Times Colonist

Las Ve­gas’s Mi­rage, Man­dalay Bay to close dur­ing mid­week

- LAU­RIE BARATTI

MGM Re­sorts plans to shut down ho­tel op­er­a­tions at the Mi­rage and Man­dalay Bay re­sorts in Las Ve­gas on mid­week days, due to a lack of con­sumer de­mand be­cause of COVID-19.

Be­gin­ning Mon­day, the ho­tel tow­ers at the two iconic Las Ve­gas Strip prop­er­ties will be open for busi­ness only be­tween noon on Thurs­days and noon on Mon­days, though the re­sorts’ casi­nos, restau­rants and ameni­ties will re­main open.

The change comes three weeks after MGM Re­sorts’ de­ci­sion to close its Park MGM ho­tel from noon on Mon­days to noon on Thurs­days.

MGM Re­sorts said in a state­ment that it does not ex­pect the pol­icy of mid­week ho­tel clo­sure to last past De­cem­ber, but that the com­pany will “con­tinue eval­u­at­ing busi­ness lev­els to de­ter­mine how long they are in ef­fect.”

“We are con­stantly eval­u­at­ing oc­cu­pancy lev­els and ad­just­ing op­er­a­tions ac­cord­ingly.”

An­ton Nikode­mus, pres­i­dent and chief oper­at­ing of­fi­cer of Las Ve­gas prop­er­ties, wrote in a let­ter to em­ploy­ees: “This year has proven to be es­pe­cially chal­leng­ing due to the on­go­ing im­pact of COVID-19 and the ab­sence of the ma­jor meet­ings, con­ven­tions and events that typ­i­cally fill Las Ve­gas’ cal­en­dars dur­ing the fall and win­ter months.”

CEO Bill Horn­buckle has said that in­creas­ing mid­week ho­tel traf­fic has been chal­leng­ing, since meet­ings and con­ven­tions haven’t yet re­sumed.

MGM Re­sorts’ third-quar­ter oc­cu­pancy rate was 44%, ac­cord­ing to the Reno Gazette Jour­nal, and the com­pany sus­tained an oper­at­ing loss of $495 mil­lion US over the same pe­riod.

While Ne­vada’s casi­nos re­opened on June 4, sub­ject to a slew of new health and safety re­stric­tions, in­clud­ing re­duced oc­cu­pancy and so­cial dis­tanc­ing, the ma­jor­ity of Las Ve­gas’s busi­ness is now de­pen­dent on lo­cal, re­gional and drive-in cus­tomers.

In Oc­to­ber, just un­der 1,857,000 vis­i­tors came to Las Ve­gas, rep­re­sent­ing a 50% de­cline year over year, the Las Ve­gas Con­ven­tion and Vis­i­tors Au­thor­ity re­ported.

Air traf­fic at the city’s McCar­ran In­ter­na­tional Air­port was also down 57% in Oc­to­ber.

The lat­est surge of COVID-19 in­fec­tion in Ne­vada prompted Gov. Steve Siso­lak to im­ple­ment newly strength­ened statewide re­stric­tions, which he re­ferred to as a “statewide pause” that went into ef­fect Tues­day and will re­main in place for at least three weeks.

“We are on a rapid tra­jec­tory that threat­ens to over­whelm our health care sys­tem, our front­line health work­ers, and your ac­cess to care,” Siso­lak told Ne­vadans. “So, it’s time to act.”

The “statewide pause” ex­pands upon Ne­vada’s ex­ist­ing maskwear­ing man­date and ap­plies ca­pac­ity lim­its of 25% to venues where crowd­ing could likely oc­cur, in­clud­ing casi­nos, ar­cades, art gal­leries, aquar­i­ums, race­tracks, bowl­ing al­leys, theme/ amuse­ment parks, mini-golf, li­braries, mu­se­ums and zoos.

The new re­stric­tions also af­fect the way that restau­rants and bars are al­lowed to serve cus­tomers, re­duc­ing ca­pac­ity al­lowances from 50% to 25% with no more than four din­ers seated at a ta­ble and reser­va­tions re­quired for in-per­son din­ing, ex­cept at food courts and fast-food restau­rants.

“I know the ma­jor­ity of our bars and restau­rants are do­ing their best, but th­ese set­tings are proven to be high-risk be­cause they al­low the op­por­tu­nity for peo­ple to re­move their face cov­er­ings in in­door set­tings around peo­ple out­side of their house­hold,” Siso­lak said. “That’s how the virus spreads.”

Ca­pac­ity for pub­lic gath­er­ings has been re­duced from 250 to 50 peo­ple, or 25% of fire-code ca­pac­ity, which­ever vol­ume is smaller. Pri­vate gath­er­ings can now con­sist of par­tic­i­pants from no more than two house­holds with a max­i­mum of 10 peo­ple in at­ten­dance.

In Ne­vada, masks are now re­quired to be worn any time in­di­vid­u­als are around some­one out­side of their im­me­di­ate house­hold, in­clud­ing dur­ing pri­vate in­door or out­door gath­er­ings.

 ?? THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS ?? A woman plays a slot ma­chine at the Mi­rage ho­tel and casino in Las Ve­gas.
THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS A woman plays a slot ma­chine at the Mi­rage ho­tel and casino in Las Ve­gas.

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