees but will keep its resort fee when it reopens, according to Eater Vegas

Status of employees:

The Cosmopolitan paid full-time employees through mid-April and extended health benefits through June 30, but announced in early April that it was furloughing most of its employees through the duration of the shutdown, according to KSNV

Golden Entertainment

Properties: The STRAT Hotel, Arizona Charlie's; Aquarius Casino Resort and Edgewater Hotel & Casino Resort in Laughlin.; Pahrump Nugget, Gold Town Casino and Lakeside Casino & RV Park in Pahrump; PT's Taverns, Sean Patrick's, Sierra Gold and SG Bar

Reopening date: Unknown. Five PT's taverns in Southern Nevada and one in Reno reopened May 19 for dine-in service as well as curbside pickup and delivery, but with limited hours instead of the usual 24-hour schedule, no bar seating and no gaming.

Details: The company announced its "Golden Commitment" plan on May 21 detailing its upgraded health and safety protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Status of employees: The company's various subsidiaries notified the state of thousands of layoffs that were expected to begin mid-March. 

It wasn't immediately clear how many employees the company has in Nevada and whether they received any pay from the company during the furlough.

Sahara

Properties: Sahara Las Vegas

Reopening date: Unknown. Customers can make room reservations for stays starting June 1.

Details: The company announced May 21 that it expects to implement a "phased approach to re-opening" and would be implementing a "SAHARA Cares" program with hundreds of new sanitation protocols.

Status of employees: The Sahara announced March 16 that it was making "drastic cuts to its operations" including a "temporary reduction of workforce" but that it would "maintain health benefits for all individuals affected by these changes during this difficult time."

The company did not say how many employees were affected.

Itching to visit Las Vegas again? MGM Resorts says these Strip hotels will reopen first - USA TODAY

Posted: 30 Apr 2020 06:46 PM PDT

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Slot machines are powered down, casinos boarded up and barricaded. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, instead of hosting throngs of visitors for one of the busiest seasons of the year, Las Vegas is trying to survive. (April 26) AP Domestic

When will travelers be able to slide $20 bills into a slot machine, feast at a celebrity restaurant or see a show in Las Vegas again?

MGM Resorts, operator of a dozen properties in the gambling and entertainment capital, can't answer that question because the decision rests in the hands of state and local officials weighing when to lift coronavirus restrictions.

But on the company's quarterly earnings conference call Thursday, executives did provide the first glimpse of what visitors can expect from the chain when Las Vegas reopens.

MGM won't open all its hotels at once, but rather start with two or three targeted at different traveler budgets, acting CEO Bill Hornbuckle said.

On the list right now: New York-New York Hotel & Casino, a midprice hotel on the south end of the Strip with a roller coaster, arcade and Irish pub, and Bellagio, a swank mid-Strip resort that is home to the famous fountain show, high-end shops and restaurants, a conservatory and a museum.

"Then from there we're talking about what other properties should open, if any, at that point in time,'' he said. "We'll go slow. We'll be responsive and responsible.''

MGM also doesn't plan to open all the restaurants at each hotel. Some will be open and there will be takeout food and beverage options, as well, he said.

Will there be any shows or sporting events? 

Hornbuckle said big concerts, sporting events and professional fights are likely out of the question in the near term.

"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,'' he said.

As for Raiders football games at the new Allegiant Stadium, in what Hornbuckle calls MGM's back yard, the initial NFL games this year might be without fans.

"If we're fortunate enough to see real fans, it won't be (the stadium capacity of) 65,000,'' he said.

MGM is thinking about starting small on the performances front, reopening more "intimate'' shows first. Hornbuckle cited Carrot Top's show at Luxor Hotel & Casino versus, say, a large-scale Cirque du Soleil production.

Hotel check-in and room cleaning will look different 

MGM, like its competitors and most consumer businesses hoping to rebound post-pandemic, is crafting plans to make sure guests feel safe about visiting.

"Getting these properties up and operating and doing it in a safe manner for both our employees and guests is priority one,'' Hornbuckle said.

At check-in and elsewhere around the hotel, guests will find new  "touchless'' technology.

There will be more stringent cleaning and sanitizing policies, especially in guest rooms.

"The protocol to clean a room in this environment is going to be intensive,'' Hornbuckle said.

He said it's likely that some travelers will decline daily room cleaning during their stay, at least initially.

"If I'm a guest in Bellagio, I want to know that my room is pristine when I go in,'' he said. "And during my stay, unless I want and need clean towels, I'm probably not going to let a guest-room attendant or other service personnel in my room.''

Social distancing on the casino floor

In the casino, visitors will find more space between slot machines and gaming tables.  MGM is installing new carpet in its Park MGM and Aria casino hotels, Hornbuckle said, and is using that time to space things out.

"So the environment will feel a little different when people walk in from Day 1,'' he said.

Does anyone want to return so soon?

MGM officials said they are optimistic there's a pool of people itching to return to Las Vegas as soon as it is open. 

One key reason: About half of visitors drive to Vegas rather than fly and peak summer vacation season looms.

"We do think there'll be some pent-up demand,'' Hornbuckle said.

What the chain doesn't want, though, is a repeat of what happened in California when the beaches reopened last weekend, only to have the governor close some again in response to large crowds.

Among the first people expected to return: gamblers who receive generous offers to stay at the hotels. Bookings are strong for later this year and into next, the company said.

MGM officials said frequent gamblers at high-end resorts like Bellagio are especially anxious to return.

"They were the last to leave when we closed down (in mid-March),'' said Corey Sanders, MGM's chief financial officer. "I have a feeling some of them will be back the day they (the hotels) open. So that's positive.''

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