MGM Resorts to Shutter Las Vegas Properties ‘Until Further Notice’ Given Coronavirus Pandemic

Posted on: March 15, 2020, 07:38h. 

Last updated on: March 16, 2020, 09:22h.

MGM Resorts International is temporarily closing its Las Vegas operations, starting with casinos on Monday, followed by company hotels in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren announced Sunday the company will be closing its Las Vegas properties because of the coronavirus. (Image: CNBC)

In a statement released on Sunday, the company announced it will “temporarily suspend operations at its Las Vegas properties until further notice, effective as of Tuesday.”

We will close all of our Las Vegas properties … for the good of our employees, guests and communities,” MGM Chairman and CEO Jim Murren said in the statement. “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.”

In the statement, MGM also announced it will not be taking reservations for arrivals prior to May 1.
“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,” Murren said.

He further explained that the company had dedicated “additional resources for cleaning and promoting good health” and closed select operations. MGM has stepped up disinfection in all of its hotels and casinos to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus.

“It is now apparent that this is a public health crisis that requires major collective action if we are to slow its progression,” Murren said.

“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,” Murren added.

Layoffs, Furloughs Planned by MGM

On Friday, MGM announced in an abrupt statement sent to employees that it planned layoffs or to furlough workers. MGM has not specified how many employees will be impacted.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that layoffs will affect front desk workers at The Mirage to bellmen and cocktail servers at Bellagio to housekeeping staff at New York-New York.

Last week, before deciding to close Las Vegas operations, MGM announced it was closing nightclubs and day clubs, spas and salons, and some 150 food and beverage venues would also close on a rolling basis.

In Las Vegas, MGM operates the Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, The Mirage, Luxor, New York-New York, Excalibur, and Park MGM. It also owns 50 percent of CityCenter, which includes Aria and Vdara, the Review-Journal said.

Wynn Resorts Closing Two Las Vegas Properties

The closure follows a similar move by Wynn Resorts. On Sunday, it was announced the Wynn Las Vegas and Encore will be closed for two weeks starting on Tuesday evening to reduce the transmission of COVID-19.

The shuttering will start 6 p.m. Tuesday and is expected to continue for at least two weeks. Then, Wynn Resorts will evaluate whether to reopen the gaming properties.

Wynn Resorts will pay full-time Wynn and Encore employees during the closure. Unlike MGM, Wynn plans no layoffs of workers.

New Casino Floor Regulations

For those casinos that will remain open, there are new strict state guidelines in Nevada. Gov. Steve Sisolak said no more than three players will be allowed at table games, the Review-Journal said.

Slots have to be cleaned and sanitized at least every two hours. Also, buffets have to be served by employees not guests serving themselves.

Other casinos nationwide are closing temporarily or limiting operations because of the viral outbreak.

Also, the Nevada Independent reported that Caesars Entertainment is suspending live entertainment held in its venues, which requires a ticket, starting Sunday evening and continuing through March 31.