MGM Resorts International is experimenting with operational times, cutting mid-week schedule for The Mirage and Mandalay Bay.
Mandalay Bay and Mirage Shut-down during Mid-week
The Las Vegas Strip is handling the covid-19 outbreak in a piecemeal way. On the one hand, you have Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak who tested positive for the novel coronavirus and confirmed earlier this week that all options are on the table to limit the spread of infections in the Silver State.
Now, two Strip resorts have opted to reduce amenity services throughout the week, as the pandemic seems to be on the offensive once again, pushing visitor numbers low after a short-lived rebound in September, and putting a dent in the recovery efforts by state and businesses.
On Friday, MGM Resorts International confirmed that it would suspend hotel operations at The Mirage and Mandalay Bay from Mondays through Thursdays, enacting the measures from November 30 on in.
In an official statement, the company said that it was on top of the situation and adapting to it as it evolved. Yet, MGM will try to avoid a prolonged closure, adding:
“While we do not currently expect the mid-week hotel closures to remain past December, we will continue evaluating business levels to determine how long they are in effect.”
-MGM Resorts International
Staying Ahead of the Curve
One thing casino businesses learned during the pandemic is that staying ahead of it certainly pays off. Risking higher infection rates with a nominal return for business doesn’t make sense, and so Las Vegas properties are concentrating their efforts in time windows and days of the week where demand is justifiable.
That is not to say that casinos are gambling with people’s lives, as extensive research has backed seems to back the claim that casinos are some of the safest places to be.
Reducing amenities throughout the week is expected to have a positive effect on operations, as MGM will be able to focus on specific time-frames and provide the necessary care, something that the company has been doing for months now.
News that MGM will enact changes on its mid-week schedule came late in October during the company’s Q3 earnings call and was confirmed by the company this Friday. MGM owns 10 resorts on the Strip and the company seems to be joining Gov. Sisolak’s appeal to residents issued last week to stay at home and limit contact with others.
MGM naturally fears another lockdown that could impact business and its employees negatively, and the company is taking the necessary steps to limit any fallout.
Nevada Struggles with Containing New Infections
The Silver State has been faced with a new challenge, trying to keep infection numbers low. Nevada reported over 2,000 positive infections twice this week, similar to the levels that the state experienced before it enforced the 78-day shutdown.
MGM Resorts suffered heavily in the second quarter, which proved the most difficult for the casino industry, with the company posting $1 billion in operating loss. Meanwhile, gaming revenues have continued to stay low in September.
In fact, both gross gaming revenue and visits were down 45% and 55% respectively, with these numbers covering the period between June and September. To cope with this and more, MGM has opted out of operating some properties except on weekends. The measure applies to Park MGM and the Palazzo has remained shut down from Monday through Thursday.
Others have followed in a similar vein, with Caesars Entertainment confirming that the Rio will restart operations, ahead of a new ‘Hybrid’ Main Event.