Encore Casino to Close Mid-Week Due to Tourism Decline

The coronavirus pandemic has caused businesses to shut down and reopen, only to find that patrons are not visiting as they did in the past. In Las Vegas, casinos are one of the hardest hit business types as they rely heavily on tourism to bring in visitors. Without a steady stream of traffic, casinos are not seeing the flow of consumers as they normally do. The low numbers are due to players not feeling comfortable getting out and about during the pandemic. For Wynn Resorts Encore Casino on the Las Vegas Strip, the tourism numbers are so low that the property has decided to close up shop during mid-week.

Major Operation Cut

When the casinos shut down back in March, it was a big deal for the industry. Casinos never close, always offering entertainment to patrons from across the US and around the world. Las Vegas is perhaps the most visited casino town in the states and when the venues went dark, it was an eerie sight.

Now that players have not returned as expected, the Encore Casino will be cutting back its operating hours. They are going to go from seven days a week to five days and four nights. The casino will open Thursdays at 2 pm and close on Mondays at noon.

Wynn Resorts, the casino owner, said in a press release that the new hours of operation were created to match the lower consumer demand the property is experiencing. The company also owns the Wynn Las Vegas which is located next door. This property has not seen its hours cut back.

When the demand increase, the Encore will fully open once again. However, it is unclear as to when that will be.

Air Travel and Convention Effect

As mentioned, casinos in Las Vegas rely on tourism to fuel their business. As air travel is limited and conventions are no longer taking place in the region, it has drastically cut down on the number our tourists in the area.

People are not really taking vacations right now due to the virus and if they are, travel is not taking place to busy and congested areas. The outbreak of the virus has led people to be more cautious, so they are not flying into areas they would normally visit. Operators in Las Vegas were hoping that local and bordering state traffic would help but it does not seem to be offering the number of visitors expected.

When looking at air traffic details, you can easily see how the industry is being affected. Figures from departure and arrivals at McCarran International Airport show that when comparing August 2019 and 2020, the passenger totals were down by 56%. This is a huge drop and due to convention cancellations as well as fear of travel due to the virus.

For now, we shall see how the Encore fares by cutting down their operating hours. How long will it take before traffic will increase again? Operators are hoping they don’t have to wait too long before visitors start traveling again to destinations such as Las Vegas.


Rebecca lives in Las Vegas and after completing her degree at Reynolds Journalism school joined the USGS team to pursue her journalism dreams.