Venetian, Palazzo Closing ‘As Soon as Possible’ Given COVID-19 Impact
Posted on: March 17, 2020, 03:34h.
Last updated on: March 17, 2020, 04:11h.
The Venetian, The Palazzo, as well as the Sands Expo and Convention Center are closing at least until April 1. The announcement from Las Vegas Sands comes today, just two days after the company said the two resorts would remain open despite the ongoing health threats from the coronavirus.
Based on company statements, it appears that no workers will see layoffs or furloughs. Employees will also continue getting their salaries during the closure.
The process of closing the properties will begin immediately and be completed as soon as possible,” the Sands statement adds. “A decision on whether to extend the closure or reopen will be made at a later date.”
The company explained it made the move “out of an abundance of caution” and considered “recent guidance” from federal and state officials. Sands will help current guests locate other reservations in Las Vegas.
Healthy Workers, Guests Paramount
“These are clearly challenging times for our country and our community,” Rob Goldstein, President and Chief Operating Officer of Las Vegas Sands, said in the statement. “Our most important commitment is the one we have made to the health and safety of our team members and guests.”
“Right now, the best way to fulfill that commitment is by asking people to not come to work. While we hope this closure is a short-term necessity, we are realistic it may be a prolonged event,” Goldstein warned.
Employees and their families are “rightly … concerned about their health and safety. But we do not want them worried about their jobs, income, or health care. Like we have done in the past, we are fully prepared to support our team members over an extended period should it be needed,” Goldstein pledged.
On Sunday, MGM Resorts International and Wynn Resorts announced they will temporarily close their Las Vegas properties. The Wynn Las Vegas and Encore will remain shuttered for at least two weeks, and MGM venues are closed “until further notice.”
On Monday, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas decided to close. too, starting Wednesday. It will remain shuttered through March 31.
Wynn and The Cosmopolitan both plan to keep on paying workers, like Sands. They plan to avoid layoffs or furloughs.
But MGM Resorts announced it will use layoffs and furloughs. The company has yet to identify how many employees could lose their jobs.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that Caesars Entertainment Corp., Red Rock Resorts, and Boyd Gaming Corp., do not plan to close their Nevada properties.
Trump Meets with MGM’s Jim Murren
Meanwhile, MGM Resorts CEO and Chairman Jim Murren met with President Donald Trump Tuesday along with several other hospitality sector leaders. Murren noted the volatile climate in the industry.
“Within days we have transformed from a vibrant industry welcoming people from around the world, to one experiencing a total shutdown of business,” Murren was quoted by the Nevada Independent. “Addressing this public health emergency required major collective action, which is why MGM shut down our operations. But it comes at a cost to our tens of thousands of employees, small businesses, and communities who depended on us.”
“We look forward to a productive dialogue on how to ensure that when it is safe, we can be in a position to open our doors and for the gaming industry and the nearly 2 million jobs that depend on us to be part of the economic recovery that is to come,” Murren added.
Trump was joined by Vice President Mike Pence and other government officials when meeting with the CEOs. “We know your industries are among the hardest hit,” Trump told the sector executives.
The US travel sector is “increasing likely” to receive federal financial assistance given continuing losses from the coronavirus outbreak, according to multiple experts contacted by Casino.org.
Airlines, which are seeking $50 billion in aid from the federal government, are among the most likely sector in the travel industry to get assistance, industry experts said.
Hotels, casinos, and cruise lines would also like aid. If not closing, casinos are restricting gaming floor activities and entertainment.
Hotels nationwide have lost reservations from business travelers and tourists. Major conventions and meetings also have been cancelled.