Times Colonist

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


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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