Coronavirus Outbreak Forces Las Vegas Casinos Closures
As the world continues to cope with the ongoing outbreak of novel coronavirus, the pandemic has prompted major operators into Las Vegas casino closures.
Also known as COVID-19, the coronavirus strain currently ravaging communities across Asia and Europe has long since arrived in America. And with health authorities in Nevada recently confirming the state’s first coronavirus death, Sin City’s casino industry is beginning to shut down in hopes of combatting further spread.
MGM Shuts All Las Vegas Casinos After Employees & Guests Test Positive
- MGM Grand shut down facilities on March 17th
- Wynn Resorts also shut down on March 17th
- Gov. Steve Sisolak orders statewide shutdown on March 18th
Last week, MGM Resorts International revealed that “several” employees working at the MGM Grand, Luxor had tested positive for coronavirus.
That news came on the heels of the Mirage, another MGM-owned property on the Strip, confirming that a guest from New York tested positive after attending a multi-day conference at the casino.
In response to those rapid developments, on March 15 chairman and chief executive officer Jim Murren announced the temporary closure of all MGM Resorts casinos and hotels in Las Vegas:
“As the coronavirus pandemic has intensified in the United States over the past week, the people of MGM Resorts have worked to try to find a way to continue delivering high quality hospitality and entertainment experiences for our guests while keeping our employees doing the jobs they love in a safe environment. Welcoming people from around the world is what we do, and our employees have tremendous pride in their work.
Despite our commitment to dedicating additional resources for cleaning and promoting good health, while making difficult decisions to close certain aspects of our operations, it is now apparent that this is a public health crisis that requires major collective action if we are to slow its progression.
Accordingly, we will close all of our Las Vegas properties as of Tuesday, March 17th, for the good of our employees, guests and communities. This is a time of uncertainty across our country and the globe and we must all do our part to curtail the spread of this virus. We will plan to reopen our resorts as soon as it safe to do so and we will continue to support our employees, guests, and communities in every way that we can during this period of closure.”
The closures impact the Aria, Bellagio, Excalibur, Luxor, Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, Mirage, New York-New York, Park MGM, and Vdara.
Wynn Also Onboard with Las Vegas Casino Closures
Shortly before the MGM closures were confirmed, Wynn Resorts announced that its Wynn and Encore sister casinos would also close indefinitely, beginning on March 17.
In his statement, Wynn’s chief executive officer Matt Maddox guaranteed that all affected employees will continue to receive paychecks:
“Based on what we’re seeing, our business volumes are going to be basically empty over the next few weeks.
Our hotel occupancy will be in the low teens – and that, to me, is not our concern. What our concern is that we all get through this together. But Wynn employees won’t have to worry about pay.
What we’re going to do through these challenging times is make sure that all of our full-time employees – whether you’re in a closed outlet or you’re working here – will be getting their pay.
We don’t know where this is going to end, but we do know that it will.”