MGM Resorts Might Close More Casinos Midweek

Faced with lower than hoped for occupancy, MGM Resorts International followed Wynn Resorts and closed Park MGM (l.) midweek through the holiday season. Midweek occupancy throughout the city fell to 39 percent in September, a sharp decline from the prior year.

It might not be a happy holiday for certain MGM Resorts International properties on the Strip and their employees. The company is considering closing some casinos midweek during the next couple of months, a lingering effect of the coronavirus pandemic. The company started by closing the recently reopened Park MGM except for weekends.

“We’re going through an exercise, we’re doing it now, about what do we keep open and what do we close,” MGM CEO Bill Hornbuckle said during a quarterly earnings call. “There are certain amenities, certain towers, certain brands potentially that could face closure from mid-November…through the holiday season.”

Hornbuckle’s comments came in response to a question whether MGM would follow other operators like Wynn Resorts and offer limited hours. Citing weak demand, Wynn said it would cut Encore operations to four days a week, according to the Las Vegas Sun.

Park MGM hotel in Las Vegas will reduce days of operation beginning next week. It will close at noon on Mondays and reopen for the weekend on Thursdays.

The information was sent as a memo to employees. The hours for the casino, pool and restaurants will not change. According to Hornbuckle, business has slackened at casino hotels midweek due to the pandemic. This is expected to be even more true during the holidays.

Park MGM reopened September 30 as a non-smoking resort.

In September, midweek hotel occupancy in Las Vegas dropped to 39 percent from 47 percent during the same month in 2019, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. Weekend occupancy was 66 percent, off 30 percent from September 2019.

Overall occupancy rose 4 percent to 47 percent from August to September, but fell 88 percent from last September.

The LVCVA offered some good news for the pandemic weary tourism industry. September’s visitor totaled 1.7 million, an 11 percent increase over August. But the report, issued October 28, also pointed out that September visitation tumbled 51 percent from the same month in 2019.

Casinos in Nevada closed for almost three months beginning in mid-March to control the spread of the coronavirus. When reopened, casinos followed strict health protocols which chiseled away at visitation.

Through the first nine months 14.4 million people visited Las Vegas in 2020, less than half the almost 31.9 million tourists who visited for the same period in 2019.

In other MGM news, for the three months that ended September 30, the corporation reported net revenues of $1.1 billion, down 66 percent from the third quarter of 2019. At MGM’s 10 Strip properties, net revenues came in at $481 million for the quarter, down 68 percent. Blame the pandemic for the poor results.